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February 2017 was the second-warmest February on record

February 2017 was the second-warmest February on record

According to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, “February 2017 was the second-warmest February in 137 years of modern record-keeping.”

The month was 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean February temperature from 1951-1980. The two top February temperature anomalies have occurred during the past two years. The institute had recorded “February 2016 as the hottest, at 1.3 degrees Celsius warmer than the February mean temperature.” February 2017’s temperature was 0.20 degrees Celsius cooler than February 2016.

The monthly analysis by the GISS team is assembled from publicly available data acquired by about 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research stations.

Incidentally, January 2017 was third-warmest January on record, again according to the GISS team. It was 0.20 degrees Celsius cooler than the warmest January in 2016, and at 1.12 degrees Celsius it was warmer than the January mean temperature, followed by 2007 at 0.96 degrees Celsius warmer. However, January 2017 was 0.92 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean January temperature from 1951-1980.

The modern global temperature record begins around 1880.

Cracking Antarctic ice shelf set to birth new iceberg

Latest satellite images by Nasa reveal a massive iceberg set to break free from a cracking ice shelf in Antarctica, Live Science reported this week.

Since 2014, scientists have been monitoring a growing crack that cuts across the slab of floating ice in Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf. “The crack currently measures about 112 miles (180 kilometres) long, but when it reaches the ocean, an iceberg about the size of Rhode Island will break from the ice shelf,” Nasa reports. As of this month, only 10 miles (16 km) of ice is left between the end of the crack and the open sea, agency officials said.

Larsen C is the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica, with an area of about 50,000 sq km (19,000 sq mi). The collapse of Larsen C and its glaciers would lead to only 0.4 inches (1 centimetre) of global sea level rise, according to Helen Fricker, a member of Nasa’s sea level change science team. However, the ice shelf’s growing crack and potential collapse are indicators of the overall health of ice shelves across Antarctica.

Eric Rignot, a member of the sea level change team, said in a statement, “The loss of these larger ice shelves and the resulting acceleration of glacial calving could amount to metres of sea level rise in the decades and centuries to come.”

According to a paper published in Journal of Climate in 2006, the peninsula at Faraday station warmed by 2.94C from 1951 to 2004, much faster than Antarctica as a whole and faster than the global trend. This localised warming is caused by anthropogenic global warming, through a strengthening of the winds circling the Antarctic.

Courtesy: Live Science

Published in Dawn, Young World April 22nd, 2017

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