New Delhi: On February 9, Antarctica measured the highest temperature of over 20 ° C for the first time. Researchers measured a temperature of 20.75 ° C on an island off the coast of the peninsula.
Brazilian scientist Carlos Schaefer told AFP that they "had never seen such a high temperature in Antarctica". However, he said that the temperature registered was only a measurement and not part of a long-term data set.
However, news that the icy continent is now recording temperatures in the relatively mild 20s is likely to further fuel concerns about global warming.
The measurement was reportedly carried out on Seymour Island, part of a chain off the peninsula that curves from the northern tip of Antarctica. The Argentine Marambio research base is located on the island.
Carlos Schaefer, a soil scientist, said the reading was part of a 20-year-old research project on the effects of climate change on the region's permafrost, adding that the previous high was in the 19s.
He told AFP: "We cannot use this to anticipate future climate change. It is a data point," adding, "It is simply a signal that something else is happening in this area."
The news came a week after the Argentine National Meteorological Service (NMS) recorded the hottest registered day for Argentine Antarctica: 18.3 degrees Celsius at noon on the Esperanza base near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
The previous record was 17.5 degrees on March 24, 2015, said NMS, which has been recording Antarctic temperatures since 1961.