Antarctica temperature hits record 20C

  • Antarctica temperature hits record 20C

Antarctica temperature hits record 20C

"We'd never seen a temperature this high in Antarctica", Brazilian scientist Carlos Schaefer told AFP.

He cautioned that the reading, taken at a monitoring station on an island off the continent's northern tip on Feb 9, "has no meaning in terms of a climate-change trend", because it is a one-off temperature and not part of a long-term data set.

However, the fact that Antarctica, the icy continent is witnessing temperatures in the 20s will only add fuel to the scare of the planet warming situation.

Schaefer said the temperature of the peninsula, the South Shetland Islands and the James Ross archipelago, which Seymour is part of, has been erratic over the past 20 years.

The penguin-tormenting high temperature was recorded at 1 p.m. on February 9 by Brazilian scientists on Seymour Island, where it is now the summer season for the Southern Hemisphere.

The Antarctic has registered a temperature of more than 20C (68F) for the first time in history, prompting fears of climate instability in the world's greatest repository of ice.

"We have climatic changes in the atmosphere, which is closely related to changes in permafrost and the ocean".

An iceberg floats near Fournier Bay Antarctica
An iceberg floats near Fournier Bay Antarctica on Feb. 3 2020. Reuters

Last month was the hottest January on record, surpassing a previous high recorded in 2016, the USA climate service said on Thursday. "It's simply a signal that something different is happening in that area".

Across much of Russian Federation and parts of Scandinavia and eastern Canada, temperatures were nine degrees above average or higher.

"At midday Esperanza Base recorded a new historic temperature record (since 1961) of 18.3 degrees Celsius", the agency posted.

"This temperature beat the previous record of 17.5 degrees Celsius recorded on March 24 2015".

According to the UN's World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), temperatures on the Antarctic continent have risen by nearly 3C over the past 50 years, and that about 87% of the glaciers along its west coast have "retreated" in that time.

The past decade has been the hottest on record, the United Nations said last month, with 2019 the second-hottest year ever, after 2016.