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How much snow has melted due to record high temperatures in Antarctica?

How much snow has melted due to record high temperatures in Antarctica? 5

Antarctica has long been considered the coldest place on our planet, but now it cannot be called that. It is believed that the average annual temperature on a snowy continent should be approximately -57 degrees Celsius.

However, on February 6, 2020, the territory of Antarctica was in a fixed record high air temperature of 18.3 degrees Celsius. These data were provided by employees of the Esperanza research station, which is located in the far north of the Antarctic Peninsula. Warm weather lasted about a week and it provoked the melting of a fairly large amount of snow. The effects of record air temperatures are especially noticeable on Eagle Island, whose snow cover has melted greatly.

How much snow has melted due to record high temperatures in Antarctica? 6

Melting ice in Antarctica can kill many species of animals

The consequences of warming in Antarctica were described in the scientific publication Sciencelert. Eagle Island is located near a part of the Antarctic Peninsula, referred to as Graham Land. At the end of 2019, the island was covered with snow and ice, but now, due to the sudden warming of the air, it looks like an ordinary patch of moist land with snowy patches. In addition, ponds formed from melted ice in its center, which cannot drain into the sea.

The effects of warming in Antarctica

The effects of an increase in air temperature in Antarctica are clearly visible in the images sent by the Landsat 8 satellite. They clearly show how, in just a dozen days, Eagle Island lost a huge part of the ice cover. It is reported that during this short period of time the island lost about 10 centimeters of snow and ice. According to glaciologist Mauri Pelto, who has been studying natural ice for many years, melting of ice and snow in such a speed has never been observed in Antarctica. At least, he had not yet encountered such phenomena.

As a rule, the ice of Greenland melts most and most noticeably. We were made sure about this fact  back in 2015, when a group of scientists led by Eric Rinho from the University of California came to this conclusion. Moreover, some scientists are confident that due to the gradual increase in the temperature of the Earth’s air, Greenland may soon completely lose its ice cover. This threatens that the level of the oceans will rise dramatically, which will harm both people and animals.

How much snow has melted due to record high temperatures in Antarctica? 7

Eagle Island taken on Landsat 8 satellite

Glaciologist Mauri Pelto also emphasized that it was scary not that the ice on Eagle Island had melted so quickly, but that such events were happening more and more often. The previous temperature record in Antarctica was recorded on March 24, 2015, when the air warmed up to 17.5 degrees Celsius. In 2020, the air temperature was as much as 18.3 degrees Celsius. What surprises will be presented to us by nature in the future, no one knows. Perhaps we are waiting for new temperature records, and the melting of ice and snow on Eagle Island is just nothing compared to what is coming.

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In general, scientists from the University of California at Davis believe that nothing good awaits people in the future. According to them, humanity will boil alive, like “frogs in boiling water.”


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