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Almost 70 in Antarctica? Scientists Report a Milestone

Researchers record a temperature of nearly 70 degrees Fahrenheit
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2020 10:03 AM CST
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In this undated file photo, a penguin is seen in Antarctica during the southern hemisphere's summer season.   (AP Photo/Rodrigo Jana, File)

(Newser) – Earlier this month, researchers in Antarctica recorded a temperature of 64.9 degrees Fahrenheit, which would be a record if confirmed. Now, however, different Antarctic researchers already may have surpassed it. Brazilian scientists on Seymour Island in the Antarctic Peninsula recorded a temperature of 69.3 degrees on February 9, which would be the first time the Antarctic has gone above 20 degrees Celsius, or 68 degrees Fahrenheit, reports the Guardian. Some quick caveats: Neither temperature has yet to be confirmed by the World Meteorological Organization, and the Washington Post reports that the higher temperature may not make the cut. Among other things, the temperature gauge sits 1.5 meters above the ground, instead of the usual 2 meters, which could have impacted the reading.

Still, it nonetheless confirms that unusually warm weather hit the continent this month. "We are seeing the warming trend in many of the sites we are monitoring, but we have never seen anything like this," says Brazilian researcher Carlos Schaefer of the latest reading. He stressed that the reading is merely a "data point," per the BBC. "We can't use this to anticipate climatic changes in the future," he says. "It's simply a signal that something different is happening in that area." Still, the Guardian notes that the Antarctic Peninsula, which reaches toward South America, seems to be the "most dramatically affected" by warming temperatures, with glaciers there having retreated noticeably. (Read more Antarctica stories.)

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