South Pole warming three times faster than rest of Earth

James Marshall
June 30, 2020

The research was carried out by an worldwide team of scientists who examined weather station data, gridded observations and climate models to assess the impact of global warming at the South Pole.

Dr Kyle Clem, a researcher at Victoria University of Wellington, and lead study author, said: "While temperatures were known to be warming across West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula during the 20th century, the South Pole was cooling".

The team found that several of the South Pole's warmest years correlated with unusually warm temperatures in the tropics, and almost 20 percent of the temperature variations at the South Pole across the period studied could be linked to ocean temperatures in that region.

The South Pole warmed by roughly 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit per decade over the past three decades, the study 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.

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. "We found this is not the case any more", he told AFP.

The data showed that the South Pole - the most remote spot on Earth - was now warming at a rate of around 0.6C (1.1F) a decade, compared with around 0.2C (0.4F) for the rest of the planet.

The study was recently published in Nature Climate Change journal.

A "negative" state, conversely, is where the temperature anomaly is reversed. Researchers have argued that human made climate change has worked together with the natural shifts to bring about one of the strongest warming trends on the planet.

"Our study reveals extreme and abrupt climate shifts are part of the climate of Antarctica's interior".

"Over the full range of all possible 30-year trends in climate models without anthropogenic greenhouse gases, the observed warming lies in the upper 0.1 per cent, meaning it is extremely rare and that the recent warming was probably pushed to such an extreme level by anthropogenic forcing".

"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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