Antarctica’s record low sea ice worries climate scientists

On every side of Antarctica, the place of winter sea ice is experiencing historic lows, threatening climate scientists who say this transformation is so weird and horrific that it could be a warning bell for a huge tipping point for the frozen continent. And what happens down south will make a major difference to the rest of the world, said Professor Benjamin Horton, director of the Nanyang Technological University’s Earth Observatory of Singapore, which was part of the Republic’s first science-based expedition to Antarctica in February 2023.

“Antarctica might be 10,000 km away from Singapore, but new things happening on this continent will make a difference to our climate and the chance sea-level rise will increase to a large extent. Everyone should be bothered about what’s taking place in Antarctica,” he told The Straits Times on Wednesday. Antarctica plays a unique role in regulating the global climate and ocean currents. Warming of the oceans and air around the region risk disrupting these key roles as well as its delicate ecosystems. At the present, sea ice area is kind of 2.4 million sq km – or a little more than the merged size of Indonesia and Malaysia – less than the historical average.