Antarctica Is Definitely Feeling the Heat From Global Warming

By Eliza Strickland | January 22, 2009 9:50 am

Antarctic warmingResearchers say they have an answer to a question that’s been befuddling climate scientists for years: Was it possible that Antarctica, alone among the earth’s seven continents, wasn’t feeling the effects of global warming? As recently as 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared that the jury was still out on the question, but now, finally, researchers say they have conclusive proof that the icy southern continent is also heating up. In October, a separate group of researchers came to much the same conclusion using computer models, but the new study bolsters previous research with empirical evidence.

The confusion over conditions in Antarctica arose mostly from strange weather patterns created by ozone depletion in the Southern Hemisphere, and allowed “climate skeptics” who deny the existence of global warming to use the continent as a talking point. Scientists had long thought that while some isolated parts of Antarctica had been warming, much of the continent had been cooling over the past 50 years. But the new analysis found that since 1957, when measured as a whole, the continent’s temperature has risen about 1 degree Fahrenheit. “The thing you hear all the time is that Antarctica is cooling — and that’s not the case,” says study lead author Eric Steig [USA Today].

Researchers used data from satellites and automated weather stations to put together the most complete picture ever of the Antarctic climate over the past 50 years, and published the results in Nature [subscription required]. While East Antarctica has shown little change and has cooled slightly in some patches, the researchers say that West Antarctica, separated from the far larger eastern part by the towering Transantarctic mountain range, has long evidenced a strong warming trend. And the Antarctic Peninsula, warmer than everywhere else in the western region, is where massive ice shelves have collapsed into the sea as springtime temperatures rise above the melting point there [San Francisco Chronicle].

In fact, scientists on that peninsula say a major ice shelf is poised to break away from the continent at any moment. David Vaughan from the British Antarctic Survey is on the peninsula right now, keeping a worried eye on the Wilkins Ice Sheet. It was once larger than Connecticut but soon could be gone entirely. “We landed on the ice shelf just two days ago — flimsy looking piece of ice — and that appears to be hanging on by the skin of its teeth,” Vaughan says. It could collapse any time in the next few weeks, he says [NPR]. The enormous ice sheet isn’t expected to raise sea levels dramatically even if it melts away entirely, but it’s a dramatic example of the changes taking place at the bottom of the world.

Related Content:
80beats: 2 Trillion Tons of Polar Ice Lost in 5 Years, and Melting Is Accelerating
80beats: New Study: “Humans Are Responsible” for Warming Even Antarctica
DISCOVER: The Ground Zero of Climate Change is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

Image: NASA / E. J. Steig

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment
  • Bruce Voigt

    A really COOL experiment

    Fill a stubby clear water glass ¾ full of water. Place in the freezer. Next day have a peek. WOW!

    Drill a ¼ inch hole down into the center of ice. Fill that hole with water then put it into the fridge (not freezer). After a couple hours you will notice that water surrounds the berg and the drilled hole of water is frozen solid!

    The ice packs around the world (perma frost) have received jolts of radiation causing internal rot (melting)! Cold of winter does not penetrate this ice.

    The nuclear Submarine USS Charlotte punched its way up through the Ice in Canada’s Arctic to find that the location of the Magnetic North Pole had moved one thousand miles north west towards Russia. Natural Resource Canada monitor by computer guessing and missed all this but they did recently advise that strange things are happening and the latest that they reported was that the pole was moving 85km every 24hrs.

    In my world this is real simple Stuph.

    Whats happening is this. The Earth in its orbit around the Sun both magnetically interact giving us our Seasons. Normally there are two “dramatic” Earth tippings a year. One in late summer or fall when the Suns north magnetic pole severs with the Earths north magnetic pole and one in late winter or early spring when the Suns south magnetic pole severs with the Earths south magnetic pole.

    The date, time and distance of these tippings (magnetic pole movement) is at this time crucial and I’ll explain it this way.

    When the Earth tipped that one thousand miles it moved the magnetic pole location one thousand miles in the opposite direction moving the Equator (Sun exposure) one thousand miles. Last winter Russia was getting the cold from the closer pole and loosing the heat of Sun exposure. This year its opposite.

    This is real important Stuph and all we need is to have some one monitor these tippings. We would then know what and where crops should be planted, where to plan our skiing etc.

    Like I say we really need some one to take charge and properly monitor Magnetic Pole Movement. Believe me its for the good of OUR WORLD!

    Bruce Voigt

  • Bruce Voigt

    About 13,000 years ago it is apparent that an area including Chicago and Northern Washington harbored man and the woolly mammoth and it is apparent that at about that time a mini ice age occurred.

    Common sense tells me that although the mammoth was designed for cold climate it would not survive in today’s high arctic.

    Common sense also tells me that about 13,000 years ago Chicago was much further north in relation to the Earths meandering axis.
    Frozen mammoth found in the arctic still have food of the day in their stomach and that food is not capable of growing there.

    So this is what happened;

    About 13,000 years ago Earth took a dramatic tipping on its meandering magnetic axis that changed Earths exposure to both Sun and Moon. It was this that created our mini ice age.

    You will find that about 13,000 years ago, on the other side of the world, England and area would be experiencing a tropical environment.

    About 3,000 years later Earth flip flopping produced England’s mini ice age and through this time British Columbia was ice free.

    There are violent forces at play. The forces of the Sun, Moon and Earth dance together giving us seasons, tides etc. The Sun recently has been stepping on toes as it glides through this dance sending our north magnetic pole whizzing away a thousand miles to wards Russia then coming home to dance around an 85km oval every 24hr.

    This seemingly little dance is causing all kinds of hell for a species that thinks its the be and end all of the Universe. This Sun activity can muck around with slivers of Earth energy causing the Earth to tip, compasses to swing, radio reception, gps problems, tornado’s, tsunami, re location of oceans and climate etc. (BUT)

    The big kahuna Earths NUCLEUS is not PHASED by this UNTIL!

    Our NINTH Planet third or fourth from the sun comes bar-ling around the Sun appearing to be heading right for us.

    I Bruce Voigt claim that the recently discovered Asteroid 2002 AA 29 is really a Moon of (and yes I have named this Planet) OLD BRUCE.

    OLD BRUCE orbits the Sun in close proximity to Earths orbit every 365 point something day’s and the Earth is slowly catching up or visa versa.

    In approximately sixty five million years from now OLD BRUCE will be close enough to change (like a magnet) Earths Nucleus direction. At that very moment instant freezing takes place and because of no gravity any thing not attached drifts out into Earth orbit to be collected by the Moon. (Good real estate investment for an optimist).

    These are the Three true Ice ages, one in coming two as Old Bruce eclipses Earth (the really big sleep) and three as Old Bruce again changes the Earths nucleus and nuclei direction.

    So now after all that you now know what happened to DINO!

    Bruce Voigt

    PS -
    The last location of the meandering north magnetic pole that I tracked down was a long way from home at 81.3 N 110.8W

  • Bruce Voigt

    Now look for a different shaped glass (skinny) and re do the water in the freezer experiment.

    What you have made is a water cell, it’s membrane is the glass and the orbiting nuclei center to the mass creating the cells nucleus. This you can see with your very own eyes.

    Drill a hole in the center and thaw the shavings, do the same away from the nucleus. Freeze these and see the difference. WOW

    Bruce Voigt

  • Bruce Voigt

    The forces that are cork screwing their way to each of Earths poles, exit the planet as an immature air cell. These cells are in evolution and must first evolve or mutate to other gasses (OZONE) etc.

    The term con-zillion does not come close to describing the number of cold producing particles (chips) that are being released.

    The Ozone at this point is still an immature (force) and will not be detected by infrared. This will be incorrectly interpreted by people that are not knowledgeable in this new technology as to be a HOLE in the OZONE!

    Bruce Voigt

  • AD

    why do these posts attract so many kooks?

  • Chubbee

    You almost had me going for a minute,Bruce. then you had to throw the old bruce thing in there and spoil it.
    Oh, and by the way, putting glasses of water in the freezer tends to get you some broken glasses, Bozo.

  • http://Yahoo nita taefi

    Could melting ice at the poles have anything to do with the Wobble Effect” the earth does every (I think) 24,000 years.

  • Bruce Voigt

    AD — Kooky Mad Scientist

    Chubbee — Follow the instructions (¾ full of water)!

    nita taefi — As the Earth tips so does its Moon, Atmosphere and the International Space Station, all subject to lead and lag.

    The potential discovery in any subject is endless. I for instance realized while flying a high cambered Aircraft upside down that flight was really all about thrust and atmospheric controlled free fall.

