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Antarctica Heatwave Breaks All Historic Records

Antarctica Heatwave Breaks All Historic Records

The coldest place on the planet suffers from its worst ever heat wave

Adelie penguins leaping into the ocean in Paulet Island,  Antarctica
Adelie penguins leaping into the ocean in Paulet Island, Antarctica Shutterstock

Earth’s coolest place sets a record for the strongest heat wave ever with meteorologists terming rhe heat wave In Antarctica as “unimaginable”. 

The Antarctic ice sheet were warmed by a powerful low weather pattern last week with water bodies providing additional atmospheric moisture to reach the continent, causing temperatures to rise exponentially. Scientists and meteorologists say it is difficult to envision a heatwave with temperatures ranging from -10°C to -20°C, yet that's exactly what happened in Antarctica recently. The Concordia research station in Antarctica is located 3,234 metres above sea level and has a temperature of -12.2 degrees Celsius. The mid-March average temperature went as high as around -50°C. As a result, this station had a 36-degree temperature difference. Compare this to the average temperature of any city you are living in and imagine a 30-degree rise in the normal temperature. That is the kind of abnormality Antarctica is dealing with.

 

Another Antarctic station, Vostok, reached a sweltering -17.7°C, breaking a monthly record by nearly 15°C. This is also in stark contrast to last winter when the period from April to October was the coldest on record, which is becoming increasingly rare on a warming planet. The heat dome in Antarctica is significantly more intense than British Columbia's historic incident in June 2021. It's unthinkable that the previous year’s records are being shattered in the second half of March. 

Thankfully, the summer breeding season for Adélie penguins, which reside along the whole Antarctic coastline, has just ended. Thus, they had already departed for the sea to begin looking for food on their own and hence, the heatwave had no effect on them. The same could not be said for the plant life such as mosses, which were in the process of drying out for the winter. As the continent is rapidly entering the winter season, hopes for no such prevalent heat strokes are kept by the researchers, however, if climate change has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected and stay prepared for it.

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