Antarctica, the coldest and most barren land on earth may have set an unusual record on the 24th of March. No, we aren’t talking about the coldest day, lowest wind chill reading or even the biggest snowfall, but an Argentine research station, known as Base Esperanza, recorded a temperature of 63.5 degrees fahrenheit! This is a shocking reading that, if confirmed after an investigation, will be the warmest temp ever recorded on the icy continent by more than 4 degrees from the previous official record which was taken all the way back in 1974.
That means that uninhabitable Antarctica was warmer than the United Kingdom and many parts of the United States where millions call home. Maybe it’s time that we all move south. The occurrence on the 24th wasn’t a one time, fluke event either – just one day earlier an almost equal reading that came in at 63.3 was taken from the same station.
The World Meteorological Organization keeps track of all global temperature records. In order for the record to be verified, the WMO has to prove that the equipment at the Esperanza was working properly at the time of recording – a process that, reportedly, could take months to complete. This record is especially odd for another reason, and a little concerning because it’s currently fall in the Antarctic region. The warmest temperatures typically come months earlier, especially around December.
Esperanza is located on the Antarctic Peninsula, which scientists claim is one of the most rapidly warming areas on the planet. Temperatures on the peninsula are rising at at nearly twice the current global rate. Warm days like this can only mean one thing – more ice melting and rising sea levels.
This new potential record temperature comes at quite an interesting time, just days after a new report claimed that during this decade the Antarctic ice shelf is melting at three times the rate of the previous ten year span.
Looking at the string of balmy, sunshine filled days that Antarctica has been having over the last week makes it pretty easy to see how the ice could disappear at such an alarming rate.