Here’s a disturbing story from USA Today, with a video, about a historic high of 65 degrees in Antarctica. Scientists also found warm water under the “Doomsday Glacier” there, which could accelerate its melting.
- The temperature was recorded at an Argentine research base on the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
- It beats the previous record of 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit, set in 2015.
- The Antarctic Peninsula is among the fastest warming regions on Earth.
A balmy temperature of nearly 65 degrees was recorded in Antarctica on Thursday, and if verified, it would be an all-time record high for the normally bitterly cold continent.
The temperature was recorded at an Argentine research base on the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, the World Meteorological Organization said in a statement.
“The Argentine research base, Esperanza, on the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula, set a new record temperature of 18.3 degrees Celsius (64.9 degrees Fahrenheit) on February 6, beating the former record of 17.5 degrees C (63.5 degrees F) on March 24, 2015, according to Argentina’s national meteorological service,” the WMO said.
The average high temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula is in the 30s, according to the Australian Antarctic Division.
The WMO’s committee that draws on the agency’s weather and climate archives is now expected to verify whether the reading would amount to a new record.
“Everything we have seen thus far indicates a likely legitimate record but we will of course begin a formal evaluation of the record once we have full data from (the Argentine weather service) and on the meteorological conditions surrounding the event,” said Randall Cerveny, the WMO’s weather and climate extremes rapporteur.
“The record appears to be likely associated (in the short term) with what we call a regional ‘foehn’ event over the area: a rapid warming of air coming down a slope/mountain,” he said.
The WMO said the Antarctic Peninsula, on the continent’s northwest tip near South America, is among the fastest warming regions on Earth – at almost 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the last half-century.
Some 87% of glaciers along the west coast of the peninsula have retreated over that 50-year span, with most showing “an accelerated retreat” over the last 12 years, WMO said.
The recent spate of warmth is due to a ridge of high pressure that has lingered over the region for several days, the Capital Weather Gang said. High-pressure systems feature sinking air, which favors milder temperatures.
The Antarctic warmth follows on the heels of other warm records, including the fact that January was the warmest January on record worldwide, the atmospheric monitoring group Copernicus said. Read more: