The United Nations has confirmed that Antarctica reached a new record-high temperature of 18.3 degrees Celsius (64.9 degrees Fahrenheit) in 2020.
As per the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Argentina’s Esperanza research station on the Antarctic Peninsula reached the temperature on February 6. Their secretary-general Petteri Taalas explained: ‘Verification of this maximum temperature record is important because it helps us to build a picture of the weather and climate in one of Earth’s final frontiers.’
As has been recently shared, the Antarctic peninsula is one of the fastest-warming regions in the world, so much so that over the past 50 years, its temperature has risen by almost three degrees Celsius.
As the WMO shared, ‘This new temperature record is therefore consistent with the climate change we are observing’. This differs from Antarctica’s usual, average annual temperature, which normally stands at around negative 10 degrees Celsius (negative 14 degrees Fahrenheit) to negative 60 degrees Celsius (negative 76 degrees Fahrenheit).
With this new record, WMO’s vice president Celeste Saulo stressed the importance of taking measures to help protect the planet: ‘It is essential to continue strengthening the observing, forecasting and early warning systems to respond to the extreme events that take place more and more often due to global warming.’
If you wish to learn more, you can head to the official WMO website.