South Pole Warmed Over 3 Times Global Average Over Past 30 Years

More signs of global warming… The South Pole has been warming at over three times the global average during the past 30 years – events that could affect marine life, ice sheets, and rising sea levels, a new study finds.

South Pole warming at alarming rate

The rate at which the outer regions of Antarctica has been warming has been well known to scientists for years, CNN reports.

However, a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday has brought to light alarming new data about the rate at which the South Pole has been warming. And the findings aren’t good.

The South Pole is one of the most remote regions on planet Earth. Because of the deep location of its interior, scientists had previously believed the area was isolated from rising global temperatures. But the new study has found just the opposite.

Not only is the South Pole being affected by global warming, but over the past three decades, the region has experienced warming that is three times the global average.

“This highlights that global warming is global and it’s making its way to these remote places,” said Kyle Clem, lead author of the study and postdoctoral research fellow in Climate Science at the University of Wellington.

Antarctica heating up

In March, Antarctica recorded its highest temperature ever recorded there: 18.3 degrees Celsius (65 degrees Fahrenheit).

Another region known for being frozen tundra is Siberia, which is also experiencing unbelievable temperatures. Only a week ago, the town of Verkhoyansk in Siberia recorded a record high temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

You don’t really think about the best deodorant for sweating when you’re in Siberia, but it is now something to think about, because such temperatures are becoming more common.

What the data says

The researchers looked at weather station data at the South Pole, as well as climate models to investigate the Antarctic interior.

Between 1989 and 2018, the South Pole had warmed by about 1.8 degrees Celsius over the past 30 years at a rate of +0.6 °C per decade.

The average rate per decade according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for 2019, has been roughly 0.07°C since 1880. However, the average rate of increase since 1981 has been 0.18°C.

Therefore, the rate of temperature increase at the South Pole is three times the global average.

What is driving the temperature increase at the South Pole?

According to this study, the researchers believe the main cause of warming at the South Pole is due to increasing sea surface temperatures thousands of miles away in the tropics.

There has been warming in the Western tropical Pacific Ocean over the past thirty years, particularly in a region near the equator north of Australia and Papua New Guinea. As a result, an increase in warm air is being carried to the South Pole.

Could this be a cycle event?

The researchers initially found that the South Pole was actually cooling by more than a degree during the 1970s and 1980s at a time when global temperatures were rising.

The scientists said this cooling period was part of natural climate patterns that occur in cycles between 20-30 years. However, the researcher said the trend made a rapid flip at the turn-of-the-century, with temperatures warming by nearly 2 degrees.

Temperatures at the South Pole shifted from 1 degree of cooling to 2 degrees of warming to signify a 3-degree rise. During the same time, global temperatures rose by about 1 degree Celsius.