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Antarctica Just Hit 65 Degrees, Shattering Its Old Record for Warmest Temperature

Just a few days after earth officially clocked in its warmest January on record, scientists have announced that Antarctica hit 65 degrees. The read was taken on Esperanza Base along Antarctica’s Trinity Peninsula and sets a new record for the warmest temperature ever recorded on the normally frigid continent.

The old record was 63.5 degrees, which was taken back in March of 2015. An extra degree and a half may not seem like a lot, but it’s a dramatic leap for a continent with an average temperature that has climbed by five degrees in the last 50 years.

“[This record] doesn’t come as any surprise,” wrote Eric Steig, a glaciologist who studies climate change at the University of Washington, according to the Washington Post. “Although there is decade-to-decade variability, the underlying trend across most of the continent is warming.”

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Steig says he expects this new record will be broken again in no time. “That warming has been particularly fast on the Antarctic Peninsula — where Esperanza is — in summer (the season [they’re] now in),” Steig wrote. “So we can expect these sorts of records to be set again and again, even if they aren’t set every single year.”

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