Scientists in Antarctica have recorded a new record temperature of 20.75 degrees Celsius (69.35 Fahrenheit). This temperature broke the barrier of 20 degrees for the first time on the continent. However, scientists noted that this reading was a ‘one-off’ phenomenon, and could not be directly linked to climate change.
Despite being a ‘one-off’ incident, recording temperatures of 20 Celsius in Antarctica is likely to further spur fears about the warming of the planet. The temperature was recorder at Seymour Island, at the northern tip of Antarctica.
According to scientists, the reading was taken as part of a 20-year-old research project on the impact of climate change on the area’s permafrost. The previous high was 19 Celsius. The explained however that the will not use it to anticipate climatic changes in the future. “It’s simply a signal that something different is happening in that area.”
Nevertheless, accelerating melt-off from glaciers, and especially ice sheets in Antarctica, is increasing sea level, putting at risk coastal cities, as well as island nations.
The news came only a few days after Argentina’s National Meteorological Service recorded the hottest day on record for Argentine Antarctica: 18.3 degrees Celsius. The previous record stood at 17.5 degrees on March 24, 2015.
2020 is expected to continue the trend, as last month was the hottest January ever recorded.