You Are In The Old Site Archive - Click Here To See The Main Site With Current Stories

Natural Variability: Bigger Role In Antarctic Than Thought

16.04.2015 17:24 Age: 3 yrs

New analysis by German physicists shows that the uncertainties in the temperature trends over Antarctica are larger than previously estimated. The role of natural temperature variability in Antarctic climate change has been underestimated. As a consequence, the statistical significance of the recent (presumably anthropogenic) Antarctic warming trend is lower than hitherto reported, the researchers state, while the uncertainty about its magnitude is enhanced

Click to enlarge. From the paper supplementary material. Representative monthly temperature anomalies in (a-d) West Antarctica and (e-h) East Antarctica. The green lines represents the 30 month running average. (i-l) The four Antarctica indices considered by the researchers: Peninsula Index (PI), West Antarctica Index 1 (WAI-1), West Antarctica Index 2 (WAI-2), and East Antarctica Index (EA). The figure shows that the records, in particular the West Antarctica ones, do not resemble white noise but display the characteristic mountain-valley behavior of long-term persistent records. The figure also shows that the respective trends in the data are linear, to a very good approximation. Courtesy: authors.

Click to enlarge. From the paper supplementary material. Probability distribution of the temperature anomaly data shown in the top figure. The figure shows that all monthly data can be approximated by Gaussians (red curves). Courtesy: authors.


From the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)




Long-term persistence enhances uncertainty about anthropogenic warming of West Antarctica by Ludescher, J., Bunde, A., Franzke, C., Schellnhuber, H.J. published in Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-015-2582-5

Read the abstract and get the paper here.


PIK news release here.