Temperatures in Antarctica hit all-time high of nearly 21C – just DAYS after previous record was broken

  • Scientists say that temperatures hit 20.7C on Antarctica’s Seymour Island
  • This would be the second record setting temperature in just a week  
  • Data has not been confirmed by the World Meteorological Organization 
  • A previous record was broken last week when temperatures hit 18C 

Scientists from Brazil say that temperatures in Antarctica have surpassed 20.7C (68F) Celsius for the first time on record.

The record-setting temperatures, measured on Seymour Island this week and first reported by The Guardian, come just six days after similarly record breaking temperatures at an Argentinian research station at Esperanza which recorded a temperature of 18.3C.

While the temperatures have yet to be confirmed with the World Meteorological Organization, they reflect a broader trend throughout the rest of the region which have warmed by 3C (5.4F) over the past 50 years, according to the WMO.

At the Marambio Base on Seymour Island in Antarctica, Brazilian scientists say they recorded temperatures of 21.7C which breaks a record for the region set just a week ago

‘We are seeing the warming trend in many of the sites we are monitoring, but we have never seen anything like this,’ Carlos Schaefer, one of the scientists who works on the base told The Guardian. 

Scientists say that the temperatures are likely influenced by El Niño events which have brought warm fronts to the region in addition to climate change. 

News also caught the attention climate activist Great Thunberg who tweeted about the record temperature on Thursday.

Sweltering temperatures in Antarctica mirror revelations that January was the hottest month on record across the globe.

According to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, last month was the warmest January in 141 years of climate records.

Record-warm temperatures were found in a range of country across the globe including Scandinavia, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the central and western Pacific, the Atlantic and Central and South America.

Land and ocean surface temperature was also the highest on record at 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average – surpassing the last record of 0.04 degrees set in 2016.

NOAA determined record-warm temperatures last month all over the globe including Scandinavia, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the central and western Pacific, the Atlantic and Central and South America. Land and ocean surface temperature was also the highest on record at 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average

NOAA revealed the Northern Hemisphere broke its January record with temperatures of 2.7 degrees above average, while the Southern Hemisphere had temperatures 1.4 degrees above average.

As oceans and atmospheric temperatures warm, Antarctica has born the brunt, especially Pine Island which is its most vulnerable glacier and is the single largest contributor to sea level rise of any ice stream in the world. 

Since 2012, the glacier has been shedding 58 billion tons of ice a year.

Pine Island has been tracked for around 30 years and over this time it has seen its shape and position dramatically alter. 

Calving events such as this one have been seen in 1992, 1995, 2001, 2007, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018, and now 2020.

With each passing calving, the buttressing force of the glacier weakens and threatens to break, increasing the flow of ice from the land to the ocean. 

WHAT WOULD SEA LEVEL RISES MEAN FOR COASTAL CITIES?

Global sea levels could rise as much as 10ft (3 metres) if the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica collapses. 

Sea level rises threaten cities from Shanghai to London, to low-lying swathes of Florida or Bangladesh, and to entire nations such as the Maldives. 

In the UK, for instance, a rise of 6.7ft (2 metres) or more may cause areas such as Hull, Peterborough, Portsmouth and parts of east London and the Thames Estuary at risk of becoming submerged.

The collapse of the glacier, which could begin with decades, could also submerge major cities such as New York and Sydney.

Parts of New Orleans, Houston and Miami in the south on the US would also be particularly hard hit.

A 2014 study looked by the union of concerned scientists looked at 52 sea level indicators in communities across the US.

It found tidal flooding will dramatically increase in many East and Gulf Coast locations, based on a conservative estimate of predicted sea level increases based on current data.

The results showed that most of these communities will experience a steep increase in the number and severity of tidal flooding events over the coming decades.

By 2030, more than half of the 52 communities studied are projected to experience, on average, at least 24 tidal floods per year in exposed areas, assuming moderate sea level rise projections. Twenty of these communities could see a tripling or more in tidal flooding events.

The mid-Atlantic coast is expected to see some of the greatest increases in flood frequency. Places such as Annapolis, Maryland and Washington, DC can expect more than 150 tidal floods a year, and several locations in New Jersey could see 80 tidal floods or more.

In the UK, a two metre (6.5 ft) rise by 2040 would see large parts of Kent almost completely submerged, according to the results of a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in November 2016.

Areas on the south coast like Portsmouth, as well as Cambridge and Peterborough would also be heavily affected.

Cities and towns around the Humber estuary, such as Hull, Scunthorpe and Grimsby would also experience intense flooding. 

 

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