ESPERANZA BASE, Argentina, March 30 (UPI) -- Global warming continues to have its most pronounced effects on Earth's polar regions. Last week in Antarctica, those effects set a new record.
On March 24, temperatures on the southern continent reached the low 60s, according to reports from Weather Underground. Thermometers at Argentina's Esperanza Base, on the northern tip of Trinity Peninsula, recorded a high of 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
The high is believed to be an all-time record, beating out the high from just a day prior, at Argentina's Marambio Base, where thermometers recorded a high of 63.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
Neither of the highs have been verified by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), but Argentina has confirmed their authenticity. Until officials at WMO confirm the new record, Antarctica's all-time high remains the 59 degrees Fahrenheit reading at the now-abandoned Vanda Station on Jan. 5, 1974.
The legitimacy of the new record likely won't come down to the accuracy of the thermometers -- although equipment will have to be verified -- but of the location of the high.
WMO climatologists have to decide whether Argentina's two bases qualify geographically-speaking -- whether their positioning on the outskirts of the continent qualify the temperatures as more representative of Antarctica or of Argentina.
"Although this is the warmest temperature ever measured since weather stations became established on the southern continent, it is complicated by what the very definition of 'Antarctica' is," Weather Underground blogger Christopher C. Burt explained in a recent post.