Climate change in Antarctica


Climate change in Antarctica is resulting in rising temperatures and increasing snowmelt and ice loss.[1] A summary study in 2018 incorporating calculations and data from many other studies estimated that total ice loss in Antarctica due to climate change was 43 gigatons per year on average during the period from 1992 to 2002 but has accelerated to an average of 220 gigatons per year during the five years from 2012 to 2017.[2] Total mass loss over the period 1992–2018 was likely 2720 gigatons for the grounded part of the Antarctic ice sheet.[3]

Antarctic Skin Temperature Trends between 1981 and 2007, based on thermal infrared observations made by a series of NOAA satellite sensors. Skin temperature trends do not necessarily reflect air temperature trends.

Particularly strong warming has been noted on the Antarctic Peninsula. A study in 2009 noted for the first time that the continent-wide average surface temperature trend of Antarctica was slightly positive from 1957 to 2006.[4] Over the second half of the 20th century, the Antarctic Peninsula was the fastest-warming place on Earth, closely followed by West Antarctica, but these trends weakened in the early 21st-century.[5] Conversely, the South Pole in East Antarctica barely warmed last century, but in the last three decades the temperature increase there has been more than three times greater than the global average.[6] In February 2020, the continent recorded its highest temperature of 18.3 °C (64.9 °F), which was a degree higher than the previous record of 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) in March 2015.[7]

There is some evidence that surface warming in Antarctica is due to human greenhouse gas emissions,[8] but this is difficult to determine due to internal variability.[9] Models predict that antarctic temperatures will be up 4 °C, on average, by 2100 and this will be accompanied by a 30% increase in precipitation and a 30% decrease in total sea ice.[10] A main component of climate variability in Antarctica is the Southern Annular Mode, which showed strengthened winds around Antarctica in summer of the later decades of the 20th century, associated with cooler temperatures over the continent. The trend was at a scale unprecedented over the last 600 years; the most dominant driver of this mode of variability is likely the depletion of ozone above the continent.[11]

In 2002, the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen-B ice shelf collapsed.[12] Between 28 February and 8 March 2008, about 570 km2 (220 sq mi) of ice from the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the southwest part of the peninsula collapsed, putting the remaining 15,000 km2 (5,800 sq mi) of the ice shelf at risk. The ice was being held back by a "thread" of ice about 6 km (4 mi) wide,[13][14] prior to its collapse on 5 April 2009.[15][16]

Impacts on the natural environmentEdit

The continent-wide average surface temperature trend of Antarctica is positive and significant at >0.05 °C/decade since 1957.[17][18] The West Antarctic ice sheet has warmed by more than 0.1 °C/decade in the last 50 years, with most of the warming occurring in winter and spring. This is somewhat offset by cooling in East Antarctica during the fall. This effect is restricted to the 1980s and 1990s.[19][20][17]

Research published in 2009 found that overall the continent had become warmer since the 1950s, a finding consistent with the influence of man-made climate change:

"We can't pin it down, but it certainly is consistent with the influence of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels", said NASA scientist Drew Shindell, another study co-author. Some of the effects also could be natural variability, he said.[21]


September 20, 2007 NASA map showing previously un-melted snowmelt

The British Antarctic Survey, which has undertaken the majority of Britain's scientific research in the area, had the following positions in 2006:[22]

  • Ice, especially sea ice, increases the sensitivity of polar regions to warming , by introducing a strong positive feedbacks loop.
  • Melting of continental Antarctic ice could contribute to global sea-level rise.
  • Climate models predict more snowfall than ice melting during the next 50 years, but the models are not good enough for them to be confident about the prediction.
  • Antarctica seems to be both warming around the edges and cooling at the center at the same time. Thus it is not possible to say whether it is warming or cooling overall.
  • There is no evidence for a decline in the overall Antarctic sea ice extent.[23]
  • The central and southern parts of the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula have warmed by about 2.4 °C. The cause is not known.
  • Changes have occurred in the upper atmosphere over Antarctica.

The area of strongest cooling appears at the South Pole, and the region of strongest warming lies along the Antarctic Peninsula. A possible explanation is that loss of UV-absorbing ozone may have cooled the stratosphere and strengthened the polar vortex, a pattern of spinning winds around the South Pole. The vortex acts like an atmospheric barrier, preventing warmer, coastal air from moving into the continent's interior. A stronger polar vortex might explain the cooling trend in the interior of Antarctica. [1]

Ice mass loss since 2002, as measured by NASA's GRACE and GRACE Follow-On satellite projects, was 152 billion metric tons per year.[24]

In their latest study (September 20, 2007) NASA researchers have confirmed that Antarctic snow is melting farther inland from the coast over time, melting at higher altitudes than ever and increasingly melting on Antarctica's largest ice shelf.[25]

