To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Temperature Jumps 40C Above Average In Antarctica
Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Temperature Jumps 40C Above Average In Antarctica

Temperatures reached more than 40°C above average for three days in the continent.

Scientists were caught by surprise last week after record-breaking temperatures were recorded in Antarctica, with temperatures reaching more than 40°C above average for three days.

The period of warm weather brought about a big change for weather stations in Antarctica, with areas in the east rising dramatically in temperature from the average daytime high temperature of around minus 53°C,

Temperatures were reported on Friday, 18 March by extreme weather record tracker Maximiliano Herrera on his account Extreme Temperatures Around The World, alongside which he also included a heat map of the world.

In Vostok, temperatures reached -17.7°C, which while very chilly for the average person is actually more than 40°C warmer than average. The temperature beat the previous record high recorded at the weather station by about 15°C.

Stefano Di Battista, a researcher who has published Antarctic climate studies, has confirmed the temperature recorded in Vostok temperature marked the March record since data first started to be collected 65 years ago.

He told The Washington Post: "In about 65 record years in Vostok, between March and October, values ​​above -30°C (-86 degrees Fahrenheit) were never observed."

Meanwhile, the coastal Terra Nova Base recorded temperatures above freezing at 7°C, and the two-mile high Concordia station recorded temperatures of -12.2°C.

Officials at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, were taken aback by the readings after having had their attention focused on the Arctic, where temperatures were also much warmer than average. On Friday, the polar region was recorded as being 3.3°C warmer than the 1979-2000 average.

Terra Nova Base Antarctica (Alamy)
Terra Nova Base Antarctica (Alamy)

Speaking to The Associated Press about the weather, ice scientist Walt Meier said: "They are opposite seasons. You don’t see the north and the south (poles) both melting at the same time. It’s definitely an unusual occurrence. It’s pretty stunning."

Matthew Lazzara, a meteorologist with the University of Wisconsin said it was 'not a good sign when you see that sort of thing happen'.

Lazzara monitors temperatures at East Antarctica’s Dome C-ii and logged -10°C on Friday, in comparison to the average -43°C.

"That’s a temperature that you should see in January, not March. January is summer there. That’s dramatic," he said.

Though the record-breaking temperatures are unusual, though Lazzara and Meier expressed belief the temperatures in Antarctica are more likely a random weather event than a sign of climate change. Should it happen again, however, it might be an indication of global warming.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Topics: Weather, Climate Change, Antarctica, World News