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Antarctica's File-Breaking Warmth Wave Melts 20 P.c of Snow on One in all Its Islands in 9 Days

Antarctica's Record-Breaking Heat Wave Melts 20 Percent of Snow on One of Its Islands in 9 Days


A couple of fifth of snow on one among Antarctica’s islands has vanished as a consequence of a current warmth wave.

File-breaking heat temperatures the continent skilled from Feb. 5 to Feb. 13 managed to soften 20 p.c of snow on Eagle Island — an island positioned on the northwestern peninsula of Antarctica — in a matter of days, in response to the NASA Earth Observatory.

Mauri Pelto, a glaciologist at Nichols School, informed NASA’s publishing outlet that 4 inches of Eagle Island’s snowpack thawed away following an heat spell earlier this month, exposing a lot of the land beneath the island’s ice cap and creating swimming pools of meltwater on its floor.

“I haven’t seen soften ponds develop this rapidly in Antarctica,” mentioned Pelto. “You see these sorts of soften occasions in Alaska and Greenland, however not often in Antarctica.”

Scientists skilled the hottest day ever recorded on the continent on Feb. 6 when the temperature at Antarctica’s Esperanza base reached 65 levels Fahrenheit (18.three levels Celsius), surpassing the earlier report of 63.5 levels Fahrenheit (17.5 levels Celsius) set on March 24, 2015 on the identical base, in response to Argentina’s nationwide meteorological service (SMN).

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The SMN mentioned that the close by Marambio analysis station additionally logged the very best temperature of 57.three levels Fahrenheit (14.1 levels Celsius) for the month of February, exceeding the earlier report 56.eight levels Fahrenheit (13.eight levels Celsius) held on Feb. 24, 2013.

Argentina has been monitoring temperatures from Esperanza since 1961, whereas data from Marambio date again to 1971.

The Antarctic Peninsula — the northwest tip close to South America the place the 2 Argentinian bases are positioned — is among the many quickest warming areas in on the earth, rising nearly 37.four levels Fahrenheit (20.78 levels Celsius) over the past 50 years, in response to the World Meteorological Group (WMO).

The quantity of ice misplaced yearly from the Antarctic ice sheet have additionally elevated at the least six-fold between 1979 and 2017, the group mentioned.

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Scientists decided 2019 was the second-hottest 12 months on report in separate however related stories by the Nationwide Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Nationwide Facilities for Environmental Data (NCEI) and NASA launched in January.

The data, which scientists started compiling in 1880, present that the final 5 years have been the planet’s warmest, with 2016 at present topping the record by simply 0.07 of a level Fahrenheit.

The years 2017, 2015 and 2018 adopted intently behind in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively, NOAA reported.

Researchers have been in a position to conclude that the typical temperature throughout Earth in 2019 was 1.71 levels Fahrenheit above the 20th-century common, making it the 43rd consecutive 12 months the place the land and water temperatures have been above common, in response to NOAA.