The impact of global warming became far more evident with the latest report of United Nations leading climate scientists that confirmed the hottest-ever temperature reordered in Antarctica that is 18.3°C or 64.9°F. The previous record high temperature for the Antarctic continental and mainland region was 17.5°C (63.5°F) as noted on 24 March 2015 at Esperanza Research Station. While The record for the wider Antarctic region (entire south of 60 degrees latitude) is 19.8°C (67.6°F), as taken by Signy Island on 30 January 1982.
World Meteorological Organization (WMO) secretary-general Petteri Taalas believes that the Antarctic Peninsula is among one of the fastest-warming regions of the planet, as the temperature rose to approximately 3°C over the past 50 years. Though they announced a new high, the WHO also rejected the reported reading of 0.75 °C (69.4 °F) fromthe Brazilian automated permafrost monitoring station situated nearby Seymour Island, a little off the peninsula, that was reported on February 9, 2020. Petteri emphasized the need for correct verification by saying that, “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,” he further argues that the latest record temperature estimation is in coherence with the observed climatic changes.
A major reason for the local surface warming is found to be the large high-pressure system formed by the down sloping of winds, which according to WMO could be the justifiable reason for such high temperature, moreover, the instrumental setup and data at Esperanza shows no point of concern.
The latest record estimated at Esperanza will therefore be added to the weather archive and climate extremes of the WMO. On the contrary, the improvised radiation shield at the Brazilian station on Seymour Island was the major cause of thermal bias error in the reading of the permafrost monitor’s air temperature sensor, thus the reading is ineligible to be considered as official WMO weather observation. It is interesting to know that the lowest ever temperature recorded on our planet was by Vostok station in Antarctica on 21st July 1983, and it was -89.2°C (- 128.6 °F).
These coldest regions of the Earth including the Arctic and the Antarctic regions are major drivers for climate and ocean patterns and also contribute to rising sea levels, therefore it is important to have a good and continuous observation of the climates of both regions. The escalating global temperature (1°C rise) is intensifying droughts, heatwaves, and cyclones, but this effect is predominantly observed in Antarctica, where the temperate has risen twice than what it used to be, pushing melting of ice, and if there is a rise of further 2°C, there is a risk that ice sheets atop Greenland and West Antarctic will melt to the point of no return. This means urgent attention, better forecasting, and prompt measures are required.
Antarctica, Argentina, Celsius, UN, global warming, forecasting, early warning system, record high temperature, World Meteorological Organization(WMO)