The Antarctic region just recorded a temperature higher than 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time.
Brazilian scientists measured a temperature of 20.75 degrees Celsius (approximately 69.35 degrees Fahrenheit) on Seymour Island Feb. 9, 2020. “We’d never seen a temperature this high in Antarctica,” said Brazilian scientist Carlos Schaefer (https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/antarctica)
The record was broken just three days after the Antarctic continent recorded its highest temperature to date at a balmy 18.3 degrees Celsius (approximately 64.9 degrees Fahrenheit). That measure was taken at Argentina’s Esperanza station.
However, Antarctica as a whole has warmed by almost three degrees Celsius over the past 50 years, according to WMO data reported by BBC News. During that time, about 87 percent of the glaciers on its western coast have retreated. The region also just recorded its warmest January on record.
The peninsula and its surrounding islands have been the areas of Antarctica most impacted by the climate crisis so far (https://www.ecowatch.com/climate-change/), which means they might indicate how the rest of the region will react.
If all of the ice in Antarctica were to melt, it would cause 50 to 60 meters (approximately 164 to 197 feet) of sea level rise (https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/sea-level-rise). This would take centuries, however. In the nearer term, scientists predict 30 to 110 centimeters (approximately 12 to 43 inches) of sea level rise by 2100, depending on how successfully greenhouse gas emissions are reduced and how the ice reacts.