The year 2020 just keeps surprising us! First, the novel Coronavirus spooked us to the core and now for the first time in history, Antarctica has recorded its first-ever heatwave!
The world’s coolest continent could not save itself from the global-warming crisis. Researchers from the Australian Antarctic Program revealed on Tuesday that they had recorded temperatures as high as 9.2 degrees Celsius earlier this year.
“Heatwaves are classified as three consecutive days with both extreme maximum and minimum temperatures,” University of Wollongong biologist Dr. Sharon Robinson explained.
It was recorded that between January 23-26, a temperature of above 0 and up till 9.2 degrees was recorded.
“In the 31-year record for Casey, this maximum is 6.9 degrees Celsius higher than the mean maximum temperature for the station, while the minimum is 0.2 degrees Celsius higher,” Robinson said.
“Most life exists in small ice-free oases in Antarctica, and largely depends on melting snow and ice for their water supply,” Australian Antarctic Division applied Antarctic ecologist, Dr. Dana Bergstrom said.
“Meltwater flooding can provide additional water to these desert ecosystems, leading to increased growth and reproduction of mosses, lichens, microbes, and invertebrates. However excessive flooding can dislodge plants and alter the composition of communities of invertebrates and microbial mats.”
The researchers believe this sudden change in temperature is highly influenced by the Southern Hemisphere’s meteorological patterns during spring and summer of 2019. These patterns are highly influenced by the early breakup of the ozone hole in late 2019, according to Australian Antarctic Division atmospheric scientist Dr. Andrew Klekociuk.
On the other hand, global efforts to help repair the hole in the ozone layer will help reduce the regional shifts as well as bring a stable change to the climate system.
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