There is also evidence for widespread glacier retreat around the Antarctic Peninsula.[26]

The collapse of Larsen B, showing the diminishing extent of the shelf from 1998 to 2002

The Antarctic peninsula has lost a number of ice shelves recently. These are large areas of floating ice which are fed by glaciers. Many are the size of a small country. The sudden collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf in 2002[27] took 5 weeks or less and may have been due to global warming.[28] Larsen B had previously been stable for up to 12,000 years.[29]

Concern has been expressed about the stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet. A collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet could occur "within 300 years [as] a worst-case scenario. Rapid sea-level rise (>1 m per century) is more likely to come from the WAIS than from the [Greenland ice sheet]."[30]


Researchers reported on December 21, 2012 in Nature Geoscience that from 1958 to 2010, the average temperature at the 1,500-metre-high (5,000 ft) Byrd Station rose by 2.4 degrees Celsius, with warming fastest in its winter and spring. The spot which is in the heart of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is one of the fastest-warming places on Earth.[31][32][33]

A study of the Antarctic Peninsula, a small subregion of Lesser Antarctica, published in 2017 found that the temperature trends at the northern tip of the Peninsula, the north-east region of the Peninsula, and the South Shetland Islands "shifted from a warming trend of 0.32 °C/decade during 1979–1997 to a cooling trend of −0.47 °C/decade during 1999–2014" but that this variation was absent from the south-west region of the Peninsula.[34]

In 2015, the temperature showed changes but in a stable manner and the only months that have drastic change in that year are August and September. It also did show that the temperature was very stable throughout the year.[35][36][37][38]

A 2018 systematic review of all previous studies and data by the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE) found that Antarctica lost 2720 ± 1390 gigatons of ice during the period from 1992 to 2017, enough to contribute 7.6 millimeters to sea level rise once all detached icebergs melt. Most ice losses occurred in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula. The overall loss has substantially accelerated since the 2012 IMBIE assessment: an average loss of 43 gigatons per year during the first ten years, 1992 to 2002, rose to an average of 220 gigatons per year in the last 5 years. East Antarctica appears to have experienced a net gain of a relatively small amount of ice during the 25-years although uncertainty is greater due to subsidence of the underlying bedrock.[2]

Through his ongoing study, climate scientist, Nick Golledge, has estimated that Antarctic ice sheets will continue to melt and will have a profound effect on global climate.[39] According to Golledge's analysis, by the year 2100, 25 centimeters of water will have been added to the world's ocean, as water temperature continues to rise.[40]


Scientists confirm the first active leak of sea-bed methane in Antarctica and report that "the rate of microbial succession may have an unrealized impact on greenhouse gas emission from marine methane reservoirs".[41][42]

From 1989 to 2018, the South Pole experienced a record high statistically significant warming of 0.61 ± 0.34 °C per decade, more than three times the global average.[43] However, this warming lies within the upper bounds of the simulated range of natural variability, leading researchers to conclude that extreme decadal variability has masked anthropogenic warming across interior Antarctica during the twenty-first century.[43]

On 1 July 2021, the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization confirmed that a record high temperature of 18.3 °C (64.9 °F) had been recorded in Antarctica at the Esperanza Base.[44] A study using past global and climate models published in 2021, found that warming events across Antarctica are expected to become more frequent and longer. Moderate-emission projections from this study included warming events doubling in West Antarctica and tripling in the interior of East Antarctica.[45]

The Thwaites Glacier is the widest glacier at about 120 km wide and it is a fast-melting formation that has been the focus of various climate change studies.[46] In 2021, it was reported that giant fractures have been forming along the Thwaites Glacier which could result in the collapse of part of the shelf in five years. This glacier already loses about 50 billion tonnes of ice per year which contributes to 4% of all global sea-level rise.[47]

The Antarctic ice sheet accounts for 90% of the world’s ice volume and 70% of all freshwater on Earth. Global warming has resulted in rapid mass loss of the Antarctica ice sheet.[48] A study published in 2022, revealed that glacier melting from the Antarctica ice sheet accounted for most of the total freshening occurring in the Southern Ocean.[49] The freshening of the Southern Ocean results in increased stratification and stabilization of the ocean. This would weaken overturning circulation and prevent saltier deep water from rising to the surface waters.[50]

Future impacts of climate changeEdit

Antarctic Ice Shelf loss visualized

Even if global temperature rise is limited to the Paris Agreement's stated temperature goals of capping global mean temperature increases to 1.5–2 °C above pre-industrial levels, there is still concern that West Antarctic ice-sheet instability may be already irreversible.[51] If a similar trajectory, still under the global temperature limit goals, persists, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet may also be at risk of permanent destabilization.[52] It has been shown using physics-based computer modeling that even with a 2 °C reduction in global mean temperatures Antarctic ice loss could continue at the same rate as it did in the first two decades of the 21st century.[53]

