New temperature record in Antarctica | Polarjournal
The Argentine Esperanza Station was founded on December 17,1952 by Captain Jorge Edgar Leal and has been operated by Argentina continuously ever since. Research on climate science, meteorology and oceanography are carried out at the station. (Image: Heiner Kubny)

Antarctica set a new record high temperature of 18.3 degrees Celsius in 2020, scientists from the World Meteorological Organization confirmed last week. The temperature, reported on February 6, 2020 and verified by the United Nations (UN) agency, had been recorded at Argentina’s Esperanza Research Station.

The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming regions on Earth. The temperature rise over the past 50 years has been nearly 3 degrees Celsius, the UN agency said. (Image: Heiner Kubny)

The previous highest temperature for Antarctica was recorded on March 24, 2015, at 17.5 degrees Celsius, also at the Esperanza Research Station. According to the UN agency, the high temperatures in Antarctica are the result of a large high-pressure system that creates “foehn conditions,” which are downdrafts that cause significant surface warming.

At the Esperanza Station, research is carried out, among other things, on the study of climate science, meteorology and oceanography.

The WMO also reported that a reading of an even higher temperature of 20.55 degrees Celsius recorded at an automated Brazilian permafrost monitoring station on February 9, 2020, but was inaccurate.

WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas noted that the new record is “consistent with the climate change we are seeing.” (Photo: WMO)

“The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming regions on Earth, with nearly 3 degrees Celsius over the past 50 years. This new temperature record is therefore consistent with the climate change we are seeing,” Taalas said in a statement. “WMO is working in partnership with the Antarctic Treaty System to preserve this pristine continent.”

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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