In recent times, news of the highest temperature in history has been reported in Antarctica. This time, however, it’s not just observations of large-scale Antarctic areas – a new report by New Zealand scientists suggests that the more remote polar regions of Antarctica have warmed more than three times the global average over the past 30 years. According to the study, this period of warming is mainly driven by natural tropical climate variability and is likely to intensify with the increase of greenhouse gases.
The report was published in the British journal Nature Climate Change on the 29th.
Since 2020, the topic of Antarctic warming has attracted worldwide attention: on February 7th, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that it had observed 18.3 degrees Celsius at the Argentine science station es perpetrated in the Antarctic Peninsula;
Scientists believe that the Antarctic climate represents some of the largest regional temperature trends on Earth – much of the West Antarctic and Antarctic Peninsulas warmed and the ice sheet thinned in the late 20th century and continues to this day. By contrast, the Antarctic polar regions, located within the more remote, high-latitude continents, remained cold until the 1980s, after which they began to warm considerably. These trends are influenced by natural and man-made climate change, but scientists have not been able to fully understand the effects of each factor.
In view of this, Keller Clem, a researcher at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and colleagues examined the warming trends of the Antarctic polar regions by analyzing weather station data, gridded observations and climate models. The team found that warming was mainly driven by the tropics. The warm climate in the western tropical Pacific is associated with the negative phase of inter-generational oscillations in the Pacific Ocean, which increases the flow of warm air to the Antarctic polar regions. The strong winds around Antarctica are caused by the change of the southern hemisphere ring-shaped mold into a positive phase, which further strengthens the warming trend. Researchers believe that these atmospheric changes along the Antarctic coast are an important mechanism for driving climate anomalies inland.
The team says these warming trends are unlikely to be the result of a separate effect of natural climate change, reflecting the effects of man-made warming and large-scale tropical climate variability on the Antarctic climate. (Reporter Zhang Mengran)