The continued effects of climate change is likely to be felt by animal populations as well. Adélie penguins, a species of penguin found only along the coast of Antarctica, may see nearly one-third of their current population threatened by 2060 with unmitigated climate change.[54] Emperor penguin populations may be at a similar risk, with 80% of populations being at risk of extinction by 2100 with no mitigation. With Paris Agreement temperature goals in place, however, that number may decline to 19% under the 2 °C goal or 31% under the 1.5 °C goal.[55] Warming ocean temperatures have also reduced the amount of krill and copepods in the ocean surrounding Antarctica, which has led to the inability of baleen whales to recover from pre-whaling levels. Without a reversal in temperature increases, baleen whales are likely to be forced to adapt their migratory patterns or face local extinction.[56]

Finally, the development of Antarctica for the purposes of industry, tourism, or an increase in research facilities may put direct pressure on the continent and threaten its status as largely untouched land.[57]

Impacts on biodiversityEdit

In 2010 according to the Register of Antarctic Marine Species, there were known to be 8,806 species that had been discovered up to that point and there could be as many as 17,000 species that live in the Antarctic which means that there are still thousands of species that have yet to be discovered and are apart of what makes this biodiverse environment.[58] Many modern molecular techniques have found some species including bivalves, isopods, and pycnogonida in the Antarctic ecosystem.[59] The issue with studies of some of these species is that 90% of the Antarctic region is greater than 1,000 meters deep, and only 30% of the benthic sample locations were found below this depth which indicates that there is a major bias toward testing shallower areas.[59] Cruises such as ANDEEP (Antarctic, benthic deep-sea biodiversity project) has sampled around 11% of the deep sea and they found 585 species of isopod crustaceans that were previously un-described which shows that further research of this deep sea area could really intensify the known biodiversity of the Antarctic.[59]

Another major source of biodiversity within ice communities throughout Antarctica are algal communities found located in brine channels. During the summer, the sea ice undergoes a lot of transformation when the ice begins to melt and sub-ice communities are formed. These sub-ice communities are often found in what are known as brine channels that occur when the ice slowly starts to melt and creates channels within the ice that allow for organisms such as carbon-binding algae.[60] This is important because algae is at the base of the food-chain and with these algae, photosynthesis can occur which allows for a sustainable ecosystem and overall a more abundant food-chain.

Due to a lack of human population some scientists had assumptions that Antarctic biodiversity might be unaffected by the climate change.[61] The average global temperature has risen by 1 degree celsius since 1880 and many studies have shown that there are adverse effects occurring in biodiverse ecosystems within Antarctica.[62] The big question is how will biodiversity react to the climate shifting even a degree more? An experiment was done to quantify the changes that may occur to the Antarctic ecosystem due to climate change and scientists predicted that if the planet were to go beyond the global mean temperature, for example 3 degrees Celsius more, the local species richness would decline by nearly 17% and the suitable climate area by 50%.[62]

Heatwave events in Antarctica are expected to increase in frequency and intensity which can result in the loss of individual species.[63] The absence of predators in these ecosystems could trigger a trophic cascade that would lead to the extinction of secondary species. However, the presence of predators can help buffer the impacts of such warming events.[64]


Increasing temperatures in Antarctica also leads to melting of permafrost which can many chemicals.[65] Similar to how soils have a variety of chemical contaminants and nutrients in them, the permafrost in Antarctica traps similar compounds until they melt and the contaminants are released again. These released chemicals change the water chemistry of surface waters, small organisms like micro-algae consume the contaminants, and then bioaccumulation and biomagnification occur throughout the food web.[65] Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals can be found in the permafrost and the remobilization of these chemicals will likely have negative consequences on organisms which will then affect the whole ecosystem. Some of the concerning chemicals and observed biological effects are PAH’s (carcinogenic, liver damage),[66] PCB’s/HCB/DDT (decreased reproductive success, immunohematological disorders),[67] and Hg/Pb/Cd (endocrine disruption, DNA damage, immunotoxicity, reprotoxicity).[68] Understanding what chemicals are trapped in the permafrost and their potential negative effects on Antarctic ecosystems is important because we know that many chemicals will be mobilized from the permafrost as we see increasing temperatures due to climate change.

Non-native speciesEdit

Tourism in Antarctica has been significantly increasing for the past 2 decades with 74,401 tourists in the summer of 2019/2020.[69] The increased human activity associated with tourism likely means there is increased opportunity for the introduction of non-native species. The potential for introduction of non-native species in an environment with rising temperatures and decreasing ice cover is especially concerning because there is an increased probability that introduced species will thrive. Climate change will likely reduce the survivability for native species, improving the chance that introduced species will thrive due to decreased competition.[70] Policy limiting the number of tourists and the permitted activities on and around the continent which mitigate the introduction of new species and limit the disturbance to native species will help prevent the introduction and dominance by non-native species.[70] The continued designation of protected areas like Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASMA) and Antarctic Specially Managed Areas (ASMA) would be one way to accomplish this.


