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Tracking Antarctica Sea Ice Loss in 2023

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Antarctica sea ice loss tracked from 1979 to 2023

Tracking Antarctica Sea Ice Loss in 2023

Scientists have been tracking the extent and concentrations of Antarctica’s sea ice for decades, and the last two years have raised global alarm bells.

As temperatures are breaking records around the world, the southernmost continent’s ice sheet is visibly smaller than it has been in decades past.

The above graphic uses tracking data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) to visualize sea ice extent in Antarctica as of August 2023

How Much Ice Has Antarctica Lost?

According to satellite data tracked by the NSIDC, sea ice extent in Antarctica has shrunk to record lows.

When compared to previously charted data dating back to 1979, daily record lows in sea ice extent have been recorded for every day in 2023 so far.

Here is how daily Antarctic sea ice extent in 2023 compares to 2022 (which had many of the previous record lows), and the median from 1981 to 2010.

Date2023 (km²)2022 (km²)Median (1981‒2010, km²)
Aug 2415.87M17.29M17.94M
Aug 2315.79M17.24M17.91M
Aug 2215.74M17.21M17.89M
Aug 2115.69M17.19M17.87M
Aug 2015.64M17.14M17.84M
Aug 1915.55M17.11M17.82M
Aug 1815.45M17.06M17.79M
Aug 1715.34M16.99M17.73M
Aug 1615.22M16.93M17.68M
Aug 1515.12M16.88M17.63M
Aug 1415.07M16.84M17.60M
Aug 1315.04M16.81M17.56M
Aug 1215.02M16.78M17.54M
Aug 1115.00M16.76M17.50M
Aug 1014.98M16.75M17.45M
Aug 0914.96M16.73M17.39M
Aug 0814.95M16.70M17.34M
Aug 0714.92M16.64M17.27M
Aug 0614.88M16.57M17.21M
Aug 0514.86M16.46M17.15M
Aug 0414.82M16.35M17.10M
Aug 0314.78M16.22M17.05M
Aug 0214.75M16.11M17.01M
Aug 0114.69M15.99M16.96M
Jul 3114.62M15.87M16.92M
Jul 3014.55M15.76M16.86M
Jul 2914.47M15.68M16.79M
Jul 2814.38M15.62M16.71M
Jul 2714.29M15.59M16.63M
Jul 2614.21M15.57M16.56M
Jul 2514.16M15.56M16.49M
Jul 2414.10M15.53M16.41M
Jul 2314.03M15.50M16.33M
Jul 2213.97M15.43M16.24M
Jul 2113.91M15.35M16.16M
Jul 2013.82M15.25M16.08M
Jul 1913.70M15.14M16.00M
Jul 1813.58M15.03M15.94M
Jul 1713.45M14.93M15.88M
Jul 1613.31M14.84M15.80M
Jul 1513.17M14.78M15.71M
Jul 1413.07M14.72M15.62M
Jul 1312.98M14.64M15.54M
Jul 1212.88M14.57M15.46M
Jul 1112.77M14.47M15.39M
Jul 1012.65M14.37M15.32M
Jul 0912.54M14.28M15.25M
Jul 0812.43M14.19M15.19M
Jul 0712.36M14.12M15.12M
Jul 0612.32M14.06M15.05M
Jul 0512.31M13.98M14.98M
Jul 0412.28M13.89M14.91M
Jul 0312.22M13.79M14.82M
Jul 0212.14M13.68M14.73M
Jul 0112.06M13.58M14.64M
Jun 3011.96M13.46M14.54M
Jun 2911.87M13.33M14.45M
Jun 2811.81M13.19M14.36M
Jun 2711.75M13.06M14.26M
Jun 2611.68M12.92M14.17M
Jun 2511.61M12.81M14.07M
Jun 2411.53M12.73M13.98M
Jun 2311.46M12.67M13.88M
Jun 2211.39M12.61M13.79M
Jun 2111.31M12.56M13.69M
Jun 2011.21M12.50M13.59M
Jun 1911.10M12.41M13.48M
Jun 1811.02M12.32M13.37M
Jun 1710.92M12.22M13.26M
Jun 1610.84M12.11M13.17M
Jun 1510.78M12.02M13.08M
Jun 1410.73M11.92M12.98M
Jun 1310.66M11.81M12.89M
Jun 1210.61M11.72M12.81M
Jun 1110.54M11.62M12.72M
Jun 1010.46M11.53M12.61M
Jun 0910.39M11.45M12.48M
Jun 0810.33M11.36M12.36M
Jun 0710.26M11.26M12.25M
Jun 0610.18M11.15M12.13M
Jun 0510.09M11.00M12.02M
Jun 049.99M10.87M11.93M
Jun 039.87M10.74M11.84M
Jun 029.75M10.64M11.74M
Jun 019.64M10.58M11.65M
May 319.53M10.54M11.56M
May 309.43M10.49M11.47M
May 299.36M10.43M11.37M
May 289.30M10.35M11.27M
May 279.23M10.27M11.17M
May 269.16M10.20M11.08M
May 259.09M10.14M10.99M
May 248.98M10.07M10.89M
May 238.86M10.01M10.79M
May 228.73M9.94M10.68M
May 218.61M9.85M10.57M
May 208.52M9.76M10.45M
May 198.43M9.66M10.33M
May 188.36M9.56M10.24M
May 178.30M9.46M10.14M
May 168.25M9.34M10.03M
May 158.16M9.20M9.92M
May 148.06M9.09M9.82M
May 137.96M8.99M9.69M
May 127.85M8.88M9.58M
May 117.72M8.77M9.46M
May 107.61M8.67M9.35M
May 097.50M8.55M9.23M
May 087.39M8.40M9.12M
May 077.28M8.26M9.00M
May 067.17M8.13M8.88M
May 057.06M8.02M8.77M
May 046.96M7.91M8.65M
May 036.86M7.80M8.52M
May 026.77M7.69M8.41M
May 016.66M7.59M8.29M
Apr 306.56M7.48M8.17M
Apr 296.48M7.35M8.06M
Apr 286.38M7.24M7.95M
Apr 276.28M7.12M7.83M
Apr 266.19M7.00M7.71M
Apr 256.09M6.86M7.59M
Apr 245.98M6.74M7.48M
Apr 235.89M6.62M7.37M
Apr 225.80M6.50M7.27M
Apr 215.71M6.39M7.18M
Apr 205.64M6.27M7.09M
Apr 195.59M6.15M6.99M
Apr 185.52M6.00M6.88M
Apr 175.45M5.86M6.78M
Apr 165.38M5.73M6.66M
Apr 155.30M5.59M6.55M
Apr 145.19M5.46M6.43M
Apr 135.10M5.33M6.31M
Apr 125.02M5.20M6.18M
Apr 114.94M5.09M6.06M
Apr 104.86M4.97M5.93M
Apr 094.79M4.86M5.81M
Apr 084.71M4.77M5.71M
Apr 074.63M4.68M5.62M
Apr 064.54M4.61M5.53M
Apr 054.46M4.52M5.44M
Apr 044.37M4.42M5.35M
Apr 034.26M4.31M5.27M
Apr 024.16M4.20M5.18M
Apr 014.04M4.06M5.11M
Mar 313.93M3.93M5.04M
Mar 303.86M3.81M4.97M
Mar 293.77M3.68M4.89M
Mar 283.68M3.54M4.81M
Mar 273.57M3.40M4.72M
Mar 263.44M3.28M4.63M
Mar 253.28M3.20M4.54M
Mar 243.14M3.12M4.46M
Mar 233.02M3.06M4.37M
Mar 222.92M3.01M4.28M
Mar 212.84M2.95M4.20M
Mar 202.78M2.88M4.12M
Mar 192.72M2.81M4.03M
Mar 182.66M2.74M3.95M
Mar 172.61M2.68M3.88M
Mar 162.55M2.62M3.80M
Mar 152.49M2.57M3.73M
Mar 142.44M2.52M3.65M
Mar 132.40M2.48M3.59M
Mar 122.34M2.43M3.51M
Mar 112.27M2.39M3.44M
Mar 102.21M2.34M3.37M
Mar 092.13M2.29M3.31M
Mar 082.04M2.24M3.25M
Mar 071.97M2.19M3.20M
Mar 061.93M2.15M3.16M
Mar 051.91M2.11M3.12M
Mar 041.89M2.07M3.07M
Mar 031.88M2.03M3.02M
Mar 021.87M2.01M2.98M
Mar 011.85M1.99M2.94M
Feb 281.83M1.98M2.89M
Feb 271.83M1.98M2.86M
Feb 261.82M1.98M2.83M
Feb 251.82M1.98M2.81M
Feb 241.81M1.98M2.81M
Feb 231.80M1.99M2.81M
Feb 221.79M1.99M2.81M
Feb 211.79M2.02M2.81M
Feb 201.81M2.03M2.82M
Feb 191.82M2.05M2.82M
Feb 181.85M2.08M2.84M
Feb 171.86M2.11M2.86M
Feb 161.88M2.14M2.89M
Feb 151.88M2.18M2.93M
Feb 141.89M2.22M2.97M
Feb 131.91M2.24M3.02M
Feb 121.93M2.26M3.06M
Feb 111.96M2.31M3.10M
Feb 101.98M2.35M3.15M
Feb 092.01M2.41M3.20M
Feb 082.03M2.47M3.25M
Feb 072.06M2.54M3.30M
Feb 062.09M2.60M3.36M
Feb 052.12M2.66M3.41M
Feb 042.16M2.71M3.47M
Feb 032.19M2.77M3.52M
Feb 022.23M2.82M3.57M
Feb 012.26M2.86M3.63M
Jan 312.30M2.89M3.68M
Jan 302.35M2.94M3.73M
Jan 292.42M2.99M3.78M
Jan 282.48M3.04M3.84M
Jan 272.56M3.11M3.89M
Jan 262.65M3.19M3.96M
Jan 252.71M3.26M4.04M
Jan 242.78M3.34M4.12M
Jan 232.85M3.41M4.18M
Jan 222.90M3.48M4.26M
Jan 212.96M3.57M4.34M
Jan 203.02M3.66M4.42M
Jan 193.09M3.75M4.51M
Jan 183.17M3.87M4.62M
Jan 173.24M3.96M4.73M
Jan 163.32M4.05M4.87M
Jan 153.39M4.13M5.01M
Jan 143.45M4.20M5.14M
Jan 133.51M4.27M5.27M
Jan 123.59M4.38M5.41M
Jan 113.67M4.49M5.54M
Jan 103.76M4.59M5.69M
Jan 093.86M4.70M5.85M
Jan 083.97M4.83M6.02M
Jan 074.09M4.95M6.18M
Jan 064.22M5.09M6.34M
Jan 054.35M5.27M6.51M
Jan 044.49M5.45M6.67M
Jan 034.64M5.62M6.84M
Jan 024.79M5.82M7.01M
Jan 015.00M6.02M7.19M

