Temperature Extreme of 17.5°C Recorded in Antarctic Continent
Researchers at World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have announced new records for the highest temperatures recorded in the Antarctic Region.
A record high temperature 17.5°C (63.5°F) was recorded at Experanza base, an Argentine research base near the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula. The temperature extreme was recorded on March 24, 2015, WMO reported after reviewing data around Antarctica as part of its “continuing efforts to expand a database of extreme weather and climate conditions throughout the world.”
The highest temperature for the “Antarctica Region” (defined by the WMO and United Nations as all land and ice south of 60°S) of 19.8 degrees Celsius (67.6 degrees Fahrenheit) was observed on 30 January 1982 at Signy Research Station, Borge Bay on Signy Island.
The highest temperature for the “Antarctic continent” defined as the main continental landmass and adjoining islands is the temperature extreme of 17.5°C (63.5°F) recorded on 24 March 2015 at the Argentine Research Base Esperanza located near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Thirdly, the highest temperature for the Antarctic Plateau [at or above 2500 meters (8202 feet)] was the observation of -7.0°C (19.4°F) made on 28 December 1980 at an Automatic Weather Station (AWS) site D-80 located inland of the Adélie Coast.
The lowest temperature yet recorded by ground measurements for the Antarctic Region, and for the whole world, was −89.2°C (-128.6°F) at Vostok station on 21 July 1983.
Antarctica in 6 Seconds
- Area: 14 million km2 (about twice the size of Australia)
- Climate: Cold, windy and dry.
- Average annual temperature: Ranges from about −10°C on the Antarctic coast to −60°C at the highest parts of the interior.
- Ice sheet: Up to 4.8km thick, contains 90% of the world’s fresh water.
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. Some 87% of glaciers along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula have retreated in the last 50 years with most of these showing an accelerated retreat in the last 12 years.