Heatwave melts 20% of Antarctica’s island snow

Earlier this month, a heatwave in Antarctica melted the island’s snow in just nine days. This was revealed in the images taken by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The images showed that a quarter of an Antarctic island’s snow cover melted in that time, which proves to be an increasingly common symptom of climate change.

The Eagle Island on the northeastern peninsula of Antarctica can be seen at the start and end of this month’s heatwave. After the nine-day occurrence, a huge portion of the land beneath the island’s ice cap was exposed, and pools of meltwater opened up on its surface.

Apparently, the icy island experienced its hottest temperature earlier this month at 64.9 degrees Fahrenheit. It recorded the same temperature as Los Angeles at that time, NASA revealed.

“I haven’t seen melt ponds develop this quickly in Antarctica,” Mauri Pelto, a geologist at Nichols College in Massachusetts, told NASA’s Earth Observatory. “You see these kinds of melt events in Alaska and Greenland, but not usually in Antarctica.”

Climate scientist Xavier Fettweis plotted the amount of meltwater that reached the ocean from the Antarctic peninsula. The heatwave was the highest contributor to sea-level rise this summer, he said.

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