Antarctica’s sea ice extent on August 24, 2023 was 1.42 million square kilometers smaller than the year before. When compared to the median extent for that date from 1980 to 2010, it was 2.07 million square kilometers smaller.

Keep in mind that July and August are the coldest months in Antarctica. Its position on the South Pole gives it a very long winter ranging from the end of February to the end of September, with ice building up before melting temperatures arrive in October.

Antarctica Sea Ice and the Rest of the World

Even though the continent is thousands of kilometers from most of Earth’s land and populace, its ice has an important impact on the rest of the planet.

Antarctica’s large ice sheet is able to reflect a lot of sunlight in sunnier months, reducing the amount absorbed by the ocean. The wider its extent builds up over the winter, the more sunlight and heat it is able to reflect.

It’s also important to consider that this ice comes from a regular pattern of freezing and melting ocean water. The more ice is lost to the oceans compared to what accumulates in a given year, the higher sea levels rise around the world.

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Visualized: An Investor’s Carbon Footprint, by Sector

Which sectors are the largest contributors to emissions? From energy to tech, this graphic shows carbon emissions by sector in 2023.

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Visualized: An Investor’s Carbon Footprint, by Sector

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The following content is sponsored by MSCI
Visualized: An Investor’s Carbon Footprint, by Sector

Visualized: An Investor’s Carbon Footprint, by Sector

In the quest for a sustainable future, investors can play a crucial role in shaping our planet’s destiny.

Understanding the carbon emissions in different sectors is a key way to make environmentally and financially conscious decisions and help make a positive impact on the planet.

This infographic, sponsored by MSCI, looks at carbon emissions by sector.

Types of Carbon Emissions

Unsurprisingly, industries heavily reliant on fossil fuels and energy-intensive processes, like energy, materials, and industrials, have significant carbon footprints. In contrast, service-based and technology industries are traditionally less carbon-intensive.

To get an accurate picture of a sector/industry’s carbon footprint, it’s important to look up and down their value chain. Here is how policymakers categorize carbon emissions:

  1. Scope 1: Generated directly by the organization and within its control e.g., on-site fuel combustion and internal industrial processes.
  2. Scope 2: Indirect emissions from energy use, such as purchased electricity, heat, or cooling.
  3. Scope 3: Indirect emissions, but different from Scope 2 emissions. These are emissions that the company does not directly control such as the emissions produced from a supplier or emissions generated from the use of its sold product.

Only looking at all three scopes of emissions can we arrive at a complete picture of a sector’s carbon footprint.

Volume of Carbon Emissions, by Sector

The following table breaks down the greenhouse gas emissions for each sector by scope. A sector’s carbon footprint is expressed in metric tons of CO2 equivalent for every $1 million in financing.

In other words, here’s how much of a climate impact a one million dollar investment has in each of the following sectors.

The total figure represents the weighted average carbon emissions of each sector’s constituents as of August 10, 2023:

SectorScope 1
Scope 2
Scope 3
Total
Energy263.327.22827.53118.0
Materials298.482.81349.21730.4
Utilities461.416.0405.5883.0
Industrials32.68.3425.1466.0
Consumer
discretionary
5.09.0372.2386.2
Consumer staples16.512.4276.4305.3
Information
technology
2.05.879.387.1
Health care1.82.470.975.1
Financials4.01.158.363.4
Real estate1.45.946.854.0
Communication
services
0.64.740.545.8

Represented by tCO₂e/USD million EVIC. EVIC is the enterprise value including cash.

Understanding carbon footprint profiles can help investors evaluate the risks faced by carbon-intensive industries, such as future regulations and reputational challenges.

MSCI’s climate metrics empower investors to make responsible investments and drive meaningful change.

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Download MSCI’s Climate Metrics Report.

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