The Antarctic Peninsula is having its hottest year in more than 30 years

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The year 2020 is the hottest ever recorded in the Antarctic Peninsula, north of the Antarctic continent, over the past three decades, reveals a study by the University of Santiago de Chile published on Friday, which considers this finding “alarming”.

“Temperatures throughout the Antarctic Peninsula have been more than 2 ° C above usual values,” said Raul Cordero, climatologist and head of the Antarctic Research Group at the University of Santiago (Usach), in a statement released by the Chilean Antarctic Institute (Inach).

“In the far north of the Antarctic Peninsula, the average temperature has so far been above zero degrees. This had not happened for 31 years, ”added Cordero.

He considers this finding “alarming”, because it could indicate that the rapid rate of warming observed in the region at the end of the 20th century, and which had diminished during the last two decades, is recovering.

According to measurements made by a research team from the meteorological station located on King George Island, four heat waves occurred: two in the southern summer, one in the fall, and the last in the middle of winter. A total of 34 days were considered extremely hot.

During the southern winter, when temperatures are normally coldest, the thermometer read up to 5 degrees, keeping the waters of Maxwell Bay from freezing.

However, at other times, winter temperatures of -16.8 ° C were recorded, the lowest since 1970.

In addition, the precipitation accumulated on King George Island until the beginning of September exceeded 400 millimeters, which is 100 mm more than typical values.

The Antarctic Peninsula is the northernmost part of the Antarctic continent, the one closest to the tip of South America, where the scientific and military bases of several countries are located, including Argentina, Chile and the United Kingdom. United.

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