If these temperatures are verified, they could be a new record for the region and a dangerous indicator of climate change
An Argentinian research station on the northern tip of Antarctica has reported temperatures of 64.9 degrees which would beat the highest temperature recorded in the region, according to the World Meteorological Organization, the U.N.'s weather agency. According to Argentina's national weather service, the Esperanza base recorded 18.3 degrees Celsius (64.9 Fahrenheit) on Thursday, which would top the former record of 17.5 degrees tallied in March 2015.
“Everything we have seen thus far indicates a likely legitimate record but we will of course begin a formal evaluation of the record once we have full data from SMN [the acronym for Argentina's national weather service] and on the meteorological conditions surrounding the event,” said WMO’s Weather and Climate Extremes rapporteur, Randal Cerveny.
“The record appears to be likely associated (in the short term) with what we call a regional ‘foehn’ event over the area,” Cerveny said, defining a 'foehn' as a rapid warming of air coming down a slope or mountain.
Esperanza base is notable for having the first human birth on Antarctica. According to Atlas Obscura
Despite being a simple, civilian town that serves as home to only 10 families, Esperanza takes on an appearance similar to the serious military bases strewn about the snow. A smattering of bland, military-esque buildings (43 in all) are scattered around the settlement, no sign of outside activity seen, and with only one month out of the year delivering temperatures below freezing, none should be expected.
It is here in Esperanza that Antarctica welcomed its very first official native in 1978, when a baby named Emilio Palma came into the cold, cold world—the son of a naval officer and his wife, Palma was the first human life to begin in a brutal corner of the world that has ended more than its share. A local cemetery houses the remains of several of the explorers who perished nearby.
The WMO says that the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly heating regions in the world, rising to 3 degrees Celsius over the last half century, with around 87 percent of the glaciers in retreat during that time.