Deep Trouble: New sea change threatens planet

The loss of ice in Antarctica threatens to drive emperor penguins to extinction. Photo / Getty

Last month, New Zealand scientists came together for an emergency summit on one of the most alarming developments yet observed on our planet.

The Southern Ocean was suddenly missing about 20 per cent of the sea ice that’d normally be covering it – equivalent to an area roughly 10 times the size of New Zealand.

This record low - observed for the second year running – has led some experts to suggest we’ve now crossed a tipping point, where this seasonally swelling and shrinking apron of ice around Antarctica won’t ever regrow to its former extent.

It’s not the only