Antarctica Might Have Just Had Its Hottest Ever Day -- A Balmy 18 Degrees
Global warming is hitting the world's coldest places, with the Antarctic Peninsula currently hotter than Texas, measuring a record-breaking 18.3 degrees Celsius.
The temperature recorded in the northwest part of the continent on Thursday (local time) is 1.4 degrees hotter than the its hottest recorded temperature.
Argentina's National Meteorological Service said the continent's last record was 17.5 degrees on March 24, 2015.
The World Meteorological Organisation is in the process of confirming that Thursday's temperature is the highest to date.
For a comparison, on Thursday, Hobart reached a high of 21 degrees.
The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest-warming places on Earth. On Elephant Island, just slightly north of the peninsula, chinstrap penguins have suffered a 60 percent decline because of the increasing temperatures, researchers have found.
Researchers have also discovered that the average temperature there has increased by more than five degrees Fahrenheit (-15 degrees Celsius) in five decades — a rate that is five times the global average.
Just hours before the next round of Democratic presidential debates, many of the remaining contenders weighed in on the news.
Bernie Sanders tweeted that "spring weather in Antarctica is truly insane" while Tom Steyer said "it's clear we have to act on climate change."
On its website, the World Meteorological Organisation said that Antarctica has increasingly lost ice over the years. Much of that loss is because warmer ocean water has caused the ice shelves to melt.
Along the west coast of the peninsula, 87 percent of glaciers have retreated in the last 50 years, according to the organization. The majority of that retreat took place in the last 12 years.
Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier, otherwise known as the "Doomsday Glacier," has also been the source of an alarming discovery: warm water is underneath it.
As water surrounding the glacier continues to warm, it could cause the 74,000-square-mile glacier to collapse. If that were to happen, the collapse could release a mass of water that is roughly as large as Florida, and global sea levels could increase by more than three feet, scientists have warned.