Feb 7, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Antarctica hits its warmest temperature in recorded history

The sun shines over China's Kunlun Station in Antarctica in 2019. Photo: Liu Shiping/Xinhua via Getty Images

Argentina's Esperanza Base on Antarctica's Trinity Peninsula reached 65°F (18.3°C) on Thursday, notching the continent's warmest temperature in recorded history, per the World Meteorological Organization.

Why it matters: Antarctica is one of the globe's fastest-warming regions with temperatures rising 5°F (2.8°C) in the past 50 years, spurring the retreat of 87% of the glaciers along the Antarctic peninsula's west coast, the Washington Post reports.

  • The continent's last record-breaking temperature of 63.5°F (17.5°C) was recorded in the same location — near the peninsula's northernmost tip — on March 24, 2015.

Worth noting: The WMO referred to the temperature reading as "a likely record" as it still has to be officially reviewed and certified.

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