Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Global warming in Antarctica

Signs of global warming are three times more apparent in Antarctica than across the rest of the planet, a new study shows.

Using newly digitized temperature, humidity, and wind data collected from instruments aboard weather balloons between 1971 and 2003, scientists found a winter season warming throughout the Antarctic atmosphere.

The scientists estimate that atmospheric temperatures over Antarctica in the winter have risen by about 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 Celsius) in the last 30 years, and the change is due in large part to greenhouse gas emissions.

“Greenhouses gases could be having a bigger impact in Antarctica than across the rest of the world and we don't understand why," said John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey.

Other studies of the region focused only on surface temperature variations and produced mixed results. One study found significant warming only on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula but not elsewhere in the southernmost continent.

Another previous study even suggested that parts of Antarctica were cooling in recent decades while the rest of the globe was warming.

Unlike these other studies, the current one looks at temperature variations away from the Earth's surfaceand also covers a wider area.

Analyzing nearly continuous data collected from nine weather stations over the past 30 years, the researchers concluded that Antarctica's air is indeed heating up.

Turner warns that the warming could affect Antarctica's snowfall and sea level in ways not predicted by current models.

"Current climate model simulations don't reproduce the observed warming, pointing to weaknesses in their ability to represent the Antarctic climate system," he said. “Our next step is to try to improve the models."

1 comment:

Raz said...

K have heard that the ice in the middle of Antartica is getting thicker. renewable sources on energy forever.
No doubt that global warming is very debated. I, however, have never heard that man is causing global cooling. For this - all I can say is that I hope that the people that believe this is natural are not wrong. But if man is causing at least part of the problem then why not do all we can. One thing not in dispute is that we cannot continue to use non-renewable sources on energy forever.
Are you familiar with the ground floor movement to take solar to the masses by a company called Citizenre? They are trying market solar with an approach similar to satellite TV, cellular telephones, and alarm systems. That is to provide the customer a complete solar system with no upfront charges and make money from a service contract. In this case the service contract would be a rent agreement. They intend to put a complete solar system on clients home. When the system produces electricity, it will lower the bill from the current utility provider. In most cases the savings from the lower bill will more than cover the rent fee that the company intends to charge. The company currently has no product available but intends to deploy in the middle of 2008. They are currently taking reservations and have over 26,000 takers so far. I have written several articles on this company in my blog and even have a couple of videos that I have recorded at www.solarjoules.com. Feel free to take a look. I welcome comments. As in any start up business, a chance exists that they may never get off the ground and fulfill any preorders, but if this is the case - the potential client has not lost anything. If you cannot afford the upfront cost of solar today, this may turn out to be a great alternative. This solution would mean that we could produce at least a little less pollution and would be a great step "just in case". And hey, the fact that you will save money on your electricity bill over time is a pretty good reason to look into it as well.
If anyone would like company information you can go to www.jointhesolution.com/razmataz.