Scientists stunned by 40C temperature rise in eastern Antarctica

Temperatures soared from the low minus 50s to just below minus 20 last week Credit: AP

ITV News Weather Presenter Alex Beresford breaks down what the astonishing temperature changes means for Antarctica

Scientists have been left stunned by unprecedented record-breaking temperatures in the Antarctic, which has experienced a period of warm weather.

For three days temperatures have been 40C above average in eastern Antarctica.  

The average daytime high is around minus 53C, but in Vostok at the end of last week it shot up to minus 17.7C.

Credit: AP

By our standards in the UK that would be considered an extreme temperature, but in this region that's warm and understandably worrying. 

Records in the Antarctic date back 65 years and whilst temperature swings aren't uncommon they've never been this big and it's certainly stopped climate scientists in their tracks.

Of course, it begs the question; is this further evidence of Climate Change?

We're living in a warming world and it's well documented that climate experts forecast extreme events like this are likely to become more common and we know that ice sheets in both the Antarctic and Arctic have noticeably reduced.

However this unthinkable warmth is the first of its kind and therefore an isolated event, but it could be the start of something worrying.