Temperature variation in the South Orkney Islands, maritime Antarctic
Meteorological records at Signy Station in the South Orkney Islands (SOIs) have recently been digitized to cover the period of 1947–1995. This study compares the newly available near-surface air temperatures at Signy with those from a nearby station, Orcadas and with reanalysis datasets to provide a more comprehensive picture of the weather and climate variability in the SOIs. Temperatures from both stations show a higher degree of variability in winter than summer, but the variability differs in terms of its relationship to the dominant wind directions and sea ice influences. The two stations differ markedly in terms of their respective warm temperature events, largely due to orography-induced föhn winds at Signy Station as northwesterlies flow over Coronation Island. ERA5 reproduces the monthly to annual averages exceedingly well but underestimates both cold and warm tails of station temperatures. Temperature trends in the SOIs are also considered in terms of changes in large-scale circulation and the sea surface temperature over the Brazil-Falkland Confluence. However, caution is required in interpreting the long-term temperature trends estimated from reanalysis data as most of the reanalyses show a cold bias before 1979, which is most likely caused by misrepresentation of the sea ice.
Authors: Lu, Hua ORCID record for Hua Lu, Colwell, Steve, King, John ORCID record for John King, Orr, Andrew ORCID record for Andrew Orr, Phillips, Tony ORCID record for Tony Phillips, Dobb, Emilia, Xue, Jonathan, Kucieba, Sabina, Phillips, Guy, Marshall, Gareth ORCID record for Gareth Marshall