Hottest January on record as Antarctica temperature hits 20C for first time

​Antartica Temperature Rises Above 20°C For First Time Ever

The temperature in northern Antarctica hit almost 65 degrees (18.3 degrees Celsius), a likely heat record on the continent best known for snow, ice and penguins.

In a disturbing revelation, a new record temperature has been recorded in Antarctica at a whopping 20.75 degrees Celsius, breaking the 20-degree record for the first time ever.

It comes as the Antarctic has registered a temperature of more than 68F (20C) for the first time, prompting fears of climate instability.

It was almost two degrees higher than the previous record of 67.64 degrees set 37 years ago.

If correct, it will beat the previous record high temperature on non-mainland Antarctica of 19.8°C (67.64°F), which was taken on Signy Island in January 1982.

The penguin-tormenting high temperature was recorded at 1 p.m. on February 9 by Brazilian scientists on Seymour Island, where it is now the summer season for the Southern Hemisphere.

Scientists on the Brazilian Antarctic programme said: "We have climatic changes in the atmosphere, which is closely related to changes in permafrost and the ocean".

The new record should not be directly conflated with climate change, which should be understood as a long-term trend rather than a one-off data point.

However, the fact that Antarctica, the icy continent is witnessing temperatures in the 20s will only add fuel to the scare of the planet warming situation.

Cerveny said the unusually high temperature was likely due, in the short term, to a rapid warming of air coming down from a mountain slope.

The news came a week after Argentina's National Meteorological Service recorded the hottest day on record for Argentine Antarctica: 18.3 degrees Celsius at midday at the Esperanza base, located near the tip of the Antarctic peninsula. Previous record was 17.5 degrees which was recorded on March 24, 2015.

Why it matters: The United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has yet to confirm this is the hottest recorded temperature.



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