BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA -- Argentine Antarctica had its hottest day on record Thursday since readings began, the National Meteorological Service said.

Temperatures climbed to 18.3 degrees Celsius (64.9 degrees Fahrenheit) at midday at the research station Esperanza base, the highest temperature on record since 1961, according to the meteorological service.

The previous record stood at 17.5 degrees on March 24, 2015.

Argentina has had a presence in Antarctica for the past 114 years, including several scientific research bases, and is also a signatory of the Antarctic Treaty, which came into force in June 1961 and prohibits any militarization of the continent.

Accelerating melt-off from glaciers and especially ice sheets in Antarctica is helping drive sea level rises, threatening coastal megacities and small island nations.

At Argentina's Marambio base, temperatures reached 14.1 degrees Celsius on Thursday, the hottest temperature for a day in February since 1971. The previous record occurred on February 24, 2013, when temperatures reached 13.8 degrees.