The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Antarctica Records Hottest Day Ever, New Study Finds Rapid Acceleration of Ice Melt
The warmest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica may have occurred last Tuesday with a thermometer reading 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit at Argentina's Esperanza Base on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, according to Weather Underground. The previous record was set the day before at 63.3 degrees at Argentina's Marambio Base on a small islet just off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Prior to this week's record heat wave for the icy continent, the hottest known temperature in Antarctica was 62.8 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded at Esperanza Base on April 24, 1961. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has not officially declared last week's temperatures as all-time weather records for Antarctica, but "the Argentinian weather service has verified that the temperatures measured at Esperanza Base and Marambio Base were the highest ever measured at each site," said Weather Underground.
The WMO has traditionally had a more narrow definition of Antarctica, which only include sites south of the Antarctic Circle and not the Esperanza and Marambio bases. But even if the WMO doesn't officially recognize the recordings, the message is clear. The Antarctic peninsula is one of the fastest warming spots on the planet.
The record heat coincides with the release of a new study from Science that finds "ice shelves in West Antarctica have lost as much as 18 percent of their volume over the last two decades, with rapid acceleration occurring over the last decade. The study found that from 1994 to 2003, the overall loss of ice shelf volume across the continent was negligible, but over the last decade West Antarctic losses increased by 70 percent," says Think Progress.
The heat wave also coincides with Robert Swan and his 2041 team's Antarctic Expedition, which wrapped up last week. The point of the trip was to document the firsthand effects of climate change, which was obviously very apparent.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dan Gray
Pediatricians are being urged to start writing "exercise prescriptions" for the children they see in their office.
An indigenous rail blockade that snarled train travel in Canada for more than two weeks came to an end Monday when police moved in to clear protesters acting in solidarity with another indigenous community in British Columbia (B.C.), which is fighting to keep a natural gas pipeline off its land.
A Florida hiker recently stumbled across a slithering surprise — a rare snake that hadn't been spotted in the area for more than 50 years.
By Genna Reed
The EPA announced last week that it is issuing a preliminary regulatory determination for public comment to set an enforceable drinking water standard to two of the most common and well-studied PFAS, PFOA and PFOS.
This decision is based on three criteria:
- PFOA and PFOS have an adverse effect on public health
- PFOA and PFOS occur in drinking water often enough and at levels of public health concern;
- regulation of PFOA and PFOS is a meaningful opportunity for reducing the health risk to those served by public water systems.
By Kieran Cooke
Driving an electric-powered vehicle (EV) rather than one reliant on fossil fuels is a key way to tackle climate change and improve air quality — but it does leave the old batteries behind as a nasty residue.