Wednesday, January 21, 2009
MORE of Antarctica is heating
Deborah Smith, Science Editor
January 22, 2009 - 7:42AM
MORE of Antarctica is heating up than scientists had thought.
A large part of West Antarctica, not just the peninsula area, has warmed during the past 50 years, a study shows.
The issue of climate change on the frozen continent has been controversial because East Antarctica has been cooling and temperature records are sparse.
Eric Steig, of the University of Washington, said his research showed that, overall, warming had outweighed cooling.
"The thing you hear all the time is that Antarctica is cooling. But it's more complex than that," Professor Steig said. "Antarctica isn't warming at the same rate everywhere and, while some areas have been cooling for a long time, the evidence shows the continent as a whole is getting warmer."
Warming in West Antarctica exceeded 0.1 degrees a decade during the past 50 years, similar to the rest of the world, the study, published in the journal Nature, said.