The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has adjusted the highest temperature record measured on the continent of Antarctica downwards. The highest temperature is now 18.3 degrees Celsius, which was measured on February 6, 2020 at an Argentine station. A possible record, 20.8 degrees, measured elsewhere on February 9, 2020 was rejected because the measuring station in question proved unreliable.
The old record for the entire continent was measured on March 24, 2015 and was 17.5 degrees Celsius. The average annual temperatures in Antarctica are -10 degrees off the coast to -60 degrees inland. The temperature records come from islands outside the mainland. The new highest temperature has been observed at the Argentine Arctic Station Esperanza.
This temperature data, according to the WMO, is important to get a good picture of the South Pole climate.
Only limited weather measurements are made at both poles, whereas according to the WMO, these have a tremendous impact on, for example, sea level rise. The ice layer on the continent is 4.8 kilometres thick and contains 90 percent of the freshwater on the planet. If all of this melted, the global soap level could rise by 60 meters.
The rejected record was observed by an automated Brazilian station on Seymour Island. Project staff at the station had to improvise a radiation shield because they lost the original shield. This improvised shield, which is different from the standard shields used, considers measured temperatures at the station to be invalid and rejected the old temperature record.