Monday, 27 March, 2017

Antarctica Hits a Record High Temperature at 63.5 Degrees

Temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula reached a record high of 17.5°C during a two-day heatwave Temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula reached a record high of 17.5°C during a two-day heatwave
Garry Little | 03 March, 2017, 00:29

The highest temperature for the Antarctic continent (the main continental landmass and adjoining islands) is 17.5C, recorded on 24 March 2015 near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

And the warmest temperature recorded on the Antarctic plateau, above 2,500 meters (8,202 feet), was -7.0°C (19.4°F) on Dec 28, 1980, it said.

The temperature extremes were achieved through different ways, including so-called foehn winds or very warm downslope winds that can quickly heat up a specific location.

The record warm temperature for the larger Antarctic region, anywhere south of 60 degrees latitude, was 67.6 degrees Fahrenheit on South Atlantic's Signy Island on January 30, 1982.

And the warmest temperature recorded on the Antarctic plateau, above 8,202 feet, was -7.0°C on December 28, 1980, it said.

Due to the vast size of Antarctica, the temperature of the region is measured in several ways.

"Knowledge and verification of such extremes is important in the study of weather patterns, naturally occurring climate variability and human-induced climate change at global and regional scales".

The Antarctic is cold, windy and dry.

The temperature, more common in the Mediterranean than near the South Pole, is a significant departure from Antarctic averages, which range from -10C on the continent's coast to -60C in the interior. The Antarctic ice sheet contains 90 percent of the world's freshwater, which would raise sea levels by 200 feet if it were to melt.

"Sometimes the first influences of changes in our global environment can be seen in the north and south polar regions".

Professor James Renwick from Victoria's School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences is part of a World Meteorological Organisation Commission for Climatology (CCl) expert committee, which monitors weather and climate extremes around the globe. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Centers for Environmental Information can call up temperature, precipitation, and other data from about 1,600 locations in the United States, and more than 10,000 volunteer observers, according to the Centers' website. The more we learn about how they vary around the world, the better we can understand them even here in the United States.

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