Eastern Antarctica has recorded exceptionally high temperatures this week, more than 30 degrees Celsius above normal, say experts.
The Concordia research base at Dome C of the Antarctic, which is at an altitude of 3,000 meters (9,800 feet), on Friday registered a record -11.5 degrees Celsius (11.3 Fahrenheit), Etienne Kapikian, a meteorologist from France-Meteo tweeted.
It is impossible, we would have said until two days ago. From today (March 18) the Antarctic climatology has been rewritten— Stefano Di Battista (@pinturicchio_60) March 18, 2022
At Concordia the high recorded -12.2 °C and broken the absolute maximum set on 17 December 2016 (-13.7 °C)
At Vostok the provisional high is -20.3 °C 👇 pic.twitter.com/PYm48XdHLh
Normally, temperatures fall with the end of the southern summer, but the Dumont d'Urville station on Antarctica registered record temperatures for March with 4.9C (40.82F), at a time of year when normally temperatures are already sub-zero.
Gaetan Heymes of France Meteo described the unseasonably mild weather as a "historic event".
And geoscientist Jonathan Wille wrote on Twitter: "And there it is, Concordia broke its all time record temperature by 1.5°C.
"This is when temperatures should be rapidly falling since the summer solstice in December.
"This is a Pacific Northwest 2021 heat wave kind of event," he added. "Never supposed to happen."
Extraordinary anomalies in #Antarctica lead to historic records today:— Extreme Temperatures Around The World (@extremetemps) March 18, 2022
-Vostok 3489m -17.7C,monthly record beaten by nearly 15C !
-Concordia 3234m -12.2C,highest Temp. on records and about 40C above average !
-Dome C II 3250m -10.1C
-D-47 1560m -3.3C
-Terra Nova Base 74S +7.0C pic.twitter.com/w6Ry4Dy4wz
The unprecedented temperatures come after the National Snow and Ice Data Center in the United States said Antarctica's sea ice fell below two million square kilometers (772,204 sq miles) in late February for the first time since 1979.