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Fiona fox's blog

Antarctic extreme events

A new synthesis of evidence about extreme events in the Antarctic has been published in Frontiers in Environmental Science.

It brings together, for the first time, evidence on how extreme events have affected Antarctica. It shows how extreme events have influenced every realm in Antarctica, including weather (the world’s largest recorded ever heatwave in 2022 where temperatures were 38.5C higher than normal), ice shelf collapse and the land ice speed-up as a result, loss of marine species, invasion of non-native plants and the recent lack of winter sea ice. In each case we conclude such events will be more likely under global heating.

Fossil fuel burning will continue to affect the Antarctic environment. 42 countries (Parties) have adopted the Environmental Protocol of the Antarctic Treaty, committing “themselves to the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystems”. These countries must ask themselves whether their NDC’s put them on a path that enables true protection of Antarctica.

Journalists came to this online briefing to hear from some of the authors and ask them questions.


Speakers included:

Prof Martin Siegert, Glaciologist and Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Exeter

Dr Caroline Holmes, Polar Climate Scientist at British Antarctic Survey

Dr Anna Hogg, Associate Professor in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds

Jane Rumble, Head of Polar Regions Department, Overseas Territories & Polar Directorate, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

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