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Czech station registers record high temperature in the Antarctic

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Brno, Feb 22 (CTK) – A Czech automatic measuring station operated by Brno’s Masaryk University seems to have registered the record highest temperature in Antarctica, 17.8 degrees Celsius, in March 2015, the experts who collected the annual measurement results during their recent expedition, said on Monday.

“Thereby we confirm that the global climate change concerns the whole world, including Antarctica,” climatologist Kamil Laska told journalists on Monday.

At the same time, however, the air warming has been in recent years partly compensated by an increase in snowfall. The recession of icebergs in Antarctica is not as dramatic as the rising air temperature may indicate, Laska said.

The record will be internationally recognised after the measuring devices are checked and the data are published in the relevant journals.

Apart from the record temperature, the Czech experts discovered an unknown bacteria species at their recent expedition. They named it Pseudomonas gregormendeli, after Johann Gregor Mendel, the Czech-born 19th-century founder of modern genetics.

The fresh discovery will appear in the Current Microbiology journal soon, Marcel Kosina, one of the Czech researchers, told journalists.

Experts from the Masaryk University annually spend the season at the Czech polar base on the James Ross Island. They have several automatic temperature measuring stations in the base’s surroundings.

The record temperature was registered by a station on the top of the Davies Dome iceberg in the altitude over 500 metres above the sea, on March 23, 2015 afternoon.

One day later, Argentinian experts reportedly registered 17.5 degrees Celsius in another locality.

Such air temperatures are rare in Antarctica. Most frequently, they occur in the Antarctic Peninsula area where the temperature of air has risen most of all in the past 50 years, the experts said.

They have focused their Antarctic research on climate change for several years. During the latest expedition, for example, they installed new devices to monitor changes in the permafrost, or permanently frozen subsoil.

Six experts participated in this year’s expedition that lasted 30 days and ended last week.

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