NASA Pictures Depict Ice Melt In Antarctica's Eagle Island

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NASA Pictures Depict Ice Melt In Antarctica's Eagle Island

Eagle Island on February 4 (left) vs February 13 (right) (Joshua Stevens/Landsat/USGS/)


NASA pictures show a new side of Antarctica, an almost ice-free side. The photos show an amazing view, but just a few days back we wrote about it being warmer in Antarctica than Louisiana, with record highs at Argentina's Esperanza research station (65 degrees Fahrenheit). The pictures below tell the story.


Antarctica is supposed to be an incredibly cold place. The annual mean temperature of the continent's central area is -57°C (−70.6°F); even the coast averages approximately -10°C (14°F).


In just one week in the beginning of February 2020, more than 20% of the snow cap on the island melted.



On February 6th 2020, the weather station at Esperanza Base on the Antarctic Peninsula - the northernmost tip of the continent - logged the hottest temperature ever recorded on Antarctica' mainland at 18.3°C (64.9°F).


This new record tops the old record of 17.5°C on March 24th, 2015.

This recent heatwave lasted for about a week, and photos of Eagle Island, taken by the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8, have recently taken a picture that clearly reflects the destruction taking place.


Eagle island is near Graham Land in the Antarctic Peninsula. The record-high temperatures have resulted in a large amount of Eagle Island's ice cap melting into the sea. At the same time, areas towards the middle of the island saw melt ponds form astonishingly quickly.


By February 13th, you can see much of the snow gone and the small blue spots are ponds created by the melted snow.


This isn't even the first heatwave this season, but represents the third major melt event of the 2019-2020 Southern Hemisphere summer, with both November and January also suffering from exceptionally warm weather.


NASA Pictures Depict Ice Melt In Antarctica's Eagle Island

Air temperatures on February 9. (GEOS-5/NASA)


NASA Pictures Depict Ice Melt In Antarctica's Eagle Island

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Thinking Humanity: NASA Pictures Depict Ice Melt In Antarctica's Eagle Island
NASA Pictures Depict Ice Melt In Antarctica's Eagle Island
NASA pictures show a new side of Antarctica, an almost ice-free side. The photos show an amazing view, but just a few days back we wrote about it being warmer in Antarctica than Louisiana, with record highs at Argentina's Esperanza research station (65 degrees Fahrenheit).
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