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A further assessment of surface temperature changes at stations in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean, 1949–2002

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Statistical analyses are carried out, of the annual mean surface air temperature at occupied stations and automatic weather stations in the Antarctic and Southern and Pacific Oceans. The data are studied in four groupings: coastal Antarctica (excluding the Antarctic Peninsula), inland Antarctica, the Antarctic Peninsula and the Southern Ocean/Pacific Ocean islands. We find that within each of these four groupings the average trend indicates warming. For coastal Antarctica the trend is ∼0.8°C(100 a)−1. Inland, the results are less clear, but the mean trend is to a warming of ∼;1.0°C(100 a)−1. For the Peninsula stations it is ∼4.4°C(100 a)−1, and for the ocean stations the average trend is ∼0.8°C(100 a)−1. The results indicate a reduction in the warming trend since our last analysis 6 years ago. While the Pinatubo (Philippines) volcanic eruption may have had some influence on this reduction in the warming rate, examination of the interannual variations in the temperature record shows variability has continued high since the recovery from any such effect. There has been a further period of cooler temperatures in coastal and inland Antarctica in that time, yet a warmer period in the Peninsula and ocean islands.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-06-01

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

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