A frozen section of the Ross Sea at the Scott Base in Antarctica on November 12, 2016.
Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images
Antarctica just broke its hottest temperature ever recorded at 64.9 degrees Fahrenheit as climate change continues to accelerate, according to measurements from an Argentinian research station thermometer.
The reading was taken at the Esperanza Base along Antarctica’s Trinity Peninsula on Thursday. It beats the continent’s previous record of 63.5 degrees tallied in March 2015, and comes shortly after the Earth saw its hottest January on record and hottest decade on record in the 2010s.
Scientists say that they see no end to the way climate change continues to shatter temperature records across the world, including in Antarctica, which is one of the fastest-warming regions in the world.
Antarctica’s record-breaking temperature has not yet been verified by the World Meteorological Organization (WHO), which will have a committee confirm the new Esperanza record.
“Everything we have seen thus far indicates a likely legitimate record, but we will of course begin a formal evaluation of the record once we have full data from SMN and on the meteorological conditions surrounding the event,” said WMO’s Weather and Climate Extremes rapporteur Randall Cerveny.
Research shows that Antarctica’s glaciers are rapidly melting as the planet warms, releasing enough water to significantly raise global sea levels. The amount of ice lost each year from the Antarctic ice sheet increased at least six-fold between 1979 and 2017, according to the WHO.
Roughly 87% of glaciers along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula have retreated over the last half-century, with most showing an accelerated retreat in the last 12 years. The Peninsula is expected to see additional extreme warmth in the upcoming days.
Ice floats near the coast of West Antarctica as viewed from a window of a NASA Operation IceBridge airplane on October 28, 2016 in-flight over Antarctica.
Mario Tama | Getty Images