Antarctica's Temperature Record Is Soaring High

First Posted: Mar 03, 2017 04:36 AM EST

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva is conducting an ongoing study of extreme weather and climate conditions around the world now. It discovered that the temperature of Antarctica reached the soaring 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit (17.5 degrees Celsius) in 2015.

Furthermore, the highest on record for the temperature of the Antarctic region was peaked at 67.6 degrees Fahrenheit on Jan. 30, 1982, at Signy Research Station on Antarctica's Signy Island. On the other hand, WMO found that the warmest temperature in the continent itself including the continent and its nearby islands was about 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit on March 24, 2015, at the Argentine Esperanza Base research station, according to CBS News.

Meanwhile, in the Antarctic Plateau, the highest temperature reached 19.4 degrees Fahrenheit at the Automatic Weather Station on the Adelie Coast on Dec. 28, 1980. WMO stated that these high temperatures are a large departure from the continent's lowest recorded temperature of -128.6 degrees Fahrenheit at Vostok Station on July 21, 1983.

These temperatures of Antarctica are alarming. Antarctica's ice sheet has 90 percent of the world's freshwater. This means if the ice sheet were to melt, it would trigger ice loss and would raise sea level by about 200 feet.

Meanwhile, Jamin Greenbaum, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas institute for Geophysics, said that the warming can be felt in Antarctica as he just visited Antarctica a few weeks ago. He further said that he had seen so much surface meltwater and described it as remarkable. On the other hand, he added that meltwater is alarming because it can lead to the rapid retreat of coastal ice as well as sea level rise.

Michael Sparrow, a polar expert with the WMO co-sponsored World Climate Research Program, explained that the Antarctic and the Arctic are poorly covered in terms of weather observations and forecasts, even though both play an important role in driving climate and ocean patterns and in sea level rise. He further explained that the verification of maximum and minimum temperatures helps them to build up a picture of the weather and climate in one of the Earth's final frontiers, as noted by Engadget.

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