This chart should terrify you

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Wednesday 23 November 2016 13:30
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Picture:(Bill McKibben/Twitter)

This graph about the amount of sea ice that exists on Earth, is blowing up the internet, and it's obvious why.

It's terrifying.

Picture: National Snow and Ice Data Center (National Snow and Ice Data Center)

The graph was created by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). It shows that the readings taken for on 1 November 2016 indicate that the amount of sea ice in the ocean is drastically lower when compared to previous years.

According to the NSIDC from October 1 to 15, ice extent increased only 378,000 square kilometers (146,000 square miles), less than a third of the 1981 to 2010 average gain for that period.

Why?

Well, if you take the analysis of President-elect Trump, it's a Chinese conspiracy.

Ask some scientists, and they say it's due to climate change trapping more heat in our environment, and melting more ice.

The Independent spoke to professor Peter Wadhams, the head of polar ocean physics group at Cambridge University who explained that the data showed that the growth of ice was slowing in the winters and the rate that it melted in the summer was increasing.

As the ice area gets less, you're changing the albedo of the earth, which is the fraction of solar radiation that gets reflected straight away back into space, so you're absorbing radiation which warms the earth quicker creating a feedback effect as the ice retreats... The only secure way of stopping the sea ice to retreat is stopping warming the climate and that is really by reducing our carbon dioxide emissions.

The environmentalist Bill McKibbon shared the same data in a different graph on Twitter. His post has been retweeted over 9,000 times.

On Friday Mashable released a map that showed the a huge area of sea ice cover had disappeared at the end of October,

They constitute something like the area of Alaska and Texas combined.

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