Last week, Base Esperanza, an Argentine research station in Antarctica, might have recorded the continent’s warmest temperature ever on record, 63.5° F, Weather Underground reported.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has not yet certified that the temperature is a continental record though, because there is debate over whether the the location of Base Esperanza is technically part of Antarctica. The research station lies on a peninsula just north of the Antarctic Circle, or the 66th parallel, which is considered a line of demarcation for continental Antarctica.
Regardless of its official location, the temperature recorded at Esperanza is the warmest “observed on the Antarctic landmass or Peninsula,” Weather Underground said. The temperature is also surprising because it occurred in autumn, well after the usual warmest months in the Antarctic Peninsula.
“According to [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration], December is typically the warmest month in Esperanza, with an average high temperature of 37.8° F. The March average high temperature is 31.3° F, so temperatures on [March 24] were more than 30° F above average.”
Last Tuesday’s temperature broke a record set the day before at another Argentine research station, Base Marambio — located on a small islet just off the Antarctic Peninsula, which recorded a temperature of 63.3° F. The previous highest-recorded temperatures at Esperanza and Marambio were 62.7° F and 61.7° F, respectively. The WMO lists the warmest temperature for continental Antarctica as 59° F, recorded at Vanda Station in January, 1974.
The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most-rapidly warming areas on Earth. Between 1900 and 2011, the Earth as a whole warmed by 1.3° F while the peninsula warmed by 5° F, “faster than 99.7% of any other given 100-year period in the last 2000 years.”
As Weather Underground pointed out, since 2010, 46 nations or territories have set or tied all-time record-high temperatures, while just four have set all-time cold temperature records. In addition to the record temperatures recorded at Esperanza and Marambio, four other locations have already set or tied record highs in 2015: Equatorial Guinea, 95.9° F; Ghana, 109.4° F; Wallis and Futuna Territory, 95.9° F; and Samoa, 97.7° F.
With so much data proving that climate change is real, it is amazing that so many still try to deny its existence.