NASA recorded record fast ice melting in Antarctica

NASA researchers have recorded a record fast ice melting on Eagle Island in Antarctica. From February 6 to February 11, their number was reduced by 10 centimeters.

NASA researchers noted that the average annual temperature in the central part of the continent is -57°C. But on February 6, the Esperanza weather station on the Antarctic Peninsula recorded the warmest temperature on the mainland – 18.3°C.

This heat wave lasted about a week, and NASA images taken by the Landsat 8 operational scanner captured how the temperature affected the ice of Antarctica.

Temperature distribution

Eagle Island is located off the coast of Graham Land on the Antarctic Peninsula. Record high temperatures have led to the fact that a large amount of the ice cap of the island has melted, and thawed ponds have formed in areas located in the middle of the island. From February 6 to 11, the amount of ice on the island became less by 10 centimeters.

“I have not seen thawed ponds appear so quickly,” said glaciologist Mauri Pelto. Such melting can be observed in Alaska and Greenland, but not in Antarctica”.

Pelto also notes that the source of this melting — constant high temperatures well above freezing — is not typical of Antarctic weather conditions. However, recently they have become more common.

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