Weekend Temperatures In Antarctica Were 70 Degrees Above Average

Antarctica had a record-breaking weekend, with temperatures reaching up near a whopping 10 degrees Fahrenheit on parts of the continent.

That might not sound like a tropical vacation — indeed, it doesn't even quite reach ice-melting levels — but given that these same Antarctic areas are typically around negative 60 degrees at this time of year, I would say it's cause for concern.

More from The Washington Post:

Vostok, a Russian meteorological observatory, is about 808 miles from the South Pole and sits 11,444 feet above sea level. It's famous for holding the lowest temperature ever observed on Earth: minus-128.6 degrees (minus-89.2 Celsius), set on July 21, 1983.

Temperatures running at least 50 degrees (32 Celsius) above normal have expanded over vast portions of eastern Antarctica from the Adélie Coast through much of the eastern ice sheet's interior. Some computer model simulations and observationssuggest temperatures may have even climbed up to 90 degrees (50 Celsius) above normal in a few areas.


Such a high temperature is particularly noteworthy since March marks the beginning of autumn in Antarctica, rather than January, when there is more sunlight. At this time of year, Antarctica is losing about 25 minutes of sunlight each day.

Granted, the visibility of climate change at the Earth's poles is much more pronounced than it is in the average person's day-to-day life, even in vulnerable areas. But extremes at the poles will indeed trickle down and affect the rest of the planet. Because that's how climate change works when you all live on the same planet that you're choking to death by burning dinosaur bones!

It's 70 degrees warmer than normal in eastern Antarctica. Scientists are flabbergasted. [Jason Samenow and Kasha Patel / Washington Post]

Image: Liam Quinn / Flickr (CC-BY-SA 2.0)