    WOBBLING of the EARTH
    Has been explained by science as like a spinning top slowing. My science explains the flip flop tipping of our Earth in its annual orbit around the Sun. Until recently the interaction of the Earth and Sun’s magnetic poles, that give us our four seasons, has been subtle.

    The Earth’s tipping causes an equal and opposite movement of the Equator, causing both north and south magnetic poles to relocate in the opposite direction and distance of the Earth’s tipping.
    The Equator has moved one thousand miles north on Earth’s North and South America side and one thousand miles south on Asia and Australia’s side.
    Like Australia, Arizona gains the heat of the now closer Equator (sun exposure) and Japan loses the heat of the Equator. Cold produced from the poles has little effect on these, and climate transition is quick. Russia gains cold from its Arctic and loses the heat of the Equator – its transition is quicker than ours.

    Waiting for the ice to melt, Canada’s warming will be more gradual. If this extreme flip flopping becomes the norm, we in Vancouver, B.C. will enjoy the weather of Los Angeles, C.A. and they will endure the heat of Mexico – in a boat – hmmm.

    In the orbital interaction of both the Sun and Earth’s magnetic poles there exists two dramatic, annual movements. One in the fall when the Earth’s repelling North Pole is severed from the Sun’s North Pole, and one in the spring when the two repelling South Poles are severed.
    I believe that it’s a star, other than our Sun, that allows stability of the above. For whatever reason it appears lately that things are not working the way they should.

    Someone not respecting our arctic sovereignty, and who measures in other than metric, recently discovered that the magnetic north pole has relocated one thousand miles towards Siberia – Wow!

    When the Canadian government realizes the importance of this and puts up funding they will discover and confirm the things I am saying. Another for instance: In Earth’s two annual erratic tippings, it will be necessary to know the continent location in relation to the Sun when this instant phenomenon takes place. It’s this that causes the Earth to appear to wobble. THE AXIS OF THE EARTH RUNS THROUGH THE MEANDERING NORTH AND SOUTH MAGNETIC POLES – NOT the TRUE global North and South poles!

    Earth tipped away from the Sun at the time Asia was facing the Sun. So what, you say! Well, this is so what: Severe cold in Russia, severe heat in Australia, Arizona etc.
    If the Earth flips and flops (hold it) one at a time. If the Earth flips away from the Sun every year on the same side facing the Sun, the continents will eventually rotate in relation to Sun, Moon, International Space Station, all subject to lead and lag.

    Except for a bit of tipping, the Earth’s axis stays constant.
    Over time, geologically this would indicate pole shifts “(NOT)”.
    A pole shift is when a magnetic source (much stronger than ours) immediately reverses the Earth’s nucleus direction. This will happen again in about sixty-five million years.
    Bruce Voigt
    PS– Oh yes and when we in Western Canada inherit Californias lovely weather she also brings her bagage (earthquakes)!

  • sandshoe

    bruce – you dont need to pin the gravitational change on ‘old bruce’. synodic cycles of the ‘known’ planets can form configurations to perturb magnetic poles throughout the solar system.

    forgive me if i don’t hang about 65 ma to see if your forecast rings true; are you using that figure to conveniently commence an alignment with events of the K/T boundary?

    i don’t disagree that a pole shift is on the way. i agree with you on the change in surface exposure due to changing earth inclination – isn’t that basic physics. push your suggestion through to climate modellers, ask them if they are correcting for pole-drift in the current models. theoretically it should be included.

    the current news of sea level rise estimates doubling to a metre leaves me stunned. by 2100 i forecast we will be closer to 12 meters rise on todays levels. sorry i wont be around then to see how accurate that forecast might be (but its a tad sooner than 65 ma) :)

    i’ll also forecast we won’t have all the necessary variables plugged into the climate models until about 2025 (slow eh?). a bit more to learn yet about earths response. by 2050 we’ll be reducing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. which is too late to prevent climate chaos – runaway warming. isn’t all this obvious though. bye bye western antarctic shelf…

  • sandshoe

    when you’re talking to the climate modellers…also ask them to input isostatic uplift for the western antarctic shelf – will change surface area exposure…albedo calcs prob static ‘for a while’ as surrounding sea level rise counteracts surface gain from lift…just a thought…

  • http://locatecellnumbers.yolasite.com/ Dominique Lebario

    Nice level of information here. There is so much data around about this subject that sometimes you cannot see the wood for the trees but you have pitched this at just the right level so that the lay person can understand – thank you!

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