Antarctica may have had a mini heat wave after recording what looks like will be its hottest day ever recorded.
The temperature on the Esperanza research base on the Antarctic peninsula reached a balmy 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit (17 C) on March 24, reports the AP.
If that is verified by the World Meteorological Organization, it would set an all-time record for the frozen and barren continent, surpassing the 62.7 degrees Fahrenheit on Jan. 5, 1964, The Weather Network says.
But the record is not yet official.
The reading was logged on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, which may not be considered part of the continent in weather record keeping. The World Meteorological Organization is expected to examine whether the area was indeed in Antarctica or whether it is technically located in Argentina.
And it’s fall down there, not summer.
It’s become a little colder since then with the thermometer reading 28.4F at 11 p.m. Sunday and expected to reach a high of 35.6F on Monday.
Antarctica, the world’s most southern continent, is considered the coldest and windiest place on Earth.
“If officials confirm that a new record was set, the information could serve as an ominous milestone for the Earth’s most desolate continent,” The Weather Network reported. “This news comes in the same week a study was published indicating that the Antarctic ice sheet is is melting at an accelerated pace.”
Many people are blaming global warming for the increasing temperatures on Antarctica. Some researchers have suggested that Antarctica’s ice shelves have thinned by 18 per cent in the past twenty years.
“The ice shelf shrinkage is indirectly linked to rising sea levels, and current volume reduction rates have scientists projecting that half the volume of ice shelves in western Antarctica may be lost in 200 years.”
Last Thursday, a new study revealed that the Antarctic is losing 310km3 of ice from shelves floating at its limits every year, potentially causing big rises in sea levels.
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