Antarctica has registered a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius) – the highest ever to be recorded.
The reading, which is currently being verified by the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO), was taken by research station Esperanza.
The last record temperature of 17.5 degrees Celsius was logged back in March 2015, but average temperatures on the continent have increased by almost three degrees Celsius over the past 50 years.
According to the BBC, Clare Nullis, a spokesperson for the WMO said: “[This] is not a figure you would normally associate with Antarctica, even in the summertime.
“The amount of ice lost annually from the Antarctic ice sheet increased at least six-fold between 1979 and 2017. The melting from these glaciers, you know, means we are in big trouble when it comes to sea-level rise.”
WMO will now investigate whether the temperature recorded was due to a weather phenomenon commonly referred to as a ‘foehn’ – a ‘type of dry, warm, down-slope wind that occurs in the lee of a mountain range’. It is a rain shadow wind that results from the subsequent adiabatic warming of air that has dropped most of its moisture on windward slopes.