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Antarctica’s new record-high temperature

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

An Antarctic research station has provisionally recorded the continent’s hottest temperature of 18.3C, beating the previous record by 0.8C.

The continent of Antarctica has experienced its hottest temperature on record, with a research station provisionally recording 18.3C.

The reading beats the previous record on the Earth's southernmost continent of 17.5C in March 2015 by 0.8C, according to the Argentine station Esperanza, which collected the data.

The tweet reporting the news from Argentina's meteorological association was shared by the United Nations's World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

In this Jan. 22, 2015 file photo Gentoo penguins stand on rocks near the Chilean station Bernardo O'Higgins, Antarctica

The Antarctic Peninsula, the northwest tip near South America, is among the fastest-warming regions on earth, with temperatures rising almost 3C during the past 50 years, the WMO said.

About 87 per cent of the glaciers along its west coast have "retreated" during those decades and had shown an "accelerated retreat" in the past 12 years, it said.

Professor James Renwick, a climate scientist at Victoria University of Wellington, told the Guardian Australia the WMO committee would likely reconvene to ratify the record.

A handout photo made available by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of a satellite image showing ponds of meltwater on the George VI ice shelf, Antrarctica, 19 January 2020 (issued 23 January 2020). Summer warmth can turn ice into water also in Antarctica. At the peak of the 2019-2020 melt season, jewel-toned ponds of meltwater spanned a vast area on the George VI ice shelf -- a huge slab of floating glacier ice attached to the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula.

"The reading is impressive as it's only five years since the previous record was set and this is almost one degree centigrade higher. It's a sign of the warming that has been happening there that's much faster than the global average," he said.

"To have a new record set that quickly is surprising but who knows how long that will last? Possibly not that long at all."

Esperanza, near the northern tip of the Peninsula, has been collecting data since 1961.

This January 2017 photo provided by Ted Scambos shows sea ice on the ocean surrounding Antarctica during an expedition to the Ross Sea. Ice in the ocean off the southern continent steadily increased from 1979 and hit a record high in 2014. But three years later, the annual average extent of Antarctic sea ice hit its lowest mark, wiping out three-and-a-half decades of gains, and then some, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, July 1, 2019.

The reading breaks the 2015 record for the Antarctic continent, defined as the main continental landmass and adjoining islands by the WMO.

The record for the Antarctic region - defined as all land and ice south of 60 degrees latitude - is 19.8C recorded on Signy Island in January 1982, the WMO said.

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This 2016 photo provided by NASA shows the Getz Ice Shelf from 2016's Operation Icebridge in Antarctica.

Source: 9News

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