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Friday, March 28, 2008

John Turner: Study finds 'classic global warming' over Antarctica

BLOGGER'S NOTE: I include this somewhat dated material because it is important to remind those who might be swayed by flat-earthers who say that it is getting colder down south on Antarctica.

"Study finds 'classic global warming' over Antarctica," Chicago Tribune, March 31, 2006.

In the winter sky over Antarctica, scientists have detected a vast cap of steadily warming air, in the first sign that record levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may be trapping heat above the ice sheets of the South Pole.

The temperature of the winter air over Antarctica has been rising at a rate three times faster than the world as a whole, the researchers reported Thursday in the journal Science.

By analyzing 30 years of high-altitude weather balloon records, meteorologists at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge concluded that temperatures in the polar troposphere, the dense layer of air reaching from the surface to an altitude of about 5 miles, have risen by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit since the early 1970s.

"We have the largest regional warming on Earth at the tropospheric level," said climate specialist John Turner, who led the research team.

In their study, Turner and his colleagues drew on daily temperature records from 1971 to 2003 kept by eight international research stations that rim the continent and the U.S. station at the South Pole. It was the first time anyone had been able to collate all the high-altitude atmosphere readings.

When the researchers examined the data, they not only saw evidence of winter season warming throughout the troposphere, but a cooling in the stratosphere above, a layering effect that researchers predict as a consequence of greenhouse warming.

"We have the classic global warming signal," Turner said. "It is like the blanket on the bed: When we wrap the Earth with a blanket of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane, we trap heat under it at the expense of the atmosphere above, which then cools."


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