Esperanza is at the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula, at a latitude of 63.4S, just about as far outside the Antarctic Circle as you could get.
The implication now is that “balmy” temperatures of 63F are unheard of Antarctica, which is clearly nonsense. And as we can see, monthly average temperatures in March 2015 were not in the least unusual. Indeed, the hottest March was in 1965.
So, what’s happening in Antarctica? According to Paul Homewood, the simple answer was weather. Changing wind patterns, Homewood wrote on his site, caused by the Southern Annular Mode flipping negative allowed winds to penetrate from the north. That elevated temperatures while “pushing sea ice towards the coast.” Another issue was the accuracy of the satellites, also called the margin of error. NSIDC admits on its site that calculating sea ice loss, especially in summer, can be difficult with large discrepancies. That’s because satellites have trouble distinguishing between melt ponds and ice, leading to a margin of error of plus or minus 15 percent. Accuracy is highest when the ice pack is thick and concentrated. It decreased when thin ice increased.
Glaciologist: "It's probably just simply a natural event that's just been waiting around to happen." - 'This is not just another sad climate change story. It's more complicated.' 'This is probably not directly attributable to any warming in the region'