Antarctica has just logged its hottest temperature on record after an Argentinian research station reported a record high of 65°F. A thermometer at Esperanza read 18.3°C, beating the previous record of 17.5°C (63.5°F). Argentina's meteorological agency revealed the new record in a tweet on Friday.
The Antarctica peninsula pointing towards South America is heating up at an alarming rate, and as a result a lot of the glaciers in the region are melting. Speaking with The Guardian, Victoria University of Wellington climate scientist professor James Renwick said the World Meteorological Organization committee has verified previous records in Antarctica and will likely do the same for this new one.
"Of course the record does need to be checked, but pending those checks, it’s a perfectly valid record and that [temperature] station is well maintained," he explained. "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. To have a new record set that quickly is surprising but who knows how long that will last? Possibly not that long at all."
This follows the news that 2019 was the second-hottest year ever recorded. Scientists have warned that increased global average temperatures could lead to an increase in wildfires, floods, and food shortages across the world.