Climate change is a global issue. Thus, the rising temperatures and associated ice and permafrost melting seen in Antarctica will only be mitigated through global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason, policy efforts have focused on mitigating the effects of climate change rather than mitigating climate change itself.[10] One realistic way that policy can be used to address climate change effects in Antarctica is by aiming to increase climate change resilience through the protection of ecosystems. Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPA) and Antarctic Specially Managed Areas (ASMA) are areas of Antarctica that are designated by the Antarctic Treaty for special protection of the flora and fauna.[71] Both ASPAs and ASMAs restrict entry but to different extents, with ASPAs being the highest level of protection. Designation of ASPAs has decreased 84% since the 1980’s despite a rapid increase in tourism which may pose additional stress on the natural environment and ecosystems.[10] In order to alleviate the stress on Antarctic ecosystems posed by climate change and furthered by the rapid increase in tourism, much of the scientific community advocates for an increase in protected areas like ASPAs to improve Antarctica’s resilience to rising temperatures.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Danger of a Runaway Antarctica March 31, 2016,
  2. ^ a b Shepherd, Andrew; Ivins, Erik; et al. (IMBIE team) (2018-06-13). "Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017" (PDF). Nature. 558 (7709): 219–222. Bibcode:2018Natur.558..219I. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0179-y. hdl:2268/225208. PMID 29899482. S2CID 49188002.
  3. ^ IPCC AR6 WG1 Ch9 2021, p. 9-6, line 42
  4. ^ Steig, E.J.; Schneider, D.P.; Rutherford, S.D.; Mann, M.E.; Comiso, J.C.; Shindell, D.T. (2009). "Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year". Nature. 457 (7228): 459–462. Bibcode:2009Natur.457..459S. doi:10.1038/nature07669. PMID 19158794. S2CID 4410477.
  5. ^ Stammerjohn, Sharon E.; Scambos, Ted A. (2020). "Warming reaches the South Pole". Nature Climate Change. 10 (8): 710–711. Bibcode:2020NatCC..10..710S. doi:10.1038/s41558-020-0827-8. ISSN 1758-6798. S2CID 220260051.
  6. ^ Clem, Kyle R.; Fogt, Ryan L.; Turner, John; Lintner, Benjamin R.; Marshall, Gareth J.; Miller, James R.; Renwick, James A. (2020). "Record warming at the South Pole during the past three decades". Nature Climate Change. 10 (8): 762–770. Bibcode:2020NatCC..10..762C. doi:10.1038/s41558-020-0815-z. ISSN 1758-6798. S2CID 220261150.
  7. ^ "Antarctica appears to have broken a heat record". Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  8. ^ Gillett, N. P.; Stone, D.I.A.; Stott, P.A.; Nozawa, T.; Karpechko, A.Y.; Hegerl, G.C.; Wehner, M.F.; Jones, P.D. (2008). "Attribution of polar warming to human influence". Nature Geoscience. 1 (11): 750. Bibcode:2008NatGe...1..750G. doi:10.1038/ngeo338.
  9. ^ Steig, E.J.; Ding, Q.; White, J.W.C.; Küttel, M.; Rupper, S.B.; Neumann, T.A.; Neff, P.D.; Gallant, A.J.E.; Mayewski, P.A.; Taylor, K.C.; Hoffmann, G.; Dixon, D.A.; Schoenemann, S.W.; Markle, B.R.; Fudge, T.J.; Schneider, D.P.; Schauer, A.J.; Teel, R.P.; Vaughn, B.H.; Burgener, L.; Williams, J.; Korotkikh, E. (2013). "Recent climate and ice-sheet changes in West Antarctica compared with the past 2,000 years". Nature Geoscience. 6 (5): 372. Bibcode:2013NatGe...6..372S. doi:10.1038/ngeo1778. hdl:2060/20150001452.
  10. ^ a b c d Hughes, Kevin A.; Convey, Peter; Turner, John (2021-10-01). "Developing resilience to climate change impacts in Antarctica: An evaluation of Antarctic Treaty System protected area policy". Environmental Science & Policy. 124: 12–22. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2021.05.023. ISSN 1462-9011.
  11. ^ Meredith, M.; Sommerkorn, M.; Cassotta, S; Derksen, C.; et al. (2019). "Chapter 3: Polar Regions" (PDF). IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. p. 212.
  12. ^ Glasser, Neil (10 February 2008). "Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse Blamed on More Than Climate Change". ScienceDaily.
  13. ^ "Huge Antarctic ice chunk collapses". CNN. 25 March 2008. Archived from the original on 29 March 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2008.
