There is a new high temperature record for the continent of Antarctica. On Friday, Feb. 6, the weather station at Esperanza Base, on the Antarctic Peninsula, recorded a high temperature of 64.9 degrees, beating the record of 63.5 degrees set just five years ago. The temperature record at Esperanza dates back to 1961. The Antarctic Peninsula is the part of the Antarctic continent shaped like a tail that points northward toward South America, so it has a milder, more marine climate than the central part of the continent.

Although much of the interior of Antarctica has shown little or no warming in recent decades, the outer, coastal parts of Antarctica have been warming significantly as the southern oceans have warmed. If it seems odd that a continental record high temperature would be broken during February, remember that Antarctica is in the Southern Hemisphere, so this is the equivalent of August in our half of the world.