16 Oct 2012

Antarctic sea ice at record high

11:08 am on 16 October 2012

Antarctica New Zealand says more research is needed into why sea ice has reached record proportions in Antarctica.

The NASA Snow and Ice Data Centre report for September shows 19.44 million square kilometres of sea ice.

The previous record was 19.39 million km/sq in 2006.

Scientists largely attribute the increase to stronger circumpolar winds which blow the sea ice outward, increasing their volume.

But Antarctica New Zealand chief executive Lou Sanson believes further investigation is needed.

Mr Sanson says the ozone hole over Antarctica has led to record cooling over the pole and the Australians are now struggling to get ships into their bases because of the sea ice.