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Floating Antarctic ice goes from record high to record lows

By The News · 01 of July 2019 19:38:27
AP Photo,, No available, This January 2017 photo provided by Ted Scambos shows sea ice on the ocean surrounding Antarctica during an expedition to the Ross Sea. Ice in the ocean off the southern continent steadily increased from 1979 and hit a record high in 2014. But three years later, the annual average extent of Antarctic sea ice hit its lowest mark, wiping out three-and-a-half decades of gains, and then some, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Ted Scambos/National Snow and Ice Data Center via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The amount of ice circling Antarctica is suddenly plunging from a record high to record lows, baffling scientists.

A new NASA study shows that ice off the southern continent steadily increased from 1979 and hit a record high in 2014. But three years later, the ice hit its lowest mark, wiping out the three-and-a-half decades of gain.

The amount lost is bigger than the size of Mexico.

Scientists say they don’t know if this a natural blip that will go away or something more long term and worrisome.

The study is in Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.