The media has widely disseminated the information in recent days: the "South Pole" has broken an absolute heat record with, and it is very precise, 20.75 ° C. Specifically on Seymour Island, north of the Antarctic Peninsula, ultimately far from the true South Pole. An extremely questionable value.

This very (too?) Precise temperature of 20.75 ° C would have been reached on February 9 on a Brazilian weather base on Seymour Island. Which poses a problem. There is no Brazilian weather station on the island! The official weather station is the Marambio base, Argentina station where the thermometer effectively displayed a high value with 15.5 ° C, far from the announced 20.75 ° C, and a chouia less than three days earlier since it has is 15.8 degrees on February 6.

But then where does this value of 20.75 ° C come from? Of a group of Brazilian scientists indeed, located near the station of Marambio. These scientists, geologists and not meteorologists or climatologists, then measured the temperature of 20.75 ° C using a probe-thermometer located in the open air, and not under shelter, probe therefore exposed to solar radiation. A non-homologable and erroneous value therefore. For a temperature to be approved, it must be taken under cover, that is to say in a ventilated white shelter, not exposed to the sun and neither to the wind, located at head height , about 1.50m to 1.80m.


Fake news, intox, infox, in short, this value does not hold water. Despite the mild weather of the past few days on the Antarctic Peninsula, the absolute record heat for the icy continent remains 19.8 ° C on January 30, 1982 on Signy Island in the South Orkney Islands.

And to return to reality, it made up to 18.4 ° C on the Argentinian base of Esperanza, new monthly record for all Antarctica, beating well the 16.2 ° C of February 26, 1974 on the Signy Island. Records of nighttime sweetness have also fallen in recent days. This figure of 18.4 ° C is therefore the value to retain. It is already exceptional since it sets a new absolute record for the month of February in Antarctica!

- Frederic Decker, meteorologist - - Translation by Google -

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