Scientists in Antarctica have recorded a new record temperature of 20.75 degrees Celsius (69.35 Fahrenheit), breaking the barrier of 20 degrees for the first time on the continent, a researcher said on Thursday.
As per Brazilian Scientist Carlos Schaefer, temperatures as high as this have never been seen before.
But he warned the temperature, logged on 9 February, was just one reading and not part of a long-term data set.
The reading took place at Seymour Island, which happens to be a part of the chain off the peninsula which forms a curve from the northernmost tip of the freezing continent and is also home to the Marambio research base of Antarctica. The city's temperature fell 58 degrees from a "daily-record-tying high of 74 at 2 p.m. Sunday to 16 degrees by 8 p.m. Monday", the Washington Post notes.
"We have climatic changes in the atmosphere, which is closely related to changes in permafrost and the ocean".
Schaefer said the reading was a single data point, so they're not able to determine if it's a trend that will continue in the future. "It's simply a signal that something different is happening in that area".
Brazilian scientists registered Antarctic temperature above 20C for first time on record at Seymour Island.
Over the past 12 years the glaciers have shown an "accelerated retreat" due to global warming, it adds.
The Antarctic peninsula is being dramatically affected by climate change, with more melt and warmer winter temperatures, believed to be behind an alarming decline in chinstrap penguin colonies which are dependent on sea ice, The Guardian reported.
It was almost two degrees higher than the previous record of 67.64 degrees set 37 years ago.
Last July, the Arctic region hit its own record temperature of 21C, logged by a base at the northern tip of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic.
The past decade has been the hottest on record, the United Nations said last month, with 2019 the second-hottest year ever, after 2016.