Climate Change Is Real: Antarctica Heated Up 2 To 3 Times More Than Planet's Average
While there are ongoing debates on whether global warming is real or not, a new evidence shows that the Antarctic warmed between two to three times more than the average temperature increase across the globe.
A team of American geophysicists claims that following the planet's last ice age, which happened 20,000 years ago, the Antarctic area heated up. In fact, the area warmed about 11 degrees Celcius between 20,000 and 10,000 years ago. For comparison, the planet warmed only about 4 degrees Celcius.
"The result is not a surprise, but if you look at the global climate models that have been used to analyze what the planet looked like 20,000 years ago - the same models used to predict global warming in the future - they are doing, on average, a very good job reproducing how cold it was in Antarctica," Kurt Cuffey, lead author of the study, said in a press release by the University of California, Berkeley. "That is noteworthy and a confirmation that we know how the system works," he added.
What They Found
To land to their findings, which were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the researchers used a borehole in the ice of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to measure the temperature of the ice deep within the sheet.
According to the IB Times, the 20,000-year-old deep ice left is still 2 degrees Celsius colder than the ice close to the surface.
Why Does Antarctica Warm Faster Than The Planet?
The researchers said that the Antarctic area warm faster than the rest of the planet because of the way the oceans transported heat in the Southern Hemisphere. Moreover, it could be due to the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and the amount of sunlight reaching the surface of the ice sheet.
The new evidence could amplify what the rest of the world is experiencing. The worsening global warming could be much worse in the poles of the planet, as they would experience it at a much faster rate than the rest of the world.
Though the global climate would not reach its peak in a couple of hundreds of years, Antarctica would warm as twice as much as the rest of the planet. However, with the current scenario of increasing greenhouse gas emissions, the scientists predict that if the global temperature average would increase by 3 degrees Celcius in 2100, the Antarctic area will experience an increase by around 6 degrees Celcius.