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Evidence of recent climatic warming on the eastern Antarctic Peninsula

  • Pedro Skvarca (a1), Wolfgang Rack (a2), Helmut Rott (a2) and Teresa Ibarzábal Y Donángelo (a3)

Abstract

Air temperatures at the Marambio (MAR), Esperanza (ESP) and Matienzo (MAT) stations have been analyzed to investigate recent climate change on the eastern part of the Antarctic Peninsula. They are compared with data from the Oreadas station on the South Orkney Islands, the longest record available in Antarctica, and from the Faraday (FAR) station on the western coast of the Peninsula. Though the interannual variability is comparatively high and the stations are located in different climatic regimes, a pronounced warming trend shows up in all records. At MAR a temperature increase of 1.5°C has been observed since the beginning of the record in 1971. This is of similar magnitude to the increase at FAR on the west coast, which was 2.5°C for the longer period since 1945. The steady retreat and collapse of the northern Larsen Ice Shelf (LIS) coincided with this warming trend. of particular importance for the ice-shelf mass balance in this region are the summer temperatures which show a statistically significant warming trend at MAR and ESP. The representativity of the summer temperatures of MAR for northern LIS is confirmed by intercomparison with the parallel measurements at MAT which is located on the ice shelf.

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References

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