Antarctica May Have Hit Its Highest Temperature Ever

Readings at 2 separate stations reportedly reached the low 60s
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2015 12:25 PM CDT
Antarctica May Have Hit Its Highest Temperature Ever
Gentoo penguins stand on rocks near the Chilean station Bernardo O'Higgins, Antarctica, on Jan. 22, 2015.   (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

A recently published study and two weather station readings suggest that Antarctica may be exhibiting the effects of global warming, the Guardian reports. A March 24 reading at the Esperanza Base south of Argentina registered a balmy 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than 30 degrees above average for that time of year and may be the highest temp ever recorded on the continent, the Weather Underground blog notes. The nearby Marambio Base had registered a record high of 63.3 degrees the day before, per the Guardian.

Also worrisome, though not conclusive: a study in Science that indicates a 70% increase in the loss of western Antarctic ice-shelf volume over a 10-year period, while ice gains on eastern Antarctic shelves ground to a halt, the Guardian notes. However, researchers aren't ready quite yet to definitively point the finger. "While it is fair to say that we're seeing the ice shelves responding to climate change, we don't believe there is enough evidence to directly relate recent ice-shelf losses specifically to changes in global temperature," a University of California-San Diego glaciologist tells Reuters UK. (Scientists recently made a big find regarding what may be melting the Antarctic ice.)

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