'It's the midst of winter in the Southern Hemisphere and Antarctica is missing
an obscene amount of ice.
"One might think that the huge remote continent of Antarctica with its
kilometers-thick ice sheet could withstand extremes brought about by climate
change, but this is absolutely not the case," says University of Leeds
glaciologist Anna Hogg.
The missing sea ice is currently the size of Greenland, a country that spans
nearly 2.2 million square kilometres (836,330 square miles).
As a six sigma event, it should only occur once in 7.5 million years. But times
are changing. New research led by University of Exeter geophysicist Martin
Siegert suggests such extremes are now virtually certain to continue.
Reviewing changes in Antarctic atmosphere, weather, ice and the response from
wildlife, Siegert and colleagues note concerning signs that many of these
changes are now locked in. Particularly since we've now already added enough
fossil-fuels to the atmosphere to hit the 1.5 °C Paris limit, and we're not yet
even experiencing the impacts of about 0.4 °C (0.7 °F) of that yet.
For example, on top of the missing sea ice, last year Antarctica experienced
the most extreme heat wave on record, reaching 38.5 °C (69.3 °F) above its
"It is virtually certain that continued greenhouse gas emissions will lead to
increases in the size and frequency of events," Siegert and team write in their
Via Rixty Dixet.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics