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
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.
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.
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.
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