Scientists believe global warming is affecting Antarctica at the same rate as the rest of the planet, contradicting earlier studies that suggested the coldest continent was getting cooler.
Climate scientists had puzzled over Antarctica, believing that while some parts of the continent like the Antarctic peninsula had been warming up, the vast interior was getting cooler.
Tracking temperature trends across the cold and barren continent is difficult.
Long term weather records are limited, but scientists in the United States used them in conjunction with more recent satellite data to calculate half a century of records for the entire continent.
Their results, published in the journal Nature, show that western Antarctica is warming a lot faster than had been thought, at a rate of about 0.1 degrees Celsius every decade.
Eastern Antarctica is cooler, but overall the continent is getting warmer, mirroring the rest of the planet.
The scientists believe warmer sea temperatures and winds are behind the warming trend.