Graphic: Spiralising Arctic sea ice records

Animation shows how north polar sea ice has shrunk year on year since PIOMAS records began in 1979

Researchers studying Arctic sea ice (Pic: NASA/Kathryn Hansen)


Remember that viral gif showing global average temperatures spiraling upward?

Well, the man behind it, Reading University climate scientist Ed Hawkins, has been at it again.

This time, he has mapped the shrinking volume of Arctic sea ice since 1979 (press play to start the animation).

It has reached a record low for the time of year, according to PIOMAS, a model based on observations in the region.

As greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, the Arctic is warming faster than other parts of the world.

In the past year, the El Nino weather phenomenon has given air temperatures an extra boost.

Read more on: Arctic | Climate science