Antarctica has cooled – not warmed up – over the last 40 years
08/23/2021 // Mary Villareal // Views

As a whole, the Antarctic has cooled by about 2 degrees Celsius in the same 40-year period (1979 to 2018) that carbon dioxide rose from 337 to 410 parts per million – meaning that the world is actually getting colder, not hotter.

A paper published in the journal Atmosphere noted that the trends from ERA5 are consistent with these observations, showing that there is a cooling trend in East and West Antarctica, while a warming trend comes from the Antarctic Peninsula.

According to graphical illustrations of the surface air temperature trends from satellite observations in the study, most of Antarctica and much of the surrounding Southern Ocean cooled during this period. The researchers posited that one-third of the 40-year cooling trend can be attributed to the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). The MJO is the major fluctuation in the tropical weather on weekly to monthly timescales, characterized by its eastward-moving pulse of cloud and rainfall near the equator. It normally recurs every 30 to 60 days. This influence will likely accelerate the long-term cooling trend for Antarctica in the coming decades.

A study from Western Washington University in Bellingham showed that most of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is cooling, with the warming constrained in the Antarctica Peninsula. With the help of satellite and surface temperature measurements, it demonstrated that Antarctica warming is false, as the satellite temperatures showed no warming in the last four decades. The southern ocean around Antarctica has also cooled since 2006, and sea ice has increased since 2012. The Larsen Ice Shelf station has also been cooling at a rate of 1.8 degrees Celsius per decade since 1995.


However, the government and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as well as so-called scientists, still insist on saying that climate change is here, and the planet is getting warmer. (Related: Climate change HOAX has literally convinced a member of Congress that "the world is going to end in 12 years.)

Key factors to Antarctica's climate

Antarctica's climate remains windy and dry, with wind speeds that vary across the continent. The relative humidity of the air on the continent is often as low as 0.03 percent, and is considered to be a polar desert.

The coldness of Antarctica's climate comes from various factors. Its high latitude means that sunlight hits the surface at a low angle, so solar energy is spread over a larger area than if the surface hits a higher angle. By being spread over this larger area, the energy received per unit is reduced. Furthermore, south of the Antarctic circle is a period during austral winter where the sun does not rise above the horizon.

The Antarctic Peninsula had been warming since at least the 1950s, but a shift in prevailing winds resulted in its cooling in 1998.

John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) said, "What we are seeing is natural climatic variability overriding global warming."

Antarctica has barely warmed over the years, and the warming seas around its edges are eating away at ice shelves and glaciers but are yet to penetrate the vast interiors of the continent. Further, the winds that circle the south pole act as a shield that is keeping out warmer air from higher latitudes.

A separate study using Antarctic satellite temperatures also showed that there had been no warming as of late, and the Southern Ocean around Antarctica has markedly cooled since 2006. Sea ice also increased substantially since 2012, and surface temperatures at 13 stations over the Antarctic Peninsula have been cooling sharply since 2006. Sea ice has reached all-time highs, and temperatures have been cooling at a rate of 1.8 degrees Celsius per decade since 1995.

Learn more about what is really happening on the planet at

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