  14. ^ "Massive ice shelf on verge of breakup". CNN. 25 March 2008. Archived from the original on 29 March 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2008.
  15. ^ "Ice Bridge Holding Antarctic Shelf in Place Shatters". The New York Times. Reuters. 5 April 2009. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  16. ^ "Ice bridge ruptures in Antarctic". BBC News. 5 April 2009. Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  17. ^ a b Steig, Eric J.; Schneider, David P.; Rutherford, Scott D.; Mann, Michael E.; Comiso, Josefino C.; Shindell, Drew T. (22 January 2009). "Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year". Nature. 457 (7228): 459–462. Bibcode:2009Natur.457..459S. doi:10.1038/nature07669. PMID 19158794. S2CID 4410477.
  18. ^ Ingham, Richard (21 January 2009). "Global warming hitting all of Antarctica: scientists". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  19. ^ Tenney Naumer (21 January 2009). "Climate Change: The Next Generation". Archived from the original on 22 January 2009.
  20. ^ Retrieved=2009-01-22 Archived 29 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Antarctica study challenges warming skeptics, Jan 21, 2009,
  22. ^ "Climate Change Positions". British Antarctic Survey. Archived from the original on February 7, 2006. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  23. ^ Wayman, Erin (24 April 2014). "In Antarctica, melting may beget ice".
  24. ^ "Facts / Vital signs / Ice Sheets / Antarctica Mass Variation Since 2002". NASA. 2020. Archived from the original on 22 January 2022. (Time between projects caused gap in data.)
  25. ^ "NASA – NASA Researchers Find Snowmelt in Antarctica Creeping Inland".
  26. ^ IPCC 2007, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, 2007, page 376.
  27. ^ Hulbe, Christina (2002). "Larsen Ice Shelf 2002, warmest summer on record leads to disintegration". Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  28. ^ "Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse Triggered By Warmer Summers". University of Colorado at Boulder. 2001-01-16. Archived from the original on 2007-12-30.
  29. ^ Domack, Eugene; Duran, Diana; Leventer, Amy; Ishman, Scott; Doane, Sarah; McCallum, Scott; Amblas, David; Ring, Jim; Gilbert, Robert; Prentice, Michael (2005-08-04). "Stability of the Larsen B ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula during the Holocene epoch". Nature. 436 (7051): 681–5. Bibcode:2005Natur.436..681D. doi:10.1038/nature03908. PMID 16079842. S2CID 4325739.
  30. ^ Lenton, T. M.; Held, H.; Kriegler, E.; Hall, J. W.; Lucht, W.; Rahmstorf, S.; Schellnhuber, H. J. (2008). "Inaugural Article: Tipping elements in the Earth's climate system". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 105 (6): 1786–1793. Bibcode:2008PNAS..105.1786L. doi:10.1073/pnas.0705414105. PMC 2538841. PMID 18258748.
  31. ^ West Antarctica warming fast; Temperature record from high-altitude station shows unexpectedly rapid rise December 21, 2012 Science News
  32. ^ Bromwich, David H.; Nicolas, Julien P.; Monaghan, Andrew J.; Lazzara, Matthew A.; Keller, Linda M.; Weidner, George A.; Wilson, Aaron B. (23 December 2012). "Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth". Nature Geoscience. 6 (2): 139–145. Bibcode:2013NatGe...6..139B. CiteSeerX doi:10.1038/ngeo1671.
  33. ^ Bromwich, D. H.; Nicolas, J. P.; Monaghan, A. J.; Lazzara, M. A.; Keller, L. M.; Weidner, G. A.; Wilson, A. B. (2012). "Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth". Nature Geoscience. 6 (2): 139. Bibcode:2013NatGe...6..139B. CiteSeerX doi:10.1038/ngeo1671.
