Record heat in Antarctica, temperature at 20.7 degrees! New alert to the South Pole. For the first time in Antarctica the temperature has exceeded 20 degrees. This was announced by Brazilian researcher Carlos Schaefer who recorded the figure of 20.75 degrees centigrade in the monitoring station on Seymour Island.

The researcher stressed that this figure “is not a trend from the point of view of climate change because it is an isolated case”. However, the fact that such a mild temperature was recorded on the ice continent will further fuel the debate on the climate crisis.

Meanwhile, a few days ago an iceberg of over 300 square kilometers, about the size of Malta, broke away from the Pine Island glacier in Antarctica, generating huge fragments: the images taken from space by the pair of Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites document it Earth observation program managed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission.

As early as last year, ESA’s satellites had identified two major fractures in the glacier and over the months the researchers had been able to observe the speed with which these cracks were widening. From February 2019 to today, the Sentinel-1 mission has captured 57 radar images (the most recent is from February 10, 2020): reworked in a video animation, they show the surprising speed of the process that led to the detachment of these last hours.

The iceberg then generated several fragments: the largest was called B-49. “Copernicus’ Sentinel-1 satellites have opened a porthole through which people can watch events like this happening in remote regions of the world,” says ESA cryosphere expert Mark Drinkwater. “What is really worrying – he continues – is that the daily flow of data reveals the dramatic speed with which the climate is changing the face of Antarctica”.

Rising 2 degrees melted arctic ice 120 thousand years ago, seas rose 3 meters

An increase in ocean temperatures led to the mass melting of the Antarctic ice sheet and a rise of three meters above sea level. It happened around 120 thousand years ago, in the period called the last interglacial period. And according to research from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, the cause of the increase was a warming of the oceans of less than two degrees. The research team, led by climate change and earth science professor Chris Turney, examined sea level trends during the period, noting that the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet caused the rise. Results may have “important implications” for the future,

The researchers used the so-called “horizontal ice core” analysis, using shallow drilling to take ice samples. Through measurements of isotopes, they found a gap in the structure of the ice sheet just before the last interglacial one, coinciding with a sharp rise in sea level. Western Antarctica was particularly vulnerable to warming the oceans since it rests mostly on the seabed, rather than on land, Turney writes on the university’s website. It is here that knowledge of the last interglacial period is so important. ” Ocean temperatures during the last interglacial period were probably up to 2 degrees warmer than they are today and the global sea level was 6-9 meters higher, he adds.