An unprecedented leap of 38.5C in the coldest place on Earth is a harbinger of a disaster for humans and the local ecosystem

On 18 March, 2022, scientists at the Concordia research station on the east Antarctic plateau documented a remarkable event. They recorded the largest jump in temperature ever measured at a meteorological centre on Earth. According to their instruments, the region that day experienced a rise of 38.5C above its seasonal average: a world record.

This startling leap – in the coldest place on the planet – left polar researchers struggling for words to describe it. “It is simply mind-boggling,” said Prof Michael Meredith, science leader at the British Antarctic Survey. “In sub-zero temperatures such a massive leap is tolerable but if we had a 40C rise in the UK now that would take temperatures for a spring day to over 50C – and that would be deadly for the population.”

This amazement was shared by glaciologist Prof Martin Siegert, of the University of Exeter. “No one in our community thought that anything like this could ever happen. It is extraordinary and a real concern,” he told the Observer. “We are now having to wrestle with something that is completely unprecedented.”

  • ThePowerOfGeek
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    763 months ago

    Planet Earth is about to have a fever spike to curb its viral human infection.

    • Transporter Room 3
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      193 months ago

      Third day in a row I’ve seen humanity compared to a virus.

      Thursday in The Matrix, yesterday from a coworker, and now this.

      Not really relevant, just interesting and I have nobody else to tell.

    • @[email protected]
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      3 months ago

      The older I get, the more I come to realize that the true virus killing this planet is not humanity, but inhumanity.

  • @Jimmycakes
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    533 months ago

    Just bring it on. We aren’t going to change anything until something happens first.

    • @Plopp
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      423 months ago

      And when things happen, the only changes we’ll make is adapt so that we can continue with our usual destructive shenanigans during the new circumstances.

      • speck
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        163 months ago

        Well, we will add some ecology version of thoughts and prayers to it. Some veneer of Never Again

      • @SlopppyEngineer
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        63 months ago

        But adapting is quickly getting so expensive it’ll crash the economic system anyway and with it, a lot of the destructive shenanigans stop.

        • @Plopp
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          63 months ago

          Hehe. The destructive shenanigans will not stop for quite some time. There’s money in that system, and the system is adaptable. Therfore the shenanigans will continue, but differently. At a cost of course, but a cost the people at the bottom will carry.

        • @anlumo
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          13 months ago

          The climate has centuries of lag, so even if we stopped all emissions right now, it’d get hotter for longer than all current people will be alive.

    • @TropicalDingdong
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      223 months ago

      Really no point in waiting since we’re not planning to prepare.

      Planets about to “fuck it, we’ll do it live” biosphere collapse.

    • lettruthout
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      123 months ago

      Everyone is partying denying like it’s 1999.

  • @ghostdoggtv
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    333 months ago

    The economy crashes or the planet’s ability to sustain life does.

    Pro-life conservatives:

    golly, gee

    • @grue
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      33 months ago

      That’s not even a real dichotomy! Fixing climate change doesn’t require crashing the economy; it just requires companies to build different stuff or otherwise clean up their acts instead of lazily continuing their unsustainable business models. (It also requires pissing off all the NIMBYs, which might be the bigger factor in the failure to do it.)

  • @Burn_The_Right
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    63 months ago

    If you aren’t fighting conservatism, you aren’t fighting climate change.

  • AutoTL;DRB
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    43 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    Poleward winds, which previously made few inroads into the atmosphere above Antarctica, are now carrying more and more warm, moist air from lower latitudes – including Australia – deep into the continent, say scientists, and these have been blamed for the dramatic polar “heatwave” that hit Concordia.

    These events have raised fears that the Antarctic, once thought to be too cold to experience the early impacts of global warming, is now succumbing dramatically and rapidly to the swelling levels of greenhouse gases that humans continue to pump into the atmosphere.

    “Essentially, it is a vicious circle of warming oceans and melting of sea ice, though the root cause is humanity and its continuing burning of fossil fuels and its production of greenhouse gases,” said Meredith.

    Last year the species, which is found only in Antarctica, suffered a catastrophic breeding failure because the platforms of sea ice on which they are born started to break up long before the young penguins could grow waterproof feathers.

    Researchers say that the discovery of the loss of emperor penguins suggests that more than 90% of colonies will be wiped out by the end of the century, if global warming trends continue at their current disastrous rate.

    “Nevertheless, there is a good case for arguing that if countries are knowingly polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, and Antarctica is being affected as a consequence, then the treaty protocol is being breached by its signatories and their behaviour could be challenged on legal and political grounds.


    The original article contains 1,780 words, the summary contains 250 words. Saved 86%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!

  • @foggy
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    3 months ago

    I don’t say this to minimize global warming or climate change or anything like that…

    But the entire premise of the fear that this article in particular drives is that temperature is scalar, which it is not.

    The claim that a 40° C jump in Sub-Zero temperatures is tolerable, but wouldn’t be in the UK or whatever they’re saying in this article… That’s nonsense. Climate change is plenty terrifying. We don’t need to make shit up to make it scarier.

    30° F is not half the temperature of 60° F. Arise in 10° F from 100° F is not the same as a 10° raise from zero degrees Fahrenheit. It’s just not an accurate way to talk about temperature. Temperature is not scalar.

    • HorseChandelier
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      213 months ago

      Temperature is not scalar

      Messers Rankine, Kelvin and even Fahrenheit would beg to differ… Temperature is scalar, however it’s effects on living things is generally not mostly owing to chemistry.

      The claim that a 40° C jump in Sub-Zero temperatures is tolerable, but wouldn’t be in the UK or whatever they’re saying in this article… That’s nonsense

      Au contraire my dear fellow. For a human, the article is entirely correct. A rise of 40° C in a particularly cold place is indeed tolerable for a human. A similar rise in, say, the UK today would put the temperature at 52° C - hotter than Death Valley on a well above average day and considerably less tolerable.

      Of course a single recorded rise in temperature isn’t a good indication of climate…

      • @[email protected]
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        13 months ago

        Messrs., with the period. It’s the plural of Mr.

        No, it doesn’t make sense, that’s part of why nobody uses it.

      • @foggy
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        -43 months ago

        I wasn’t saying the 40 c jump was an inaccurate statement, I was saying it wasn’t a meaningful one.

    • HubertManne
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      73 months ago

      yeas 30 degress is not half of 60 because zero is just an arbitrary placement but temperature is most definately scalar. 10 degrees higher at 100 is the same as 0 degrees the reason in everything except of kelvin and its ilk the halving does not work is because the zero point is not truly zero, not because the difference in degrees are different at any point in the scale.