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Photo: Gallo Images/Orbital Horizon/Copernicus Sentinel Data 2021

The World Meteorological Organization confirmed this week that temperatures in Antarctica reached a new record high in 2020.

By the numbers: The continent reached 64.94 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 Celsius) in February of last year, compared to the previous record of 63.5 degrees (17.5 Celsius) recorded in 2015. Both temperatures were recorded at the Argentine Esperanza Research Station. 

  • WMO also explained that a previously recorded temperature of 69.35 degrees Fahrenheit (20.75 Celsius) was incorrect.
  • The organization said there was a large high-pressure system in the area where the temperature was recorded, which created downslope winds that resulted in local warming.

What they're saying: "The Antarctic Peninsula (the northwest tip near to South America) is among the fastest warming regions of the planet, almost 3°C over the last 50 years. This new temperature record is therefore consistent with the climate change we are observing," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

  • "Verification of this maximum temperature record is important because it helps us to build up a picture of the weather and climate in one of Earth’s final frontiers," Taalas added.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 2, 2021 - Energy & Environment

There's no outrunning the risks of climate-fueled weather

Expand chart
Data: FEMA; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Some regions of the U.S. are safer from climate-fueled extreme weather events than others, but no region will be untouched, especially as greenhouse gases keep building up in the atmosphere.

The big picture: The map above shows major disasters declared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the past two decades — a snapshot that ranges from hurricanes and severe storms to wildfires and drought.

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden lays out $1.75 trillion "framework" before Europe departure

President Biden in Kearny, N.J., on Oct. 25. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

President Biden announced Thursday a "framework" for $1.75 trillion in social program and climate change spending after failing in prior efforts to win over his fellow Democrats on a much broader and costlier package.

Why it matters: Biden is gambling that by proclaiming the broad contours of the proposal, which he immediately began selling in a meeting with House Democrats before jetting off to Europe, progressives will vote for his $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan if and when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brings it to the floor.

Economy slows in third quarter amid Delta variant

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy increased at an annual rate of 2% in the third quarter, the Department of Commerce said Thursday.

Driving the news: The gross domestic product figures for July through September come in much lower than the 6.7% increase in the second quarter, reflecting the "continued economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis at the Department of Commerce.

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