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West Antarctic Warming Faster Than Thought, Study Finds

Climate Change

West Antarctica has warmed much more than scientists had thought over the last half century, new research suggests, an ominous finding given that the huge ice sheet there may be vulnerable to long-term collapse, with potentially drastic effects on sea levels.

West Antarctic Warming Faster Than Thought, Study Finds

By JUSTIN GILLIS
New York Times
December 23, 2012

West Antarctica has warmed much more than scientists had thought over the last half century, new research suggests, an ominous finding given that the huge ice sheet there may be vulnerable to long-term collapse, with potentially drastic effects on sea levels.

A paper released on Sunday by the journal Nature Geoscience reports that the temperature at a research station in the middle of West Antarctica has warmed by 4.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1958. That is roughly twice as much as scientists previously thought and three times the overall rate of global warming, making central West Antarctica one of the fastest-warming regions on earth.

“The surprises keep coming,” said Andrew J. Monaghan, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., who took part in the study. “When you see this type of warming, I think it’s alarming.”Of course, warming in Antarctica is a relative concept. West Antarctica remains an exceedingly cold place, with average annual temperatures in the center of the ice sheet that are nearly 50 degrees Fahrenheit below freezing.

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West Antarctic Warming Faster Than Thought, Study Finds | 1 comments | Create New Account
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West Antarctic Warming Faster Than Thought, Study Finds
Authored by: ArchStanton on Saturday, December 29 2012 @ 03:10 PM CST

“The surprises keep coming,” said Andrew J. Monaghan ...

Surprises huh?  Well, sometimes surprises come from the place you least expect them.