Had someone been in Antarctica last Tuesday, he’d probably have felt at home and even warmer than someone in UK at that very time. Mildly warm coffee would have frozen in seconds but sipping it would have been pleasurable.
A record breaking 17.5 degree Celsius temperature was recorded at Argentina’s Esperanza Base, northern tip of Antarctica. The high temperature is highly alarming as the average temperature of the continent is -10 to -30 degrees Celsius.
The recorded temperature broke the earlier record of 17.4 C on 24 April, 1961.
The rise in the temperature was because of the increasing temperature worldwide due to global warming. Carbon dioxide, a green house gas majorly responsible for global warming has already exceed its permissible atmospheric concentration of 30 ppm by 50 ppm.
A new study last week also revealed that the continent is losing ice at 310 cubic kilometer per year causing sea levels to rise dramatically.
Earth’s great ice sheets, Greenland and Antarctica, were now losing mass six times faster than they were in the 1990s due to warming conditions, the media reported on Thursday citing scientists as saying.
A comprehensive review of satellite data acquired at both poles was unequivocal in its assessment of accelerating trends, the BBC quoted the scientists as saying.
Between them, Greenland and Antarctica lost 6.4 trillion tonnes of ice in the period from 1992 to 2017.
This was sufficient to push up global sea-levels up by 17.8 mm, the scientists added. “That’s not a good news story,” said Professor Andrew Shepherd from the University of Leeds.
“Today, the ice sheets contribute about a third of all sea-level rise, whereas in the 1990s, their contribution was actually pretty small at about 5 per cent. This has important implications for the future, for coastal flooding and erosion,” he told BBC News.
The researcher co-leads a project called the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Intercomparison Exercise, or Imbie, which is a team of experts who have reviewed polar measurements acquired by observational spacecraft over nearly three decades.
The Imbie team’s studies have revealed that ice losses from Antarctica and Greenland were actually heading to much more pessimistic outcomes, and will likely add another 17 cm to those end-of-century forecasts.
“If that holds true it would put 400 million people at risk of annual coastal flooding by 2100,” Professor Shepherd told the BBC.