Story at a glance

  • The reading breaks the March 2015 record of about 63 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • It’s the warmest temperature ever recorded at Argentina’s Esperanza Base since record keeping began in 1961.
  • The record still has to be officially reviewed and certified.

Antarctica is marking its warmest temperature in recorded history, just days after the Earth saw its warmest January on record. 

Argentina's Esperanza Base on Antarctica's Trinity Peninsula recorded a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit Thursday, surpassing the previous record of 63.5 degrees, which occurred in March of 2015. 

Argentina’s meteorological agency said it's the highest temperature logged at the base since it began keeping records in 1961. 

Global warming caused by human activities has been blamed for Antarctica’s increasing temperatures. Antarctica’s peninsula, the area pointing toward South America, is one of the fastest warming places on the planet. In just the past 50 years, temperatures have increased 5 degrees on the continent, and around 87 percent of glaciers along the peninsula’s west coast have receded during that time. 

Also on Thursday, a second Argentine Antarctic base recorded its highest temperature for February since 1971. The Marambio Base on Marambio Island marked highs of 57.3 degrees Fahrenheit, beating the past record set in February 2013. 

The World Meteorological Organization referred to the temperature reading as “likely," as it still has to be officially reviewed and certified. 

The new record in Antarctica comes after an analysis found that last month was the warmest January on record for Earth

The European Union-affiliated Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) found that January 2020's global temperatures were "on par" with January 2016, which was previously the warmest January recorded. 

"The global temperature was warmer than any previous January in the data record, but only marginally so (by 0.03°C) in the case of January 2016," said a C3S statement.

Published on Feb 07, 2020