An iceberg floats near Two Hummock Island, Antarctica, as the peninsula registers its hottest temperature ever. [Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters]

Antarctica‘s temperature has reached a record-breaking high of more than 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit), according to a team of researchers.

“We’d never seen a temperature this high in Antarctica,” Brazilian scientist Carlos Schaefer told the AFP news agency on Friday, referring to the 20.75C (69.35F) temperature recorded on February 9 on Seymour Island, part of an archipelago off the northern tip of the continent

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The reading is almost a full degree higher than the former record of 19.83C (67.69F) taken on Signy Island in January 1982.

In a statement, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said it was aware of the report but warned that it was premature to say that

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