South Pole Warming Three Times the Global Average

Nature Climate Change, June 29.

Surface air temperatures at the South Pole over the past 30 years, as measured at the Scott-Amundsen station and across the Antarctic plateau, reached record-high warming levels of 0.61 ± 0.34 °C per decade, more than three times the global average. Scientists found that stronger low-pressure systems in the Weddell Sea carry warmer air from the southern Atlantic Ocean, sweeping into and heating the Antarctic interior. The paper’s results highlight that the extreme climate variability of the Antarctic, superimposed on top of anthropogenic global warming may lead to future periods of extreme warming even in the Antarctic interior that can trigger abrupt changes in Antarctic ice sheet stability and collapse.

Compiled by Amy Imdieke