South Pole is Warming Three Times Faster Than the Rest of the Earth

James Marshall
July 1, 2020

While the general picture of global warming shows a regular rise in overall temperatures, some parts of the Earth are heating faster than others, with the Arctic a prime example.

Researchers in New Zealand, Britain and the United States analysed 60 years of weather station data and used computer modelling to show what was causing the accelerated warming.

The South Pole has been warming at more than three times the global average over the past 30 years, a new study has found.

The warm ocean temperatures in the western tropical Pacific Ocean lowers atmospheric over the Weddell Sea, which drives warm air towards the South Pole. These factored in the concentrations of greenhouse gases over the 30-year period, and allowed the team to compare the rate of warming to all possible warming trends that would have occurred naturally without human activity.

"This highlights that global warming is global and it's making its way to these remote places", said Kyle Clem, postdoctoral research fellow in Climate Science at the University of Wellington, and lead author of the study. While the surrounding areas warmed up throughout the late 20th century, the South Pole actually cooled until the 1980s.

"This study clearly demonstrates that the remoteness of a region is no barrier to it being susceptible to rapid climate change", said study co-author Gareth Marshall of the British Antarctic Survey in a statement.

A "negative" state, conversely, is where the temperature anomaly is reversed.

The IPO flipped to a negative cycle at the start of the century, driving greater convection and more pressure extremes at high latitudes, leading to a strong flow of warmer air right over the South Pole.

As well as rising temperatures driven by increases in greenhouse gases, the study found the warming was also driven by natural climate variability.

Dr Clem added the 1.83C (3.3F) level of warming exceeded 99.99 percent of all modelled 30-year warming trends.

"These will likely continue into the future, working to either hide human-induced warming or intensify it when natural warming processes and the human greenhouse effect work in tandem".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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