UPDATED: Antarctica: Not immune to global warming

Posted by Samantha Rose Hunt

South Pole - Many individuals have shunned the idea that Global Warming actually exists due to the fact that Antarctica was believed to be cooling over the last 50 years. However a new study proves that since 1957, when the temperature was measured for the entire continent, the it has risen by one degree Fahrenheit on average.





It's a commonality to hear individuals boast the cooling of Antarctica as they try to refute the concept of global warming. In fact, Antarctica is warming, just not at the same speed as the rest of the world, according to the report.



It was believed that Antarctica was becoming cooler due to the ozone hole located over the South Pole. A break in the ozone layer has led to cooling weather patterns across East Antarctica. The discovery actually brings forth a chilling concept, and that is that West Antarctica is warming not only faster, but even more so than scientists originally realized.



West Antarctica is the ice sheet that would be most susceptible to collapse in the future due to global warming. If this particular ice sheet were to collapse, the rise in seal level worldwide would be catastrophic, according to the recent report.



The report claims Global warming is actually hitting Antarctica hard. The continent is experiencing the effects of global warming just like other locations throughout the globe - affecting its ecosystem.



The researchers conducting this study utilized a new technique which combined data from satellites and automated weather stations in Antarctica to produce what they believe is the best estimate of the continent's temperature at this point. The questionable aspect of this is that there are not that many weather stations in Antarctica and the satellite data they used has only been available for the past 25 years. Skeptics will also claim that any new technique, when applied, has the potential of skewing the existing data view.



In addition, even some scientists remain skeptical about this new method. It is believed that individuals should be cautious with the results obtained because there is no way to validate them.



This study was published in the journal Nature.



[Editor's note: Global Warming (GW) and Manmade Global Warming (MGW) are two separate issues. While many scientists believe GW is happening, they do not believe it is the result of MGW. We were all taught in school that the Earth has gone through many ice ages, mini ice ages, warm periods, etc. It's a cycle, and the debate raging right now is whether or not GW is the result of MGW, or of the natural cycle.]



UPDATED:  January 23, 2009 - 11:55pm CST
A recent article on The New York Times has prompted TG Daily to write a follow-up piece, entitled Possible natural explanation found for West Antarctica's warming.