Antarctica is warming faster than models predict

Antarctica is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet and much faster than widely predicted by models, according to a study published Thursday in the journal. The nature of climate change Which quickly alarmed scientists around the world.

“This is extremely devastating news.” announce Climatologist and Emeritus Professor at University College London Bill McGuire.

“First, one has to question whether we have already passed the tipping point in the collapse of West Antarctica,” the expert added on social media. “Second, it begs the question: Do other climate model projections underestimate the speed of climate breakdown?”

Polar amplification, a phenomenon that causes temperatures near the poles to rise, is well-established in the Arctic, with a study published last yearWhich indicates that the northern region is warming four times faster than the global average. However, it has been less clearly identified throughout Antarctica, where scientists have to deal with the limited temperature records available and natural climate variability.

Since there are no weather stations in Antarctica covering more than the past six decades, the four researchers conducting the new study – who are from various European institutions – analyzed 78 ice samples to determine temperature variability over 1,000 years across seven regions.

The team found “direct evidence of Antarctic amplification at regional and continental scales,” which mainstream climate models do not show. “Failure to consider polar amplification feedback loops could lead to an underestimation of the magnitude of human-induced global warming and its consequences in Antarctica,” the study notes.

Lead author Mathieu Casado, from the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences in France, said:Watchman “It is very worrying to see such significant warming in Antarctica, beyond natural fluctuations,” he added.

Kyle Klemm, a scientist at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, who was not involved in the new research but studied record high temperatures at a weather station in Antarctica, told the newspaper: “The implications of this study are particularly important for considering future changes in climate change.” Antarctic sea ice, terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and perhaps even sea level rise.

“In terms of sea level rise, ocean warming is already melting the protective ice shelves in West Antarctica and causing the West Antarctica ice sheet to retreat,” Klemm said. He also highlighted the potential impact on the coastal ice shelves that protect the glaciers, explaining that “this has already been seen on the Antarctic Peninsula in recent decades, and could become a more widespread event around Antarctica sooner than expected under the Arctic climate.” The southern warmer is stronger.” “.

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

“With the loss of more and more ice in Antarctica over the past years, concerns have been raised about whether the tipping point has already been crossed and a long-term, irreversible collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet has already begun,” noted the lead author. Ronja Rees 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 a number of Antarctica’s glaciers are currently retreating, we find no sign of irreversible, self-reinforcing retreat yet, which is reassuring,” Rees said. “However, our calculations also clearly indicate that the beginning of an irreversible retreat of the West Antarctic ice sheet is possible if the current climate situation persists.”

The new studies follow findings throughout this year that have heightened concerns about the impact of human-caused global warming on Antarctica — starting with researchers revealing in February that Antarctic sea ice cover reached its lowest level ever recorded in January. To a May study that showed a 30% slowdown in vital deep-water currents around the continent.

Research conducted last month warned that “future extreme events in Antarctica will almost certainly be more pronounced than those observed to date” 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 likely killed more than 9,000 emperor penguin chicks.

Rees and Casado’s studies also cap a week of alarming global data on the climate emergency. International researchers have confirmed that greenhouse gas concentrations, global sea level and ocean heat content broke records last year. Scientists also declared this deadly hot summer to be the hottest on record.

(Tags for translation) Climate emergency

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