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Record high temperature for Antarctica confirmed by WMO

Record high temperature for A...
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has recognized a new record high temperature for the Antarctic continent
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has recognized a new record high temperature for the Antarctic continent
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The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has recognized a new record high temperature for the Antarctic continent
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The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has recognized a new record high temperature for the Antarctic continent

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has confirmed the highest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica. On February 6, 2020 at Argentina's Esperanza Base, located at Hope Bay on the Antarctic Peninsula, a maximum temperature of 18.3 °C (64.9 °F) was reached, breaking the previous record of 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) recorded on March 24, 2015 at the same location.

The new record is the highest verified temperature on the Antarctic mainland and surrounding islands, but the highest temperature in the entire region was recorded in January 1982 at Britain's Signy Island Station, which reached 19.8 °C (67.6 °F). According to WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas, such readings are important because Antarctica is one of the fastest warming regions on Earth and is a major driver of climate, but it is also poorly monitored in terms of weather and forecasts.

The new record was confirmed by a committee for WMO’s Weather and Climate Extremes Archive, which concluded that the balmy temperature was due to a high-pressure system over the peninsula that produced downslope winds, resulting in significant local surface warming. A higher temperature was recorded at an automated Brazilian station, but was dismissed due to it having been damaged and refitted with an improvised radiation shield.

“This is an important result," says Professor John King, a member of the WMO Evaluation Committee. "While a single record temperature observation may not tell us much about climate change, I think that it is noteworthy that the previous record for the Antarctic continent – 17.5 °C (63.5 °F), also set at Esperanza, on 26 March 2015 – has been exceeded so soon after it was originally set. This confirms that the Antarctic Peninsula is a rapidly-warming region. While natural climate variability in the region is large, it is likely that human activity is contributing to the underlying warming trend and we are likely to see even higher temperatures reported from this region in the future.

"The international scientific community recognizes the urgency for both capturing, refining and sharing these data. Later this year the world’s leaders will meet in Glasgow for COP26 climate talks. Our research builds a deeper understanding of change in an important part of the Earth. It is critical knowledge for developing policies that help people live with and adapt to climate change."

The assessment was published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Source: British Antarctic Survey

6 comments
6 comments
wolf0579
Record high temps in British Columbia, as well.

Portland, OR has had temps (114f) that have never been experienced in Texas in human memory.
wolf0579
Listen to the CDC when they're talking to Native Canadian Officials regarding these fires. Those people say that this is beyond any tribal memory.
Catweazle
Worth noting that Esperanza Base is in fact North of the Antarctic Circle and is known to be affected by Urban Heat Island effect due to the thousands of scientists who are there to observe the Global Warming...

Also that we are still climbing out of the last Ice Age and that is is normal for the Poles to be ice-free.
Gregg Eshelman
@Catweazle Signy Island is farther north of the Antarctic Circle and surrounded by water so of course it's going to have slightly higher temperatures than the part of the peninsula north of the circle. Here's how the "average temperature increase" has come about. Adding more and more monitoring stations in warmer latitudes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZNkrrrFdKQ
Karmudjun
Now Canada has their own "Paradise" fire season. And with the record level of oceanic and atmospheric CO2 levels (plus the many more man-made greenhouse gases released each year by industry, medical community, and agriculture) it will only get worse before it gets better. We know that the poles were possibly ice free in the age of the dinosaurs -- the Mesozoic -- but have little evidence that once the extinction winter began to ease that the polar ice caps and the extensive glacier formations all disappeared. I'd sure love a reputable reference for that 'factoid' if anyone has a source.
ljaques
You mean that summer is NOT the reason for snow melting? Imagine that.