  34. ^ Oliva, M; Navarro, F; Hrbáček, F; Hernández, A; Nývltc, D (February 2017). P. Pereira, J. Ruiz-Fernández, R. Trigo. "Recent regional climate cooling on the Antarctic Peninsula and associated impacts on the cryosphere". Science of the Total Environment. 580: 210–223. Bibcode:2017ScTEn.580..210O. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.12.030. hdl:10451/36205. PMID 27979621. Retrieved May 1, 2017. The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is often described as a region with one of the largest warming trends on Earth since the 1950s, based on the temperature trend of 0.54 °C/decade during 1951–2011 recorded at Faraday/Vernadsky station. Accordingly, most works describing the evolution of the natural systems in the AP region cite this extreme trend as the underlying cause of their observed changes. However, a recent analysis (Turner et al., 2016) has shown that the regionally stacked temperature record for the last three decades has shifted from a warming trend of 0.32 °C/decade during 1979–1997 to a cooling trend of − 0.47 °C/decade during 1999–2014. While that study focuses on the period 1979–2014, averaging the data over the entire AP region, we here update and re-assess the spatially-distributed temperature trends and inter-decadal variability from 1950 to 2015, using data from ten stations distributed across the AP region. We show that Faraday/Vernadsky warming trend is an extreme case, circa twice those of the long-term records from other parts of the northern AP. Our results also indicate that the cooling initiated in 1998/1999 has been most significant in the N and NE of the AP and the South Shetland Islands (> 0.5 °C between the two last decades), modest in the Orkney Islands, and absent in the SW of the AP. This recent cooling has already impacted the cryosphere in the northern AP, including slow-down of glacier recession, a shift to surface mass gains of the peripheral glacier and a thinning of the active layer of permafrost in northern AP islands.
  35. ^ Nicolas, Julien. "Reconstructed Byrd temperature record". Archived from the original on 15 December 2016.
  36. ^ Witze, Alexandra (14 April 2014). "West Antarctica warming fast". Archived from the original on 11 September 2013.
  37. ^ Bromwich, David H.; Nicolas, Julien P.; Monaghan, Andrew J.; Lazzara, Matthew A.; Keller, Linda M.; Weidner, George A.; Wilson, Aaron B. (2013). "Map of Antarctica and annual spatial footprint of the Byrd temperature record: Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth". Nature Geoscience. 6 (2): 139–145. Bibcode:2013NatGe...6..139B. CiteSeerX doi:10.1038/ngeo1671.
  38. ^ Bromwich, D. H.; Nicolas, J. P.; Monaghan, A. J.; Lazzara, M. A.; Keller, L. M.; Weidner, G. A.; Wilson, A. B. (2012). "Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth". Nature Geoscience. 6 (2): 139–145. Bibcode:2013NatGe...6..139B. CiteSeerX doi:10.1038/ngeo1671.
  39. ^ "Most dire projection of sea-level rise is a little less likely, reports say". Environment. 2019-02-06. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  40. ^ Golledge, Nicholas R.; Keller, Elizabeth D.; Gomez, Natalya; Naughten, Kaitlin A.; Bernales, Jorge; Trusel, Luke D.; Edwards, Tamsin L. (2019-02-06). "Global environmental consequences of twenty-first-century ice-sheet melt". Nature. 566 (7742): 65–72. Bibcode:2019Natur.566...65G. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-0889-9. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 30728520. S2CID 59606358. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  41. ^ Carrington, Damian (21 July 2020). "First active leak of sea-bed methane discovered in Antarctica". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  42. ^ Thurber, Andrew R.; Seabrook, Sarah; Welsh, Rory M. (29 July 2020). "Riddles in the cold: Antarctic endemism and microbial succession impact methane cycling in the Southern Ocean". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 287 (1931): 20201134. doi:10.1098/rspb.2020.1134. PMC 7423672. PMID 32693727.   Text and images are available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
  43. ^ a b Clem, Kyle R.; Fogt, Ryan L.; Turner, John; Lintner, Benjamin R.; et al. (August 2020). "Record warming at the South Pole during the past three decades". Nature Climate Change. 10 (8): 762–770. Bibcode:2020NatCC..10..762C. doi:10.1038/s41558-020-0815-z. S2CID 220261150.
  44. ^ "UN confirms 18.3C record heat in Antarctica". France 24. 1 July 2021.
  45. ^ Feron, Sarah; Cordero, Raúl R.; Damiani, Alessandro; Malhotra, Avni; Seckmeyer, Gunther; Llanillo, Pedro (2021-10-01). "Warming events projected to become more frequent and last longer across Antarctica". Scientific Reports. 11 (1): 19564. Bibcode:2021NatSR..1119564F. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-98619-z. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 8486840. PMID 34599225.
