Antarctica hits temperature over 20 degrees for the first time

The news that the icy continent is now recording temperatures in the relatively balmy 20s is likely to further fuel fears about the warming of the planet.

Antarctica hits temperature over 20 degrees for the first time
Image courtesy: Reuters

New Delhi: Antarctica island has recorded the highest temperature that exceeded 20C for the first time on February 9. Researchers have logged a temperature of 20.75C on an island off the coast of the peninsula.

Brazilian scientist Carlos Schaefer told AFP that they had "never seen a temperature this high in Antarctica". He, however, said that the temperature logged on was just one reading and not part of a long-term data set.

However, the news that the icy continent is now recording temperatures in the relatively balmy 20s is likely to further fuel fears about warming of the planet.

The reading was reportedly 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.

Carlos Schaefer, who is a soil scientist, said that the reading was taken as part of a 20-year-old research project on the impact of climate change on the region's permafrost, adding that the previous high was in the 19s.

He further told AFP, "We can't use this to anticipate climatic changes in the future. It's a data point," adding "It's simply a signal that something different is happening in that area."

The news came a week after Argentina's National Meteorological Service (NMS) 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, said NMS, which has been recording Antarctic temperatures since 1961.