Antarctica is supposed to be an extremely cold place. The annual mean temperature of the snow-laden continent's central area is -57 degrees Celsius (−70.6°F); even the coast averages around -10°C (14°F).

But on February 6, the weather station at Esperanza Base on the Antarctic Peninsula - the northernmost tip of the content - logged the hottest temperature ever recorded on the mainland, at 18.3°C (64.9°F).

It beat out the former record of 17.5°C, from 24 March 2015.

This latest heatwave lasted for about a week, and images of Eagle Island, taken by the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8, have now captured a pretty depressing picture of its impact.
最近的高温持续约一周,Landsat 8(美国陆地卫星计划的第八颗卫星)上的陆地成像仪拍摄的鹰岛照片显示了高温产生的影响,情况不容乐观。

The tiny Eagle Island is located just off the coast of Graham Land in the Antarctic Peninsula. The record-high temperatures have resulted in a large amount of Eagle Island's ice cap melting into the sea, while areas towards the middle of the island saw melt ponds form astonishingly quickly.

"I haven't seen melt ponds develop this quickly in Antarctica," says Mauri Pelto, a glaciologist at Nichols College.
尼科尔斯学院的冰川学家Mauri Pelto说:“我从未见过南极融化池形成速度如此之快。”

"You see these kinds of melt events in Alaska and Greenland, but not usually in Antarctica."

Pelto also notes that the source of this melt event - persistent high temperatures significantly above freezing - is not typical of Antarctic weather patterns. Nevertheless, these have become more common recently. 

In total, snow pack on Eagle Island had over 10 centimetres (4 inches) of melt in the span of just a few days - between February 6 and February 11.