Climate scientists at Argentina’s National Weather Service have noticed that its station on the Antarctic continent has detected relatively warm temperatures of 18.3 degrees Celsius (65.5 degrees F), the highest temperature on record across the continent,media New Atlas reported. Over the past half-century, the average temperature of the Antarctic Peninsula has risen by nearly 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit), making it one of the fastest warming regions in the world. About 87 per cent of glaciers on the western edge have receded during the same period, and most have accelerated over the past 12 years.
In March 2015, scientists at the Esperanza Research Base in Argentina recorded temperatures of 17.5 degrees Celsius (63.5 degrees F), a new record at the time. Argentina’s National Meteorological Agency (SMN) is now reporting temperatures rising to 18.3 c, and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is working to verify it.
“Everything we’ve seen so far suggests there may be a legitimate record, but once we have all the data on SMN and the weather conditions for the event, we will of course begin to make a formal assessment of the record,” said Randall, WMO’s weather and climate extreme event rapporteur. In the short term, the record appears to be related to the regional ‘burning wind’ events that we have in the region. “
The Antarctic ice sheet, 4.8 km (3 miles) thick and about twice the size of Australia, is losing mass at a faster rate. Between 1979 and 2017, annual ice loss on the surface increased sixfold as ice shelves melted and interacted with warmer waters below the surface.