An aerial view of US Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. New research shows that the South Pole has warmed three times the global average over the past three decades.

The study says the South Pole has warmed three times the world average on average in the last 30 years

The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday, sheds new light on the world’s most remote areas. Scientists have known for years that the regions outside Antarctica are warming, which they previously thought was located deep inside the South Pole, isolated from rising global temperatures.

“It highlights that global warming is global and that it is setting foot in these remote areas,” said Kyle Clem, a postdoctoral research fellow in climate science at the University of Wellington and lead author of the study.

Clem and his team analyzed data from meteorological centers at the South Pole, as well as climate models to test Antarctic interior warming. They found that between 1989 and 2018 the South Pole achieved temperatures of about 1.8 degrees Celsius in the last 30 years at a rate of +0.6 degrees Celsius per decade – three times the global average.

Scientists say the main cause of warming is rising sea levels thousands of miles away in the tropics. For the past 30 years the warming of the western tropical Pacific Ocean – the equatorial region of northern Australia and the region near Papua New Guinea – has meant that warm air was carried to the South Pole.

“It’s wild. It’s the most remote place on the planet. Significantly, the way Antarctic interior rotates and moves and moves is connected to the Pacific Ocean 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) north of the tropical region,” Clem said.

Melting sea ice, Antarctic heat waves

Other parts of Antarctica have recorded warmer temperatures in recent years and warming has had serious global consequences, especially for the millions of people living off the coast of the world who are at risk of rising sea levels.
The World Meteorological Organization says Antarctica has enough water to raise world sea levels by about 200 feet in the winter.
Climate scientists recorded the first heat wave at a research base in East Antarctica in March, and in February, the warmest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica – 18.3 degrees Celsius (degrees 5 degrees Fahrenheit) – was measured at the Esperanza Research Center in Argentina.
Ice damage in the region has also been accelerating at an alarming rate over the past few decades. In the last 22 years, a giant glacier in East Antarctica has retreated about three miles.

Although the South Pole remains below freezing and could probably continue to do so, Clem said the warming trend seen at the pole is linked to what we see on the coast and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Warming “starts from the coast and works inland,” Clem said.

“As you move closer to the coast, where the warming is coming, you’ll start to see more effects. When you get to the freezing point you can start to melt or you can start to melt the sea ice.” Affecting life in that region, ”he said.

Can the climate crisis be blamed?

At first, scientists found that the South Pole actually cooled by more than a degree in the 1970s and 1980s, when global temperatures were rising. The team said the cold season has come down to natural climate patterns that occur over a 20- to 30-year cycle.

Then the trend quickly changed “and suddenly at the beginning of the century we have a temperature of about 2 degrees,” Clem said.

The jump from 1 degree to 2 degrees of cooling indicates an increase of 3 degrees.

Ocean warming is causing massive ice sheet damage in Greenland and Antarctica, according to a NASA study.

Meanwhile, global temperatures have risen about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels and the global average temperature aims to be kept within 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) to offset the worst effects of the climate crisis.

Clem said the final fluctuations at the South Pole suggest that natural variability “masked” the effects of man-induced climate change.

The team discovered that warming was caused by natural changes in sea surface temperature over several decades. These natural climate drivers, however, “acted effectively” or were further strengthened by them through global emissions of greenhouse gases.

“We have natural processes that are always going on between global warming and human influence in the climate system.” “It’s very noticeable when two people work together.”

The science behind warming

In addition to human intervention in greenhouse gas emissions, researchers say a number of natural processes have worked behind the scenes to warm the South Pole.

A climate phenomenon called the interdecidal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) that controls sea temperature in the Pacific Ocean has shifted from a positive phase to a negative one in the early twenty-first century. Which has warmed the western tropical Pacific Ocean and caused more severe cyclones and storms.

At the same time, an air system called Southern Annular Mode (SAM) moved south, bringing this extra warmth to Antarctica from the growing region. According to Klem, the change in SAM has increased the bottom of the Antarctic ozone hole and the increase in greenhouse gases. Experts are not sure what caused the change in the IPO, but have not ruled out humanitarian action.

All of this has made the South Pole the fastest warmer place on the planet.

The upper limit of natural variability

Since the South Pole temperature records only date back to 1957, scientists have not been able to make a definite conclusion that warming was driven by human activity.

So they have used models that mimic the Earth’s climate with representations of pre-industrial greenhouse gas concentrations – so without human influence.

Scientists have recorded heat waves for the first time in this part of Antarctica

In the simulations, the team calculated all possible trends of 30 years that could occur at the South Pole in those models. They found that the observed 1.8 CT of warming was more than 99.9% of all possible trends in 30 years without human impact.

The authors said that this meant that warming meant “within the upper boundaries of the simulated range of natural variability” the nature of the trend was “noticeable”.

“Elsewhere in the world, if your temperature continues to rise for more than 30 years, it will be off the chart.”

However the result was not 100%. So According to Klem, warming at the South Pole is possible only through natural processes But it is a small one

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