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October 4, 2020, 11.12 AM

SANTIAGO, – The year 2020 is the hottest in the Antarctic Peninsula in the past three decades indicating the rapid rate of ocean warming, a study by the University of Santiago de Chile out Friday found.

Temperatures between January and August in the Antarctic Peninsula reached between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius (35.6 and 37.4 degrees Fahrenheit), according to researchers at the Chilean Air Force's Frei Base on King George Island.

The peninsula is the northernmost part of mainland Antarctica.

Those temperatures are "more than 2 degrees Celsius over typical values", climatologist Raul Cordero said in a statement released by the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH).

Read also: Sink or Swim as Rising Sea Levels to Reach 40cm by 2100

"In the far northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, the average maximum temperature so far this year has been above 0 degrees. This had not happened for 31 years," Cordero added.

He called that fact "alarming", since it could indicate the accelerating rate of ocean warming observed in the area at the end of the 20th century is resuming.

Read also: This Year's Extreme Weather Consistent with Worsening Climate Change

The high Southern Hemisphere winter temperatures are in contrast, however, with those registered between August and September, which reached -16.8 degrees Celsius, the lowest since 1970.

The Antarctic Peninsula is the northernmost part of Antarctica, where there are scientific and military bases from several countries, including Argentina, Chile and Britain. 

(Writer & Editor: MSA/MDL/BFM, Agence France-Presse)  


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