Little Arctic Sea Ice
While the annual freeze in the Arctic lasted a record-long time, extending to the latest-ever-recorded date (March 31), the summer melt managed to reverse any notion that the Arctic is regaining its ice cover. A surprising double-dip melt that left the Arctic with the third-lowest ice extent ever recorded. There was a record melt in Greenland, key to sea level rise. Normally ice-locked shipping lanes were open, but Arctic wildlife like polar bears (and the native people who hunt them) suffered greatly. Even after three months of re-freezing, December ice extent was at its lowest-ever recorded extent. In Antarctica, the sea ice retreated to its 8th-smallest extent, but grew back to its third-greatest extent ever recorded. While the Arctic seems clearly influenced by global warming, the influences on Antarctica are more nuanced, in part because of the effect of the hole in the Earth's ozone layer, which sits over Antarctica.