Breakdown: Why the southpole isn’t as cold lately

Breakdown: Why the South Pole isn't as cold lately

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -The South Pole, is one of the most southern points of the earth and one of the most isolated area but it’s home to United States research base.

The South Pole is located on the continent of Antarctica. The land of the South Pole is approximately a hundred meters above sea level, but the ice around 9,000 feet thick! The South Pole is much colder than the North Pole. The warmest temperature ever recorded at the South Pole was 9.9 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest temperature recorded at the South Pole, -117.0 degrees Fahrenheit, and that beyond frigid temperature is still warmer than the coldest temperature ever recorded, which is -128.6 degrees Fahrenheit. According to research, that temperature was recorded at the Russian Vostok Research Station, which is approximately 808 miles away.

The South Pole experiences only one sunrise and only one sunset every year. The region gets up to 24 hours of sunlight in the summer and 24 hours of darkness in the winter.

While it is one of the coldest places on earth it is also one of the fastest warming according to research meteorologist. Research has found that the air temperatures since the 1990s are rising at three times faster rate than the global average.

Some researchers say that the warming of natural climate change is mostly to blame but that humans have contributed to the fast-warming too. Climate change due to emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, scientist believe have played a part but the analysis showed that natural climate changes maybe had more of a reason for all of the extreme swings in temperatures. The interior of the Antarctic, warmed by 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit, per decade over the last 30 years.

Researchers point out that while the Antarctic is losing ice, it is not going to completely melt anytime soon. The average yearly temperature is still about minus-58 degrees Fahrenheit. Research did find that this warming is contributing to a rise in sea levels.

Researchers found that the rising temperatures are due to a change in atmospheric circulation from the western Tropical Pacific Ocean which is thousands of miles away.

Records of temperatures in the South Pole have been kept since 1957. For several years, average temperatures were steady or decreasing. Strong westerly winds that circled the continent served as a wall to keep warmer air from getting into the interior. According to research the warmer air was able to get into the interior when the sea-surface temperatures in the western tropical Pacific started to increase. This rise in the western tropics is a natural oscillation that occurs over time.

The warming ocean heated the air, which caused areas of high and low pressure in the atmosphere that were able to reach the Antarctic. According to research, this combined with the stronger westerly winds, created these ripples that led to stronger storms in the Weddell Sea. These storms, allowed warmer air from the South Atlantic Ocean into the interior of the continent which also led to the declining of sea ice in the area.

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