Antarctica Has Never Been This Hot: The Record Was Broken Twice Last Week

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CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikipedia

When you think of setting high temperature records, Antarctica might not be the first place that comes to mind. But because climate change is warming the poles of our planet faster than the rest (NASA explains: "energy in the atmosphere that is carried to the poles through large weather systems."), records tend to fall rather quickly. Dr. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground writes that "the warmest temperature ever recorded on the continent of Antarctica may have occurred on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, when the mercury shot up to 63.5°F (17.5°C) at Argentina's Esperanza Base on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula." (shown above)

When was the previous record? The day before: "the previous hottest temperature recorded in Antarctica was 63.3°F (17.4°C) set just one day previously at Argentina's Marambio Base, on a small islet just off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula."

Antarctica without ice

© British Antarctic SurveyBefore that you have to go back to April 24, 1961, to hit 62.8°F (17.1°C), which was also recorded at Esperanza Base.

Note that the World Meteorological Organization has not yet had time to certify that last week's temps are all-time 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.

But warm weather isn't the only thing that the coldest continent has to contend with. All this heat is affecting the ice, and it is estimated that Antarctica loses about 160,000,000,000 tonnes of ice... every year. There's also a hole in the ozone layer over there that is about the size of North-America. Oh, and there's even a trash problem on King George's island... Nowhere is safe!

Via Weather Underground, WaPo