According to the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO), temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula have risen by almost 3C over the past 50 years, and that about 87% of the glaciers along its west coast have “retreated” in that time. Over the past 12 years, the glaciers have shown an “accelerated retreat”. January 2020 was also Antarctica’s warmest January on record. Antarctica has exceeded 20C for the first time, and logged a temperature of 20.75C .Till now the highest recorded temperature in January 1982 was 18.5 degree Celsius.
Why is ice melting in Antartica Region? :
According to a new study published in Nature Geoscience , a team of researchers in the U.S. and the U.K. have found that global warming has caused a shift in wind patterns that are ultimately bringing more warm ocean water into contact with the region’s ice.
Why is Ice Sheet in Antartica important?
- Antarctica and the surrounding Southern Ocean are key drivers of Earth’s oceanic and atmospheric systems.
- A critically important feature is that about 90 per cent of Earth’s ice is found here, and 70 per cent of all available fresh water is locked up in the Antarctic ice sheet.
- If melted, this would raise sea levels by 58 meters.
- The Arctic and Antartica sheets are important as they reflect 80-90% of solar radiation.