The frozen continent hit its all-time-warmest temperature yesterday:
Just days after the Earth saw its warmest January on record, Antarctica has broken its warmest temperature ever recorded. A reading of 18°C was taken Thursday at Esperanza Base along Antarctica’s Trinity Peninsula, making it the ordinarily frigid continent’s highest measured temperature in history.
The Antarctic Peninsula, on which Thursday’s anomaly was recorded, is one of the fastest-warming regions in the world. In just the past 50 years, temperatures have surged a staggering 3°C in response to Earth’s swiftly warming climate. Around 87 percent of glaciers along the peninsula’s west coast have retreated in that time, the majority doing so at an accelerated pace since 2008.
The WMO notes that cracks in the Pine Island Glacier “have been growing rapidly” in the past several days, according to satellite imagery.
Additional extreme warmth is likely in the Antarctic Peninsula in the coming days. Temperatures some 22–28°C above normal are predicted by some models.