The news follows a similarly worrying record broken just days beforehand, when Argentinian scientists logged the hottest temperature ever on the continental Antarctic peninsula - which is not classed as the same area of Antarctica that Seymour Island is part of - reporting a reading of 18.3°C at Esperanza Base, a research station in Hope Bay.
This is the first time the temperature on the continent has exceeded 20 degrees C (68 F), the researchers told news site AFP.com, but not the first time the continent has seen a new record-breaking high this month. Speaking to The Guardian, which first broke the news, Carlos Schaefer, a Brazilian government scientist who studies permafrost in Antarctica, described the new record as "incredible and abnormal".
Last month was the hottest January on record, surpassing a previous high recorded in 2016, the U.S. climate service said on Thursday.
The reading was taken Thursday at an Argentine research base and still needs to be verified by the World Meteorological Organization.
The penguin-tormenting high temperature was recorded at 1 p.m. on February 9 by Brazilian scientists on Seymour Island, where it is now the summer season for the Southern Hemisphere.
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"We can't use this to anticipate climatic changes in the future".
Cerveny said the unusually high temperature was likely due, in the short term, to a rapid warming of air coming down from a mountain slope. Further, they reportedly said that the rising temperature figure is not something that would be normal in Antarctica, not even in summers.
However, the fact that Antarctica, the icy continent is witnessing temperatures in the 20s will only add fuel to the scare of the planet warming situation.
Accelerating melt-off from glaciers and especially ice sheets in Antarctica is helping drive sea level rises, threatening coastal megacities and small island nations.