A seal swims by icebergs off the British Antarctic Survey's Rothera base January 23, 2009. Reuters/Alister Doyle

More than 260 people have applied for a job of handling responsibilities at a post office in Antarctica. The site, situated in Port Lockroy, on Goudier Island in the Antarctic Peninsula, is administered by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust.

The key responsibilities of the job include looking after historic buildings and helping in the operations of the world’s most southerly public post office. Four people will be selected for the role to spend five months on the continent.

As many as 265 people from all over the world – including Australia, New Zealand, the US, China, Spain, Germany, Belgium, France and Italy – have bid for the job, according to a spokeswoman for the trust. Applicants are required to have high fitness levels and a “practical knowledge of minimum impact living.”

“As well as a passion for Antarctica, successful team members will need a can-do attitude, a good level of physical fitness, environmental awareness and a practical knowledge of minimum impact living,” she said. The interviews for the role will be held in May this year. The chosen applicants will meet in Cambridge in October, where they will undergo a week’s training. They will finally depart for the southernmost continent in early November.

Lauren Luscombe, Antarctic operations manager for the trust, said many of the applicants who have applied have travelled to Port Lockroy previously. "We are also seeing a higher percentage of applications from people from all walks of life - seasoned expedition leaders but also individuals who are looking for a change of direction too - those who having held a long-term passion for Antarctica are now in a position to turn that passion into a reality by applying to work at Port Lockroy next season,” she said.

Meanwhile, Antarctica experienced its warmest temperature on record, with mercury levels reaching 17.2 degrees Celsius. Although the temperature was measured at an Argentinean research station at Antarctica’s northern tip in March 2015, it was until recently the measurements were verified. This beats the previous highest of 15 degrees Celsius, recorded at Vanda Station, Antarctica, in January 1974.

However, the highest temperature in the Antarctic region is 19.7 degrees Celsius, recorded on Signy Island in January 1982. The region has also been witness to the coldest temperature recorded anywhere on earth – negative 88 degrees Celsius, set in 1983.

At the same time, Antarctica’s sea ice extent has dropped to a record minimum of 2,106,000 square kilometres this month. This follows reports that the volume of ice is rapidly diminishing in the Arctic at the North Pole.