Climate: Antarctica hit by an unprecedented heat wave

Heat stroke on the coldest continent on the planet. In Antarctica, several meteorological stations broke heat records on Friday, March 18, staggering scientists specializing in the region. As autumn begins in these southern lands, he has done so -17.7°C at the Russian base in Vostok (against -32.7°C for the previous monthly record), -12.2°C at Concordia (record for all months combined) or even 4.9°C at Dumont d’Urville, the French base in the east of the continent (compared to 3.4°C for the previous monthly record).

For researcher Jonathan Wille, from the University of Grenoble-Alpes, “It’s an event comparable to the 2021 heat dome in North America. It’s not supposed to happen.”

An event favored by climate change

This heat wave comes as the planet’s temperature rises under the effect of global warming. Asked by the washington post (in English)Jonathan Wille recalls that it is always difficult to attribute a specific event to this global phenomenon, but specifies that the latter favors the appearance of such heat waves. “We think they will get more intense, because it’s just physics. But we’re still trying to figure out the details. It’s very difficult for me to say that there isn’t the traces of climate change in an event like this”continues the researcher.

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For the moment, Jonathan Wille is not worried about a possible melting of the glaciers. “We’re more like, ‘Hey, that’s weird, it could happen more often in the future. And there, it could be serious”, he continues in the columns of the American newspaper. Possible melting in Antarctica would further fuel the rise of the oceans.

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