Antarctica Just Hit a Record High Temperature
The United Nations has just announced that Antarctica's temperatures hit an all-time high of 18.3 degrees Celsius. For comparison, the previous record for the region was 17.5 degrees Celsius which was recorded on March 24, 2015.
The temperature record was confirmed by World Meteorological Organization (WMO) secretary-general professor Petteri Taalas. Read his full statement below.
Verification of this maximum temperature record is important because it helps us to build up a picture of the weather and climate in one of Earth’s final frontiers. Even more so than the Arctic, The Antarctic, is poorly covered in terms of continuous and sustained weather and climate observations and forecasts, even though both play an important role in driving climate and ocean patterns and in sea level rise.
The Antarctic Peninsula (the northwest tip near to South America) is among the fastest warming regions of the planet, almost 3°C over the last 50 years. This new temperature record is therefore consistent with the climate change we are observing. WMO is working in partnership with the Antarctic Treaty System to help conserve this pristine continent.
What should we do now? Well... exactly what experts have been telling us time and time again. But, this time, the WMO says we need to take more urgent action more than ever.
"This new record shows once again that climate change requires urgent measures," said professor Celeste Saulo, director of Argentina's national meteorological service and first vice president of WMO. "It is essential to continue strengthening the observing, forecasting and early warning systems to respond to the extreme events that take place more and more often due to global warming"