The South Pole is warming at an alarming rate and three times faster than the rest of the world, according to scientists. “My colleagues and I argue these warming trends are unlikely the result of natural climate variability alone,” scientist Kyle Clem of Victoria University of Wellington wrote in The Guardian.
“The effects of human-made climate change appear to have worked in tandem with the significant influence natural variability in the tropics has on Antarctica’s climate," Clem wrote. "Together they make the South Pole warming one of the strongest warming trends on Earth.”
Clem says that the change in Antarctica in the last 30 years comes due to effects from tropical variability working together with increasing greenhouse gases.
The South Pole is one of the coldest places on Earth and as it warms, the effects could be catastrophic to rising sea levels and may leave less land for animals like polar bears, who rely on the frozen temperatures to live and survive.
“The temperature variability at the South Pole is so extreme it currently masks human-caused effects," Clem wrote. "The Antarctic interior is one of the few places left on Earth where human-caused warming cannot be precisely determined, which means it is a challenge to say whether, or for how long, the warming will continue."
But, Clem cautioned, his team's new study showed "extreme and abrupt climate shifts are part of the climate of Antarctica's interior" and that they "will likely continue into the future."