We know that Antarctica may seem lonely. Placed at the bottom of the world, and surrounded by the ocean, it may seem a very isolated territory. But you might be surprised to find out that the continent is closer to us than it appears.
The South Pole is in danger
It seems that the South Pole is warming at alarming rates – three times faster than the average on the globe. And the entire process is linked to the climate cycles happening thousands of miles away in the tropics.
The study was led by Kyle Clem of Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. It focused on the surface air temperatures at the weather observatory that’s placed on the southernmost point of the world – the Amundsen-Scott station. There, winter temperatures can drop below minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
The 20th Century has been quite the ride
Scientists found out that temperatures have been rising by a degree Fahrenheit every decade since the 1990s. It’s three times faster than the global average. They also found out about a sudden reversal in the conditions at the South Pole. Most of the 20th Century, the South Pole was cooling down.
What is the reason behind the warming of the South Pole?
According to the scientists, the shifting climate patterns in the tropics had the biggest part of this entire process. Scientists made the most out of a combination of observations and model simulations in order to take a better look at the problem. The changing ocean temperatures from the tropical western Pacific also had a role in the warming of the South Pole.