Research, Technology

Abnormal heat waves hit Antarctica and the Arctic

Consequences of global warmingbecome more and more obvious, which we regularly talk about. This time, bad news came from two regions at once - Antarctica and the Arctic. At the same time, heatwaves swept through them, as a result of which in some areas the temperature rose to truly anomalous values ​​and almost 40 degrees above the average temperatures for this time of year. Of course, this should not be blamed on global warming until the final conclusions are made. However, experts are already calling the current situation alarming and dramatic. The accelerated melting of glaciers already poses a serious threat to humanity. And if such heat waves become a frequent occurrence, this process will accelerate significantly.

Heat waves hit the Arctic and Antarctica

Abnormal rise in temperature in Antarctica

According to the Associated Press, recordstemperatures were recorded at weather stations in Antarctica on March 18, 2022. The average temperature on the continent that day was 4.8 degrees above average. The area of ​​Terra Nova Bay has warmed the most. The thermometers here have risen to +7 degrees Celsius.

The record was also set by the Concordia station,which is located at an altitude of 3 km above sea level. The peak temperature here was -12.2 degrees Celsius. At first glance, the figure is quite low, but it exceeded the average seasonal temperature by almost 40 degrees Celsius.

An abnormally high temperature was recorded at Vostok station

An abnormal temperature was also recordedat the Russian station Vostok, it was -17.7 degrees, which exceeded the highest temperature in the area by 27 degrees. Recall that it was at this station in 1983 that the lowest temperature in the world was recorded - -89.2 degrees.

Abnormal rise in temperature in the Arctic

On the same day, i.e. March 18, 2022,unusually high temperatures have been recorded in the Arctic. On average, it was 3.3 degrees above the seasonal norm. The area near the North Pole warmed the most, as a result of which it exceeded the norm by 30 degrees Celsius.

At the North Pole, the temperature exceeded the norm by 30 degrees

The temperature in the Arctic is said tometeorologists were approaching the melting point or even were in it. Such a high temperature surprised scientists a lot. But even more surprising is the fact that temperatures rose simultaneously in two regions. The fact is that in the Arctic at this time of the year it is just beginning to rise, and in Antarctica it is already significantly lowering. Therefore, this phenomenon occurs extremely rarely.

“You won't see the north and south melt at the same time. This is definitely an unusual phenomenon,” says Walt Meyer, a researcher at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder.

Why the temperature has risen in Antarctica and the Arctic

The most unexpected for scientists was the increasetemperatures in Antarctica. The fact is that on this continent it is generally more stable than in the same Arctic. The latter heats up much faster than other regions of the Earth. Earlier we said that in the near future it could turn into a rainy region.

High temperatures in Antarctica may have been caused by a heat dome

But why did a heat wave occur in Antarctica?According to experts, the reason lies in the atmospheric river, that is, the flow of water vapor that moves in the atmosphere. Probably, when he moved over Antarctica, he was “caught” by a high pressure zone. As a result, a thermal dome was formed. What are thermal domes, we told earlier. As a result, moisture was retained over the continent for almost a week. This provoked a rapid heating of the air.

As a result of this heat wave,massive melting of ice in coastal areas. Moreover, even those areas in which this process had never been observed before began to melt. This was reported to The Washington Post by a polar meteorologist from the University of Grenoble-Alpes in France, Jonathan Ville.

It must be said that heat waves in Antarctica have recently become an increasingly frequent occurrence. This is stated in a study that was published in the Geophysical Research Letters.

Are thermal domes connected to the globalclimate change? If we consider a single phenomenon, for example, such as happened on March 18, then it is difficult to say. It could have happened without increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. However, according to experts, as a result of global warming, the number of such phenomena is increasing. That is, if earlier they were very rare, now they will occur more and more often. In addition, the temperature reaches more extreme values.

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Moreover, the existing models concern the generalclimate warming on the planet. However, they do not cover extreme events that can significantly affect the melting of glaciers and other processes on the planet. This once again speaks of the need for urgent action.