It’s 50 Below in Antarctica

Print Email

July was the warmest month on record when the average global temperature was the measure. There are still some places that, though they may have been affected as well, have such bone-chilling cold that they are barely habitable. Saturday, the temperature at the Amundsen-Scott location in Antarctica will be −52 degrees Fahrenheit and will feel like −80, according to Accuweather. The number may not be entirely good news.

According to the National Centers for Environmental Information division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

The July temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.57°F above the 20th century average of 60.4°F. This was the highest for July in the 1880–2016 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.11°F, the previous record holder for the warmest month on record. July 2016 marks the 40th consecutive July with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th century average. July 1976 was the last time July global land and ocean temperatures were below average. July 2016 had the lowest monthly global temperature departure from average since August 2015 and tied with August 2015 as the 15th highest monthly temperature departure among all months (1,639) on record.

Despite freakishly low temperatures, Antarctica has a problem similar to the global one. According to Climate Central:

The world’s greatest reservoir of ice is verging on a breakdown that could push seas to heights not experienced since prehistoric times, drowning dense coastal neighborhoods during the decades ahead, new computer models have shown.

A pair of researchers developed the models to help them understand high sea levels during previous eras of warmer temperatures. Then they ran simulations using those models and found that rising levels of greenhouse gases could trigger runaway Antarctic melting that alone could push sea levels up by more than three feet by century’s end.

Antarctica — cold, but melting.