  46. ^ "ITGC Thwaites Glacier". Retrieved 2022-04-26.
  47. ^ Alley, Karen E.; Wild, Christian T.; Luckman, Adrian; Scambos, Ted A.; Truffer, Martin; Pettit, Erin C.; Muto, Atsuhiro; Wallin, Bruce; Klinger, Marin; Sutterley, Tyler; Child, Sarah F. (2021-11-22). "Two decades of dynamic change and progressive destabilization on the Thwaites Eastern Ice Shelf". The Cryosphere. 15 (11): 5187–5203. Bibcode:2021TCry...15.5187A. doi:10.5194/tc-15-5187-2021. ISSN 1994-0416. S2CID 244522450.
  48. ^ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ed. (2014), "Observations: Cryosphere", Climate Change 2013 - The Physical Science Basis, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 317–382, doi:10.1017/cbo9781107415324.012, ISBN 9781107415324, retrieved 2022-04-26
  49. ^ Pan, Xianliang L.; Li, Bofeng F.; Watanabe, Yutaka W. (2022-01-10). "Intense ocean freshening from melting glacier around the Antarctica during early twenty-first century". Scientific Reports. 12 (1): 383. Bibcode:2022NatSR..12..383P. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-04231-6. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 8748732. PMID 35013425.
  50. ^ Haumann, F. Alexander; Gruber, Nicolas; Münnich, Matthias; Frenger, Ivy; Kern, Stefan (September 2016). "Sea-ice transport driving Southern Ocean salinity and its recent trends". Nature. 537 (7618): 89–92. Bibcode:2016Natur.537...89H. doi:10.1038/nature19101. hdl:20.500.11850/120143. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 27582222. S2CID 205250191.
  51. ^ Schleussner, Carl-Friedrich; Rogelj, Joeri; Schaeffer, Michiel; Lissner, Tabea; Licker, Rachel; Fischer, Erich M.; Knutti, Reto; Levermann, Anders; Frieler, Katja; Hare, William (September 2016). "Science and policy characteristics of the Paris Agreement temperature goal" (PDF). Nature Climate Change. 6 (9): 827–835. Bibcode:2016NatCC...6..827S. doi:10.1038/nclimate3096.
  52. ^ Mengel, M.; Levermann, A. (June 2014). "Ice plug prevents irreversible discharge from East Antarctica". Nature Climate Change. 4 (6): 451–455. Bibcode:2014NatCC...4..451M. doi:10.1038/nclimate2226.
  53. ^ DeConto, Robert M.; Pollard, David; Alley, Richard B.; Velicogna, Isabella; Gasson, Edward; Gomez, Natalya; Sadai, Shaina; Condron, Alan; Gilford, Daniel M.; Ashe, Erica L.; Kopp, Robert E.; Li, Dawei; Dutton, Andrea (6 May 2021). "The Paris Climate Agreement and future sea-level rise from Antarctica". Nature. 593 (7857): 83–89. Bibcode:2021Natur.593...83D. doi:10.1038/s41586-021-03427-0. hdl:10871/125843. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 33953408. S2CID 233868268.
  54. ^ Cimino, Megan A.; Lynch, Heather J.; Saba, Vincent S.; Oliver, Matthew J. (June 2016). "Projected asymmetric response of Adélie penguins to Antarctic climate change". Scientific Reports. 6 (1): 28785. Bibcode:2016NatSR...628785C. doi:10.1038/srep28785. PMC 4926113. PMID 27352849.
  55. ^ Jenouvrier, Stéphanie; Holland, Marika; Iles, David; Labrousse, Sara; Landrum, Laura; Garnier, Jimmy; Caswell, Hal; Weimerskirch, Henri; LaRue, Michelle; Ji, Rubao; Barbraud, Christophe (March 2020). "The Paris Agreement objectives will likely halt future declines of emperor penguins" (PDF). Global Change Biology. 26 (3): 1170–1184. Bibcode:2020GCBio..26.1170J. doi:10.1111/gcb.14864. PMID 31696584. S2CID 207964725.
  56. ^ Tulloch, Vivitskaia J. D.; Plagányi, Éva E.; Brown, Christopher; Richardson, Anthony J.; Matear, Richard (April 2019). "Future recovery of baleen whales is imperiled by climate change". Global Change Biology. 25 (4): 1263–1281. Bibcode:2019GCBio..25.1263T. doi:10.1111/gcb.14573. PMC 6850638. PMID 30807685.
  57. ^ Liggett, Daniela; Frame, Bob; Gilbert, Neil; Morgan, Fraser (September 2017). "Is it all going south? Four future scenarios for Antarctica". Polar Record. 53 (5): 459–478. doi:10.1017/S0032247417000390.
  58. ^ Gutt, Julian; Sirenko, Boris I.; Smirnov, Igor S.; Arntz, Wolf E. (March 2004). "How many macrozoobenthic species might inhabit the Antarctic shelf?". Antarctic Science. 16 (1): 11–16. Bibcode:2004AntSc..16...11G. doi:10.1017/S0954102004001750. ISSN 1365-2079. S2CID 86092653.
