Scientists in Antarctica have recorded a new record temperature of 20.75 degrees Celsius (69.35 Fahrenheit), breaking the barrier of 20 degrees for the first time on the continent, a researcher said Thursday.
The icy continent is now recording temperatures in the relatively balmy 20s is likely to further fuel fears about the warming of the planet.
The reading was taken at Seymour Island, part of a chain off the peninsula that curves out from the northern tip of Antarctica.
The island is home to Argentina’s Marambio research base.
Accelerating melt-off from glaciers and especially ice sheets in Antarctica is helping drive sea level rises, threatening coastal megacities and small island nations.
The news came a week after Argentina’s National Meteorological Service recorded the hottest day on record for Argentine Antarctica: 18.3 degrees Celsius at midday at the Esperanza base, located near the tip of the Antarctic peninsula.
The previous record stood at 17.5 degrees on March 24, 2015, it said. It has been recording Antarctic temperatures since 1961.
The past decade has been the hottest on record, the United Nations said last month, with 2019 the second-hottest year ever, after 2016.