The world's greatest store of ice, Antarctica has seen its highest temperature reading in history.
The temperatures of 20.seven-five degrees Celsius were recorded on an island just off the Antarctic Peninsula on February 9th this year, passing the milestone of 20 degrees Celsius for the first time.
Scientists from a research base on Seymour Island located off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula announced the news on Thursday.
The reading is almost a full degree higher than the previous record,19.8 degrees Celsius, which was recorded on Signy Island back in January 1982.
The World Meteorological Organization is currently reviewing the reading to decide if it qualifies as the continent's hottest temperature on record.
Scientists on Seymour Island said the new record temperature is "incredible" and "abnormal".
They also said the temperatures on the peninsula and nearby islands have been erratic over the past 20 years, falling in the first decade of the 21st century, and then rapidly rising after that.
One of the scientists said that the temperatures appear to be influenced by shifts in ocean currents as well as El Nino events, and that it's a sign that something different is happening in the area.
The scientists warned that the temperature recorded on January 9th is a one-off and has no meaning in terms of a climate-change trend.
But the news is fueling concerns in the media about global warming, especially as the news comes on the same day the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced
that in the 141 years since records began, there has never been a warmer January than this year.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.