- Antarctica recorded its highest temperature ever – about 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius) at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, on February 6, according to Reuters.
- The new high temperature breaks the previous record of 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit (17.5 degrees Celsius), set in 2015.
- The continent has also experienced a surge in tourism, with 56,000 people visiting Antarctica during the 2018-2019 season – a 53% increase over the past four years.
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Temperatures reached about 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius) at Esperanza Base, in Hope Bay at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, on February 6. The new high temperature breaks the previous record of 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit (17.5 degrees Celsius), set in 2015.
The temperature record comes as there are increasing concerns about ice melt on the continent, according to Reuters.
“We hear a lot about the Arctic, but this particular part of the Antarctic peninsula is warming very quickly,” World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) spokesperson Clare Nullis said on Friday in Geneva.
“The amount of ice lost annually from the Antarctic ice sheet increased at least six-fold between 1979 and 2017,” Nullis said.
“The melting from these glaciers, you know, means we are in big trouble when it comes to sea level rise.”
The Argentine research base Esperanza, on the northern tip of #Antarctic Peninsula, saw a new record temperature of 18.3°C today (old one 17.5°C on 24 March 2015), per @SMN_Argentina.
Details of previous record at https://t.co/19Un83mmHn#ClimateChange pic.twitter.com/ZKvzr765Am
— World Meteorological Organization (@WMO) February 6, 2020
Sea levels would rise by about 240 feet (73 meters) if all the glaciers in Antarctica melted, according to Time.
As Antarctica warms, tourism on the continent has reached record levels. About 56,000 people travelled to Antarctica during the 2018-2019 season, a 53% increase over the number of tourists in 2014-2015, according to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators.
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