A broadscale shift in antarctic temperature trends

During the second half of the twentieth century, the Antarctic Surface Air Temperature (SAT) trends are characterized by fast warming over West Antarctica but mild cooling over East Antarctica. However, after 2000, the warming over several stations in the Antarctic Peninsula slowed down, whereas the South Pole experienced fast warming. These reversed SAT trends show strong regionality and seasonality, together with large uncertainty and disagreement among different observational and reanalysis datasets, which makes it difficult to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the multi-decadal Antarctic SAT trend and its reversal. In this study, we use the Combined Maximum Covariance Analysis (CMCA) method to extract the most coherent modes of the Antarctic SAT trends among six reanalysis datasets and 26 station-based observations. Further analysis shows that the reversals of the SAT trends before and after 2000, especially for austral spring and summer, are mainly attributed to the reversed trends of the leading CMCA modes and their related atmospheric circulation and thermal advection patterns over Antarctica. For austral spring, the reversal of the west-warming-east-cooling pattern over Antarctica is closely related to the changes of thermal advection induced by the anomalous circulation center over the Antarctic Peninsula–Weddell Sea region. For summer, the post-2000 reversal of the Antarctic Peninsula-warming-East Antarctic-cooling is attributed to the stratospheric ozone recovery over the Antarctic, and the associated adjustment of the southern annular mode. The CMCA decomposition better combines the information from different measurements, clarifying the long-term SAT trend and its reversal for different seasons.


Publication status:
Authors: Xin, Meijiao, Li, Xichen, Stammerjohn, Sharon E., Cai, Wenju, Zhu, Jiang, Turner, John ORCIDORCID record for John Turner, Clem, Kyle R., Song, Chentao, Wang, Wenzhu, Hou, Yurong

On this site: John Turner
1 November, 2023
Climate Dynamics / 61
19pp / 4623-4641
Link to published article: