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If the news of 2019 being the warmest year for oceans, and the second warmest on record was not eye-opening enough, weather reports from Antarctica have joined the mix. When one thinks of the continent, infinite snow may be the first thing to come to mind. On February 6, 2020, contrary to its identity, the continent recorded its highest temperature on record at 18.3 degrees Celsius (65 degrees Fahrenheit). The measurement was taken by Argentina’s National Meteorological Service at the Esperanza Base in Antarctica’s Trinity Peninsula region.
The last warmest temperature on record for the continent was on March 24, 2015, at 17.5 degrees Celsius or 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit. According to news reports, Antarctica is amongst the highest warming regions on the planet. In fact, there has been a rise of an astonishing 5 degrees in merely 50 years. In the western region of the peninsula, 87% of glaciers have retreated at a surging rate since 2008, reports added.
How has climate change affected the region with such dramatic impact? The recent warmth is owed to the lingering high pressure over the area for days. Sinking air, as well as the ‘foehn’ wind sweeping down the mountains are compressed as air pressure near the earth’s surface increases. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) noted that recent days have seen an increased rate of growth in the cracks in the Pine Island Glacier as well.
You must note that this is not an isolated case of climate change. Apart from the shocking temperatures last year, January 2020 was recorded as the warmest January in documented history (according to Copernicus, an atmosphere monitoring group), with Europe and Asia breaking earlier records. As for Antarctica, warm temperatures are to be expected further.
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