In news that should worry anyone with any understanding of science, Antarctica has registered its hottest temperature since records began, according to Argentina’s meteorological agency.
The Esperanza base registered the highest temperature for the month of February since 1971 and reported a record of 18.3°C at one site on Thursday, beating the previous high by 0.8°C. The World Meteorological Organization is going to set up an expert panel to verify the finding.
The fact that the record has been set so soon after the previous record in March 2015 suggests warming in Antarctica is happening at a far faster rate than the global average.
Dr Steve Rintoul, a leading oceanographer, had this to say:
This is a record from only a single station, but it is in the context of what’s happening elsewhere and is more evidence that as the planet warms we get more warm records and fewer cold records.
These records are worrying and not to be celebrated. Time is running out.