In recent years, scientists have come to a general consensus on global warming. While there are some patterns of overall warming, the impact is clearly more pronounced in some areas, such as the accelerated degradation of arctic glaciers. Unfortunately, scientists have found the same acceleration in the South Pole on the other side of the globe. Thirty years of meteorological data show that Antarctica has warmed more than three times as fast as the rest of the world since 1989.
(Study Illustration – 1: Circulation Changes in Antarctic and Antarctic Areas)
The study by an international team of scientists examined weather station data, grid observations and climate models to assess the level of global warming in the Antarctic region.
It turns out that the temperature of the Antarctic continent varies greatly. Since the end of the 20th century, sea ice loss has increased dramatically in most of the Western Ocean icing and antarctic peninsulas.
After the warming trend since the end of the 20th century, melting sea ice in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula has recently begun to accelerate, but the situation around the Antarctic point is different.
It is located at remote high altitudes and is the coldest Antarctic plateau on Earth. Throughout the late 20th century, it was cold enough in the 1980s. But new research suggests that change has been created in secret.
According to the team’s analysis, Nanjing warmed up by a total of 1.8 degrees C (3.24 degrees F) between 1989 and 2018 and has been accelerating since the early 2000s.
By contrast, the combined temperatureof the Earth’s land and oceans has been increasing since 1981 at an average rate of 0.18 degrees Celsius (0.32 degrees F) per decade, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The researchers call this the result of a series of factors, and while it is difficult to determine the exact effect of each, one factor contributing to this trend is the rise in ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific.
This phenomenon reduces atmospheric pressure in parts of the Atlantic Ocean, bringing warm air to the plateau where the South Pole is located.
(Study Illustration – 3: Overall comparison of recent Antarctic climate change vs. CMIP5)
Several of the warmest years in Antarctica are known to be associated with unusually warm temperatures in the tropics. Nearly 20% of the temperature changes in Antarctica, the flagship of the study, may be related to ocean temperatures in the region.
To understand the role of greenhouse gases and man-made climate change in this trend, the team conducted simulations using more than 200 climate models.
These factors take into account greenhouse gas concentrations over a 30-year period and allow the team to compare the rate of warming with all possible warming trends that are free of human activity and occur naturally.
However, the actual observed warming has exceeded 99.9% of all possible conditions that are not affected by human influence. In other words, even if it is possible to happen naturally, the probability is extremely low.
In the end, the team concluded that the combination of increased greenhouse gas levels and tropical climate change had led to one of the most intense warming trends on Earth, even more severe than observed in the Arctic (almost twice as fast as the rest of the world).
Details of the study have been published in the recently published issue of Nature Climate Change. Originally titled “Record warming at the South Pole” the past three decades.