For the first time, Antarctica has reached 20C, after researchers measured a 20.75C temperature on an island off the continent’s coast. Brazilian scientist Carlos Schaefer said to AFP that they “never saw such a high temperature in Antarctica.”
But the temperature he warned, recorded on February 9, was just one read and not part of a larger-term set of data. The continent also hit a new high last week on the Antarctic Peninsula, with a temperature reading of 18.3C.
This latest read was taken at a weather station on Seymour Island. This is at the northernmost point of the continent, part of a chain of islands off the same peninsula. Although the temperature is a record high, Mr Schaefer stress on the reading. It is not part of a broader analysis and so is not useful in itself to forecast a pattern.
As per the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) of the United Nations, temperatures on the Antarctic continent have risen. This is by approximately 3C over the past 50 years. Around 87% of glaciers along its west coast have “retreated” at that time.
The glaciers have shown an “accelerated retreat” over the past 12 years because of global warming, it says. Last month was also the warmest ever January for Antarctica.
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