Climate Crisis

Alarming temperature record of 18.3°C set in Antarctica last year

The Argentine base Esperanza is seen from an Air Force C-130 Hercules in the gateway of the Antarctic Peninsula, March 9, 2008. This scientific outpost belonging to the Argentine army has become a unique tourist attraction that draws tourists from all over the world every summer.  REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian (ANTARCTICA) - GM1E43A0JER01

The new record is1 8.3°C or 64.9°F, set at Argentina's Esperanza base on February 06, 2020. Image: REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian

Niall McCarthy
Data Journalist, Statista
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Climate Crisis

  • A new record temperature has been set in the Antarctic, the United Nations has announced.
  • The new record is1 8.3°C or 64.9°F, set at Argentina's Esperanza base on February 06, 2020.
  • These record temperature rises are clear indicators of a warming planet and the increases the risks relating to climate change.

The United Nations has announced that it has recognized a new record-high temperature of 18.3°C or 64.9°F set on the Antarctic continent last year. It was set at Argentina's Esperanza base on February 06, 2020 and it surpasses the previous 17.5°C or 63.5°F record that was also set at the same location in March 2015. It is important to note that these temperatures only refer to continental Antarctica with the highest temperature across the entire region (all ice/land south of 60 degrees latitude) 19.8°C, or 67.64°F, recorded on Signy Island in January 1982.

“Verification of this maximum temperature record is important because it helps us to build up a picture of the weather and climate in one of Earth’s final frontiers. Even more so than the Arctic, the Antarctic is poorly covered in terms of continuous and sustained weather and climate observations and forecasts, even though both play an important role in driving climate and ocean patterns and in sea level rise,” said World Meteorlogical Organization Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.

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He continued, adding that "the Antarctic Peninsula (the northwest tip near to South America) is among the fastest warming regions of the planet, almost 3°C over the last 50 years. This new temperature record is therefore consistent with the climate change we are observing. WMO is working in partnership with the Antarctic Treaty System to help conserve this pristine continent."

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The new record is1 8.3°C or 64.9°F. Image: Statista
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