Scientists credit global warming as the main culprit for the Arctic Sea losing an unusually high amount of its sea ice.
The Arctic and Antarctic have very different geographical characteristics. The Arctic is a semi-closed body of water, and the sea ice that forms within its waters is not very mobile, and much more likely to converge and form ridges. The ridges thicken up the ice, so not much melts when the annual temperature rises. The Antarctic, on the other hand, involves a land mass that is surrounded by water, so the sea ice flows more freely. Also, the ice floats north, which takes it to warmer waters, where it melts quite easily.
This is why scientists are so concerned about the Arctic’s ice melt: the thick ridges are beginning to collapse, which has never happened before. As the ridges melt, the temperature rises within the enclosed body of water, and all the ice melts at an accelerated rate. If the rate of melting continues, then, theoretically, the ocean level will rise more than 3 feet by the year 2100. This will put more than 22,000 square miles of land along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the Unites States under water.
I’m not a scientist, but my guess would be that anarctica being a large land mass would tend to stabilize the ice on top of it. The arctic ocean beneath the polar cap would probably cause more melting due to the flow of currents under and around the ice sheet.
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