NASA: Troubling Before-and-After Photos of Antarctica's Recent Heatwave

NASA: Troubling Before-and-After Photos of Antarctica's Recent Heatwave

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NASA: Troubling Before-and-After Photos of Antarctica's Recent Heatwave

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Earlier this month we reported on a record-setting 65-degree day on Antarctica. The impact of that heatwave has now been made more clear with images released by NASA Earth Observatory. The image on the left is from Feb. 4, just before the heatwave hit. The image on the right was taken just a few days later after the heatwave passed.Images: NASA Earth Observatory
The images are from the Antarctic peninsula just below South America.  In the image, you can see Eagle Island, the landmass near the bottom of each image.  You can very clearly see how the heatwave melted snow and ice and created pools of standing water.Mauri Pelto, a glaciologist at Nichols College, identified the blue patch as a “melt pond,” or a pool of water that formed on top of the ice as snow melted, in a report from NASA’s Earth Observatory.  “I haven’t seen melt ponds develop this quickly in Antarctica. You see these kinds of melt events in Alaska and Greenland, but not usually in Antarctica,” Pelto said.

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