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East Antarctica this week recorded temperatures of over 30°C

| 21.3.22 |
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East Antarctica this week recorded temperatures of over 30 ° C . Image source ResearchGate

 The French-Italian Concordia research base, mounted on the dome C of the Antarctic plateau at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, on Friday recorded a "heat" of 11.5 °C below zero, "the absolute record for all months combined, exceeding minus 13.7. °C on 17 December 2016," said Etienne Kapikian of Météo-France, France's National Meteorological Agency. 

Although temperatures should have dropped by the end of southern summer, the Dumont d'Urville base, located on the Adélie coast, recorded the lightest month on record in March, with +4.9°C, and a minimum temperature of +0.2°C at 18 March. "Occasional ice-free days (at Dumont d'Urville), but never after February 22 (in 1991)," says Gaëtan Heymes of Météo-France. Experts describe "historically mild events in the east" of the frozen continent, with temperatures 30 to 35°C above the seasonal norm. 

"This is a time when temperatures should drop rapidly, as the summer solstice occurs in December," said Jonathan Wille, a researcher at the Institute for Environmental Geosciences in Grenoble. "This heatwave in Antarctica is changing what we think might happen to the Antarctic climate," he added. Although the timing of an event cannot be attributed to climate change, one of the clearest signs of global warming is an increase in the number and intensity of heat waves. 

The poles are warming faster than the global average, which has risen by an average of about 1.1°C since pre-industrial times. In February, the Antarctic ice sheet reached its smallest area since satellite measurements began in 1979, with an area of   less than 2 million km2, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center.


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