The ice-covered continent of Antarctica, known for its severe winters and freshwater reservoirs, has recorded exceptionally high temperatures. Experts say temperatures in the eastern part of the continent have been 30 degrees Celsius higher than normal this week.
A record minus 11.5 degrees Celsius (11.3 Fahrenheit) was recorded on Friday at the Dom C Concordia Research Base in Antarctica, according to meteorologist Etienne Kapikian of the French Meteorological Department. Concordia Research Base is located at an altitude of 9,800 feet in Antarctica.
Temperatures usually drop to the south of Antarctica during the summer. But the D’Arville station in Dumont, Antarctica, recorded a temperature of 4.9 degrees Celsius this March. Although temperatures are usually below zero at this time of year.
French Meteorological Department official Gitan Hymes described the mild weather as a “historic event”. Geologist Jonathan Will wrote on Twitter that Concordia broke its record of one and a half degrees Celsius.
“It’s like the 2021 heatwave in the Pacific Northwest,” he said. That was never supposed to happen.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center in the United States say the Antarctic sea ice melted 2 million square kilometers in late February for the first time since 1979, an unprecedented temperature rise.
Records of the highest and lowest temperatures on this southern continent give a clear idea of climate change around the world. About 90 percent of the world’s freshwater is stored on this continent.