As the climate changes and temperatures keep growing, you’d assume that polar ice coverage would be shrinking. Not so says a new study by Time that shows how Arctic sea ice volume grew by more than a quarter after the summers of 2013 and 2014.

Image via inhabitat

But what caused the increase in ice cover? The new study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, says unseasonably cool temperatures are responsible.

Researchers used satellite imaging to calculate the volume of sea ice in the Arctic between 2010 and 2014. They found that while ice volume decreased by 14 percent between 2010 and 2012, it rose dramatically between 2013 and 2014 – by nearly 33 percent in 2013, and 25 percent in 2014.

Scientists described the finding as significant, but were quick to remind readers that this is not a reversal of the long-term trend towards the loss of Arctic sea ice. Since satellite measurements began in the 1970’s, total sea ice cover has declined nearly 40 percent. The planet is on a path towards a “seasonally ice-free Arctic,” according to the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Mark Serreze.

Scientists report that anomalies such as this suggest that the ice cover in the arctic may be more resilient than previously thought, but they distinguished between a rebound and a recovery.

While the anomaly may make things seem closer to normal for now, climate scientists are nowhere near convinced that now is the time to change their minds about climate change.

 

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