Global Warming: Antarctica

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Mar 31 2006 02:53
Global Warming: Antarctica

Close enough to Oceania smile

Taken from some newspaper

Antarctica's atmosphere is heating up three times faster than the earth average, British scientists said after a 30 year study released today.

"The rapid surface warming of the Antarctic Peninsula and the enhanced global warming signal over the whole continent shows the complexity of climate change," said lead author John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey, which published the study in the latest edition of Science magazine.

"Greenhouse gases could be having a bigger impact in Antarctica than across the rest of the world and we don't understand why."

Weather balloon instrument readings high in the Antarctic atmosphere showed the continent warming at a rate of 0.5 to 0.7 degrees celsius per decade during the 30 year study. The average rise worldwide has been 0.2 degrees celsius per decade, the study said.

"The largest warming of almost 0.75 degree celsius per decade was found close to five kilometres above the surface," the study said.

"That is over three times the rate of warming observed for the world as a whole."

The study used radiosonde wintertime measurements taken between 1971 and 2003.

Scientists added that although the warming atmosphere at earth's surface receives the most attention, the upper atmosphere is warming more rapidly at 4,000 metres to 5,000 metres.

AFP