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Argentina's Esperanza Base
Antarctica Sets Record Temperatures
By Ernest Stewart
"We're so self-important. Everybody's going to save something now. 'Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.' And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet? We don't even know how to take care of ourselves yet.
The planet isn't going anywhere. WE are! We're going away. Pack your shit, folks. We're going away.
Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet'll shake us off like a bad case of fleas." ~~~ George Carlin
According to the weather blog Weather Underground, "on Tuesday, March 24, the temperature in Antarctica rose to 63.5 F (17.5 C) - a record for the polar continent. Part of a longer heat wave, the record high came just a day after the previous record was set at 63.3 F." If it's shirt sleeve weather in Antarctica, look out world!
Tuesday's temperature was taken at the Argentina's Esperanza Base, located near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Monday's record was from Marambio Base, about 60 miles southeast of Esperanza. Both are records for their locations; however, the World Meteorological Organization is yet to certify that the temperatures are all-time weather records for Antarctica. Before these two new record highs, the highest recorded temperature from these outposts was 62.8 F in 1961.
Setting a new all-time temperature record for an entire continent is rare, and requires the synthesizing of a lot of data. As Weather Underground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, explains, "There is debate over what exactly is included in the continent Antarctica, and by the narrowest interpretation, which would include only sites south of the Antarctic Circle, Esperanza would not be part of the continent."
According to the World Meteorological Organization the official keeper of global temperature records, the all-time high temperature for Antarctica was 59 F in 1974. The verification process for these new records could take months as the readings must be checked for accuracy.
Even in their unofficial capacity, the readings are alarming.
As Burt reported, "These temperature records occurred nearly three months past the warmest time of year in the Antarctic Peninsula, December, when the average high is 37.8 F. The average high for March is 31.3 F, making this week's records more than 30 F above average. Temperature records for Esperanza have previously occurred in October and April, so these spikes are not unheard of." Still, with all of the record heat observed throughout the planet over the past two decades, and last year being the hottest year on record, even a blind man could see the reality of global warming.
Ergo, this should not be unexpected: "The poles are warming faster than any part of the planet and rapid ice melt is being observed at increased rates in Antarctica." According to a new study, "Ice shelves in West Antarctica have lost as much as 18 percent of their volume over the last two decades, with rapid acceleration occurring over the last decade. The study found that from 1994 to 2003, the overall loss of ice shelf volume across the continent was negligible, but over the last decade West Antarctic losses increased by 70 percent."
The British Antarctic Survey said, "Since records for the Antarctic Peninsula began half a century ago, the average temperature has risen about 5 F, making it the most rapidly warming region in the Southern Hemisphere - comparable to rapidly warming regions of the Arctic."
While the polar regions are feeling the most severe temperature changes brought on by the rise in greenhouse gas concentrations, areas across the globe are setting record highs at a much faster rate than record lows. Since 2010, 46 nations or territories out of 235 have set or tied record highs. Only four have set record lows. According to the Weather Underground, "So far this year, five nations or territories have tied or set all-time records for their highest temperature: Antarctica, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Wallis, Futuna Territory, and Samoa."
Like the folks and politicians in California, who still haven't come to grips with the fact that all the cheap, easily extracted, water may be gone in a years time. 25% of Americans think that climate warming is a joke. Trouble is, the joke is on them. A relative just returned from Santa Barbara and she said that when her boss took a small group of them out to dinner, they were charged $70 for their glasses of water with the meal, or $10 a glass. Are you willing, or able to pay $10 for a glass of water, America? I wonder what a shower will soon cost in California, don't you? Trouble is, it's not only the 40 million people in California that are being effected by this, but another 40 million throughout the Southwest.
This just in...
Hooray! Governor Moonbeam has finally done something concrete about the drought by ordering across-the-board cuts of 25% in water usage throughout California! With more than 98 percent of the state suffering from a drought that's stretched into its fourth year, Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order from the mostly snow-bare Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada mountains, an area that would usually have snow pack more than 66 inches deep at this time of year."Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action. Therefore, I'm issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible."
Meanwhile, down in foggy bottom, the Rethuglicans in the House and the Senate are doing their very best to ignore this cataclysmic disaster in the making. By the time they get around to facing reality, it'll be far too late to do anything about it. Have you screamed at your Congressional critter lately, to get it in gear on global warming? If you don't, who will, America?
11-23-1952 ~ 03-27-2015
Thanks for the music!
04-24-1949 ~ 03-30-2015
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Until the next time, Peace!
(c) 2015 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 13 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.