Antarctica Hits a Record High Temperature at 63.5 Degrees
The World Meteorological Organization announced a new record-high temperature for Antarctica on Wednesday at a staggering 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit, Reuters reported.
To show just how warm that is, the continent’s weather was the same as the temperature in Cairo, Egypt, on Wednesday, March 1, The Week found.
The new record was set on March 24, 2015 at the Esperanza Argentina research base, which is located near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
The organization came across the finding while sifting through data in an attempt to track global warming patterns.
According to Weather Underground, the record temperatures were made possible by an extreme jet stream contortion that created a strong ridge of pressure over the peninsula, and in turn drew in warm air from South America towards the continent.
The previous record for the broader Antarctic region (anywhere south of 60 degrees latitude) was 67.6 degrees Fahrenheit, set on January 30 of 1982 on Signy Island in the South Atlantic, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, the warmest recorded temperature on the Antarctic plateau (anywhere above 2,500 meters), was 19.4 degrees Fahrenheit, set on December 28, 1980.
Climate change has been affecting Antarctica for several years, with a study from the University of Delaware in 2016 finding that the area’s Adélie penguin population could be in danger of dropping by 60 percent by the end of the decade due to rapid warming.