  59. ^ a b c Griffiths, Huw J. (2010-08-02). "Antarctic Marine Biodiversity – What Do We Know About the Distribution of Life in the Southern Ocean?". PLOS ONE. 5 (8): e11683. Bibcode:2010PLoSO...511683G. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011683. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 2914006. PMID 20689841.
  60. ^ Morawetz, Klaus; Thoms, Silke; Kutschan, Bernd (2017-03-03). "Formation of brine channels in sea ice". The European Physical Journal E. 40 (3): 25. arXiv:1406.5031. doi:10.1140/epje/i2017-11512-x. ISSN 1292-895X. PMID 28255919. S2CID 3759495.
  61. ^ "Shibboleth Authentication Request" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  62. ^ a b Nunez, Sarahi; Arets, Eric; Alkemade, Rob; Verwer, Caspar; Leemans, Rik (2019). "Assessing the impacts of climate change on biodiversity: Is below 2 °C enough?" (PDF). Climatic Change. 154 (3–4): 351–365. Bibcode:2019ClCh..154..351N. doi:10.1007/s10584-019-02420-x. S2CID 181651307. Retrieved 2022-04-25.
  63. ^ Fischer, E. M.; Sippel, S.; Knutti, R. (August 2021). "Increasing probability of record-shattering climate extremes". Nature Climate Change. 11 (8): 689–695. Bibcode:2021NatCC..11..689F. doi:10.1038/s41558-021-01092-9. ISSN 1758-6798. S2CID 236438374.
  64. ^ Ross, Samuel R. P.‐J.; García Molinos, Jorge; Okuda, Atsushi; Johnstone, Jackson; Atsumi, Keisuke; Futamura, Ryo; Williams, Maureen A.; Matsuoka, Yuichi; Uchida, Jiro; Kumikawa, Shoji; Sugiyama, Hiroshi (January 2022). "Predators mitigate the destabilising effects of heatwaves on multitrophic stream communities". Global Change Biology. 28 (2): 403–416. doi:10.1111/gcb.15956. ISSN 1354-1013. PMID 34689388. S2CID 239766523.
  65. ^ a b Potapowicz, Joanna; Szumińska, Danuta; Szopińska, Małgorzata; Polkowska, Żaneta (2019-02-15). "The influence of global climate change on the environmental fate of anthropogenic pollution released from the permafrost: Part I. Case study of Antarctica". Science of the Total Environment. 651 (Pt 1): 1534–1548. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.09.168. ISSN 0048-9697. PMID 30360282. S2CID 53093132.
  66. ^ Curtosi, Antonio; Pelletier, Emilien; Vodopivez, Cristian L.; Cormack, Walter P. Mac (August 2009). "Distribution of PAHs in the water column, sediments and biota of Potter Cove, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica". Antarctic Science. 21 (4): 329–339. Bibcode:2009AntSc..21..329C. doi:10.1017/S0954102009002004. ISSN 1365-2079. S2CID 130818024.
  67. ^ Jara-Carrasco, S.; González, M.; González-Acuña, D.; Chiang, G.; Celis, J.; Espejo, W.; Mattatall, P.; Barra, R. (August 2015). "Potential immunohaematological effects of persistent organic pollutants on chinstrap penguin". Antarctic Science. 27 (4): 373–381. Bibcode:2015AntSc..27..373J. doi:10.1017/S0954102015000012. ISSN 0954-1020. S2CID 53415356.
  68. ^ Goutte, Aurélie; Cherel, Yves; Churlaud, Carine; Ponthus, Jean-Pierre; Massé, Guillaume; Bustamante, Paco (2015-12-15). "Trace elements in Antarctic fish species and the influence of foraging habitats and dietary habits on mercury levels". Science of the Total Environment. 538: 743–749. Bibcode:2015ScTEn.538..743G. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.08.103. ISSN 0048-9697. PMID 26327642.
  69. ^ IAATO. (2018). IAATO Overview of Antarctic Tourism: 2018-19 Season and Preliminary Estimates for 2019-20 Season.
  70. ^ a b McCarthy, Arlie H.; Peck, Lloyd S.; Hughes, Kevin A.; Aldridge, David C. (July 2019). "Antarctica: The final frontier for marine biological invasions". Global Change Biology. 25 (7): 2221–2241. Bibcode:2019GCBio..25.2221M. doi:10.1111/gcb.14600. ISSN 1354-1013. PMC 6849521. PMID 31016829.
  71. ^ "Area Protection and Management / Monuments | Antarctic Treaty". Retrieved 2022-04-27.


  • Fox-Kemper, Baylor; Hewitt, Helene T.; Xiao, Cunde; Aðalgeirsdóttir, Guðfinna; et al. (2021). "Chapter 9: Ocean, cryosphere, and sea level change" (PDF). IPCC AR6 WG1 2021.
  • IPCC (2021). Masson-Delmotte, V.; Zhai, P.; Pirani, A.; Connors, S. L.; et al. (eds.). Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis (PDF). Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press (In Press).

External linksEdit

  • White Ocean of Ice Antarctica and climate change blog
  • Antarctica is losing ice at an accelerating rate. How much will sea levels rise? on YouTube published on April 10, 2019 PBS NewsHour