The spatial coherence of interannual temperature variations in the Antarctic Peninsula
The west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula is a region of extreme interannual variability in near-surface temperatures. Recently the region has also experienced more rapid warming than any other part of the Southern Hemisphere. In this paper we use a new dataset of satellite-derived surface temperatures to define the extent of the region of extreme variability more clearly than was possible using the sparse station data. The region in which satellite surface temperatures correlate strongly with west Peninsula station temperatures is largely confined to the seas just west of the Peninsula. Correlation of Peninsula surface temperatures with those over the rest of continental Antarctica is poor confirming that the west Peninsula is in a different climate regime. Our analysis suggests that only one of five existing ice cores from the region is likely to provide a proxy climate record that is representative of the west coast.