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Antarctic sea ice has reached its maximum area for the year and has never been so small since observations began in 1979, the National Snow and Ice Data Center said.

The ice sheet melts in summer and replenishes in winter, which is currently nearing its end in the Southern Hemisphere.

Scientists warn: World must protect ecosystems affected by melting glaciers

On 10 September, it reached an annual maximum of EUR 16.96 million. Square. km, according to experts. They note that this is the lowest maximum for the Antarctic ice sheet in statistics covering the period from 1979 to 2023. Square. km less than the previous record.

The published data are only preliminary and can be reconsidered, as ongoing winter conditions can still increase the ice area, according to experts from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center.

The final analysis will be published in October, DPA notes.

Sea ice