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Visions of the future / The Antarctic debacle



This new vision (the first to appear in the HOPES book) is an opportunity to bounce back on the current news. With the animation that follows, it illustrates the catastrophe underway at the poles, whether in the Arctic or in the Antarctic, with temperatures that have exceeded the seasonal norms by 30°C in recent days! Because if the war in Ukraine (or Will Smith's slap in the face) is a big part of the news, the global warming runaway continues. This is all the more dramatic since the issue has almost disappeared from the presidential campaign in France, where none of the candidates seems to take the measure of what is happening. However, the fault seems to be shared, because in the mind of the general public, the issue seems to be secondary to other subjects, such as retirement before 65 or purchasing power (or even the creation of a ministry of remigration for some). Legitimate subjects, which we can understand that citizens are concerned about (well, maybe not for the ministry of remigration), but subjects which will seem very derisory in the next few years if this craze is not limited, if not stopped.


This Friday, March 18, temperatures were -12.2°C on the Antarctic station of Concordia (featured in the novel "Resilience"). This is 40°C above the seasonal average. Never before have such high temperatures been recorded in this region. The same goes for the Dome C-II base where it was -10.1°C or the Vostok base where it was -17.7°C. In Terre Adélie, the Dumont d'Urville base recorded a temperature of 4.9°C. Everywhere absolute records are measured. According to the researchers on site, it is not impossible that the temperatures have been 50°C higher than normal in some regions of Antarctica.


This Friday, March 18, temperatures were -12.2°C on the Antarctic station of Concordia (featured in the novel "Resilience"). This is 40°C above the seasonal average. Never before have such high temperatures been recorded in this region.

In all objectivity, it is important to specify here that it is difficult to confirm with total certainty that this punctual event is related to global warming. This sudden rise is due to a band of moisture circulating in the atmosphere and transporting water vapour from the Southern Ocean to the Antarctic, which is usually not very humid. This phenomenon is well known to researchers, and is not exceptional in itself. What is less unusual is that this band of moisture reaches Antarctica. It is this water vapor (remember that water remains one of the main greenhouse gases) that increases local temperatures. It is a fact, however, that abnormally high temperatures have been measured over the poles in recent years, and there is every reason to believe that these extremes could multiply dangerously in the years to come.


CAPTION / Melting of the polar ice caps. Enormous cracks appear across the whole of Antarctica, threatening a research base. This image is extremely disturbing and it's no longer just fiction. The melt­ing of the ice caps is well underway. Antarctica, which we imagined was still untouched by the effects of global warming, has taken off sharply since 2017, a potentially major turning point in the severity of the ice melt situa­tion. In 2016, a gigantic crack formed in the west of the ice continent and spread very quickly as far as the Larsen C ice shelf. It’s not so much this area becoming detached that is so worrying as the fact that it constitutes a kind of stopper, which if it gives way would open up the path for other expanses of ice to slip into the sea. The contribution that Antarctica is making to the rise in sea level would thus have been underestimated. Consequently, new simulation models have been put in place suggesting that the average rise in sea level could increase from the current 10cm to more than 1 meter by 2100 (source: IPCC 2019).


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Digital painting from the book HOPES, Symbiom Editions 2021


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