The South pole has warmed three times faster than the rest of the planet

In recent decades the South pole has warmed three times stronger than the entire planet on average. According to the researchers, who published an article in Nature Climate Change, such a strong warming was the result of strong cyclonic anomaly in the Weddell sea.

The average temperature of the Earth is beginning, at least since the 1880-ies. During the past century, our planet has warmed about 0.6 degrees Celsius, but this process was uneven for different regions. Especially sensitive to changes in climate in the polar areas, because glaciers reflect sunlight, and melting leads to a decrease in surface albedo and, consequently, heat.

Kyle Clem (Clem R. Kyle) from Victoria University of Wellington, along with colleagues analyzed the records made 20 meteorological stations in Antarctica, including the southern-most Observatory in the world, station Amundsen-Scott. In 2018, she recorded a record high temperature that was 2.4 degrees Celsius above average over the last three decades. Analysis of data from 1957 to 2018 showed that since 1988 the region has seen extremely strong warming with an increase in temperature of 0.6 degrees Celsius each decade. This is almost three times above the average for the planet.

Apart from temperature, the team studied the atmospheric data to determine how much of the warming can be attributed to natural variability, and some human activities. It turned out that the temperature increase may be associated with a decrease in atmospheric pressure in the Weddell sea, which is warmer air, apparently, it became easier to penetrate from the South Atlantic to the region.

To lower pressure, as shown by climate models, resulted in a temperature increase in the tropics in the Western Pacific. This is consistent with the results of the previous work in which scientists established the connection between increased cyclonic activity near the Drake passage with a negative phase of the Pacific decadal oscillation — temperature pattern in the Pacific ocean, which is approximately 20-30 years old is either in a cold or warm phase.

While the increase in the temperature of Antarctica is within the boundaries of the possible natural climatic variations, the authors emphasize that there is every reason to believe that the cause of the observed trends was not only natural variability but also the emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. However, to assert this with confidence, they can not, because the meteorological observations at continete began only in 1957, and for such conclusions is simply not enough data.

Recently, we were told that the area of summer ice cover of the sea Weddel decreased in comparison with 2013, a million square kilometers, and the area of sea ice to January 1, 2019 dropped in the Antarctic to 5.47 million square kilometers — historic low for this date over a forty-year history of satellite observations.

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