An Argentine research base near the Northern tip of Antarctica has reported a record heat temperature of 63.5°F (17°C).
The U.N weather agency set the record temperature back in March 24, 2015 and after the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reviewed the data around Antarctica; they set benchmarks to help track future global warming and natural variations.
“Verification of maximum and minimum temperatures help us to build up a picture of the weather and climate in one of Earth’s final frontiers,” said Michael Sparrow, a polar expert with the WMO co-sponsored World Climate Research Program.
Antarctica and other major sea ice stores 90% of the world’s fresh water as ice. If it all melts it would raise sea levels by 60 meters (196 feet). This is a major issue for ecosystems and the various animal species that rely on this ice for survival, not to mention that it would devastate coastal communities.
And the warmest temperature recorded on the Antarctic plateau, above 2,500 meters (8,202 feet), was -7.0°C (19.4°F) on Dec. 28, 1980, it said.
Wednesday’s WMO report only examined the highs.
The lowest temperature set anywhere on the planet was a numbing -89.2°C (-128.6°F) at the Soviet Union’s Vostok station in central Antarctica on July 21, 1983.
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