General, Research, Technology

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

Antarctica has long been considered the coldestplace on our planet, but now it can’t be called such. It is believed that the average annual temperature on a snowy continent should be approximately -57 degrees Celsius. However, on February 6, 2020, a record high air temperature of 18.3 degrees Celsius was recorded in Antarctica. 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.

Melting ice in Antarctica can kill many species of animals

The consequences of warming in Antarctica werenarrated in the science publication ScienceAlert. 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, in its center formed ponds of meltwater, which cannot drain into the sea.

The effects of warming in Antarctica

The effects of feverair in Antarctica can be seen in the images sent by the satellite Landsat 8. 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 the glaciologist Mauri Pelto, who has been studying natural ice for many years, so fast melting of ice and snow has never been observed in Antarctica. At least, he had not yet encountered such phenomena.

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As a rule, ice melts most and most noticeablyGreenland. We made sure of this 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. But the gaze of people will open places on which the human foot has never stepped.

Eagle Island taken on Landsat 8 satellite

Glaciologist Mauri Pelto also emphasized thatIt’s scary not that the ice on Eagle Island has melted so quickly, but that such events are 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 flowers.

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Generally, scientists from the University of California atDavies believes that in the future people will not expect anything good. According to them, humanity will boil alive, like "frogs in boiling water." You can read more about this statement in our special material.