Scientists are stumped after learning that Antarctica is missing a gigantic amount of sea ice that measures up to four times the size of Texas.
It's currently the middle of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, a time when sea ice is expected to expand. However, Antarctica has witnessed a drastic decrease.
Sea ice is said to be controlled by a balance between the atmosphere and oceans each year.
Dr Steve Rintoul, CSIRO Fellow and Research Team Leader, explained [via the Sydney Morning Herald]: "The factors that influence sea ice include winds from north to south are stronger than usual which pushes sea ice towards Antarctica and restricts how far sea ice spreads.
"The warmer water means there is less sea ice, and even things like melting the surface melt can alter sea ice forming."
Data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) shows that the ice was more than 2.6 million square kilometres below the 1981 to 2010 average.
While it's natural for levels of sea ice to change, Dr Rintoul noted that this is the lowest amount recorded in the last 40 years.