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Second-highest Antarctic (continent) Temperature Verified

On 23 March 2015 an automatic weather station established by the Czech Republic on Davies Dome in the northern part of Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island recorded a temperature of 17.9°C (64.2°F). A panel of polar meteorology experts from the Czech Republic, Argentina, Spain, Morocco, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States carefully examined the data involved with the Davies Dome observation to determine if its observation would be the new accepted record for continental highest temperature of the Antarctic Region. That 2015 Davies Dome observation was recorded a day before the current WMO accepted record of 17.5°C (63.5°F) was observed at Esperanza Base (Argentina) in the same general location in the Antarctic Region.

After an extensive assessment, it was the unanimous recommendation of the WMO committee that the Davies Dome observation be adjusted down to 17.0°C ± 0.2°C (62.6°F ± 0.4°F) and that the Davies Dome observation be accepted as the « second highest » temperature recorded in the Antarctic Region (continent only). This recommendation follows a detailed discussion by the committee of the probability that the station experienced solar radiation bias on the temperature-recording instrument at the time of the record observation. In simple terms, the committee suggested that the temperature sensor at Davies Dome was heated to around 0.9°C (1.6°F) above the true air temperature by a combination of high solar radiation (coming both directly from the sun and also reflected from the underlying ice surface) and low wind speed.