Antarctica is the southernmost continent on Earth. Covering 14 million km2 (about twice the size of Australia), Antarctica is cold, windy, and dry. The average annual temperature ranges from -10 ° C on the Antarctic coast to -60 ° C in the highest parts of the interior. Its enormous ice sheet is up to 4.8 km thick and contains 90% of the world’s fresh water, “enough to raise sea level by about 60 meters if it all melted.” This year, however, the continent recorded one of its highest temperatures, 69.9 ° F or 18.3 ° C, almost the average summer temperature in France, which is 19.9 ° C.
Second highest temperature ever
It was on February 6, 2020 at the Argentine base Esperanza, located in Hope Bay on the Antarctic Peninsula, that a maximum temperature of 18.3 ° C (69.9 ° F) was reached, breaking the previous record of 17.5 ° C (63.5 ° C). ° F) registered on March 24, 2015 in the same place. Only this July 1, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed the highest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica since January 1982 (19.8 C). The delay before confirmation was justified by the fact that the experts of the international body set out to carry out all the controls before the publication of the results.
This is because, according to the WMO, climate change and rising temperatures have stimulated an increase in reports of international, hemispheric and regional extreme weather and climate events, especially due to heat. And according to Professor Randall Cerveny, WMO Rapporteur on Climate and Weather Extremes, “Many media and social networks tend to distort potential recordings, due to the tabloid pull, before they are made. Thoroughly investigated and properly validated “.
The fact is that this peak had been confirmed. And this new record proved once again that climate change requires urgent action. According to Professor Celeste Saulo, Director of the National Meteorological Service (SNM) of Argentina and First Vice President of WMO, “It is essential to continue strengthening the observation, forecasting and early warning systems. To respond to the extreme events that are increasingly occurring. often as a result of global warming ”.