'Absolutely devastating news': Antarctica Warms Faster Than Models Predict

‘Absolutely devastating news’: Antarctica Warms Faster Than Models Predict

Antarctica is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet and much faster than widely cited models, according to a study published Thursday in the journal. Natural Climate Change that quickly shocked scientists all over the world.

“This is very sad news,” announced meteorologist and University of London professor emeritus Bill McGuire.

“First of all, one has to wonder if maybe we have passed the tipping point of the West Antarctic,” added the expert on social media. “Second, it begs the question, are some climate projections underestimating the rate of climate change?”

Polar amplification, which causes high temperatures near the poles, is well established in the Arctic, with a study published last year.showing that the northern region is warming almost four times faster than the global average. However, it is less clearly identified throughout Antarctica, where scientists have to contend with existing temperature records and natural climate variability.

Due to the lack of Antarctic weather stations covering more than sixty years, four researchers behind a new study – from different European institutions – analyzed 78 ice cores to determine the temperature variation over 1,000 years in seven regions.

The team found “direct evidence of Antarctic polar amplification at regional and continental scales,” which major climate models do not show. The study explains that “failing to consider the feedback loops that cause polar enlargement may lead to an underestimation of the magnitude of anthropogenic warming and its effects in Antarctica.”

Lead author Mathieu Casado, of the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement in France, toldThe Guardian that “it is very worrying to see significant warming in Antarctica, beyond natural variability.”

Kyle Clem, a scientist at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand who was not involved in the new research but has studied the high temperatures at the South Pole weather station, told the newspaper that “the results of this research are very important to consider. future changes in Antarctic sea ice, land and marine ecosystems, and sea level rise. ”

“As far as sea level rise, ocean warming is already melting the ice shelves that protect West Antarctica and causing the Antarctic ice sheet to recede,” Clem said. He also highlighted the potential impact on the coastal ice shelves that protect the ice, explaining that “this has been observed in the Antarctic peninsula in recent decades, and it may become more common in Antarctica soon than expected in the very warm climate of Antarctica. .”

Research from Casado’s team was published on the same day as a study on the West Antarctic ice sheet I The Cryosphere.

“With increasing ice loss in Antarctica over the years, concerns have been raised that the tipping point has already been reached and the long-term permanent collapse of the Antarctic ice sheet has begun,” said the lead author. Ronja Reese of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and Northumbria University in England.

“The results of our studies convey two messages: First, while the amount of ice in Antarctica is retreating at the moment, we do not find anything that can return, stabilize itself, which is reassuring,” said Reese. “However, our calculations also clearly show that the beginning of an irreversible retreat of the ice sheet in West Antarctica is possible if the current climate is maintained.”

The new studies follow results this year that have raised fears about the impact of human-caused warming in Antarctica – from researchers who revealed in February that Antarctic sea ice coverage reached a January low level that had never been recorded, in a May study that showed 30. % decrease in very deep water currents across the continent.

A study from last month warned that “it is almost certain that past Antarctic events will be more pronounced than those observed so far” as humanity continues to burn fossil fuels, the main driver of the climate emergency. Another study in August found that when Antarctic sea ice melted last year, it may have killed more than 9,000 emperor penguin chicks.

Both Reese’s and Casado’s studies round out a week of alarming global data about the climate emergency. International researchers have confirmed that greenhouse gas concentrations, global sea level, and ocean temperature have broken records in the past year. Scientists have also announced that this deadly heat wave is the hottest on record.

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