Antarctica hits record high temperature in 2020, scientists confirm

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Antarctica sets new high temperature record of 64.94 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 Celsius) in 2020, scientists with the The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed this this week.

The temperature, which was reported on February 6, 2020 and verified by the United Nations (UN) agency on Thursday, was recorded at Argentina’s Esperanza research station.

The United Nations agency said the previous all-time high for Antarctica was 63.5 degrees, which was recorded on March 24, 2015 at the same research station.

WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas noted that the new record was “consistent with the climate change we are seeing”.

“The Antarctic Peninsula (the northwestern tip near South America) is one of the fastest warming regions on the planet, nearly 3 ° C over the past 50 years. This new temperature record is therefore consistent with the climate change we are observing, ”Taalas said in a statement. “WMO is working in partnership with the Antarctic Treaty System to help conserve this pristine continent.”

According to the Washington Post, Argentina’s Esperanza research station is used to study climate science, meteorology, and oceanography, among other fields.

While scientists have confirmed the temperature record, WMO also said this week that a ratio of a higher temperature of 69.35 degrees which was recorded at an automated Brazilian permafrost monitoring station on February 9, 2020, was inaccurate.

“Verifying this maximum temperature record is important because it helps us get a feel for the weather and climate in one of Earth’s last frontiers. Even more than the Arctic, Antarctica is poorly covered in terms of continuous and sustained weather and climate observations and forecasts, even though both play an important role in climate and ocean change and elevation from sea level, ”Taalas said.

According to a review by a WMO committee at the time of the two recorded temperatures, the high pressure in the area caused downdrafts that eventually compressed and quickly warmed the area, otherwise known as föhn. The committee said the föhn had increased temperatures at both research stations.

An analysis by the Brazilian research station, however, revealed that an anti-radiation shield that had to be improvised caused an error in the temperature initially recorded.

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