Antarctica during dawn Photograph:( AFP )
Heat waves refer to three consecutive days of very high maximum and lowest minimum temperatures recorded at a particular place
In a series of appalling news during the COVID-19 pandemic, Antarctica witnessed its first-ever heatwave in late January. Temperatures spiked, and if this continues for long, the flora and fauna on the continent could suffer extensively.
Even though pollution levels have dropped as countries are forced into lockdown, a pushback effect is expected once industries reopen, for they’ll attempt to make up for the losses incurred during the shutdown.
Also read: Antarctica ice melting three times faster than earlier, could redraw Earth's coastlines
Recorded by the Australian Antarctic Programme at the Casey Research Centre in Eastern Antarctica, the findings were published in the Global Change Biology on Tuesday.
Recorded over the 2019-2020 southern hemisphere summer, such patterns could have long-term effects on the global weather patterns.
The Casey Research Centre is located in Western Australia, where the highest maximum and minimum temperatures ever were recorded between January 23-26.
Minimum temperatures reached zero degree Celsius while the maximum surged to over 7.5 degrees. However, the record high temperature of 9.2 degree Celsius was recorded on January 24.
Scientifically, heat waves refer to three consecutive days of very high maximum and lowest minimum temperatures recorded at a particular place.
Even on the other side, at the Antarctic Peninsula, record high temperatures were recorded.
Just last month, a record high temperature of 18.3 degrees was lodged at Esperanza Base in Argentina.
Even though hotter temperatures could provide more fresh water to the ecosystems, it could cause long-term harm to plants and totally alter the composition of microbes.