Sunday, December 20, 2015

Polar Warming

  NOAA Climate has recently pointed out that the arctic is warming at a faster rate than the global average. Temperature anomaly data is available from the NOAA ftp site for 30° intervals of latitude and can be used to compute global and arctic tracks for comparison.

 The anomaly baseline for the ftp data is 1971-2000 so the vertical scale is different from NOAA's plot. The arctic track appears to have started increasing about 1970, a little earlier that the global track of the anomaly mean. The arctic anomaly data also shows much more variation in its values than the antarctic data.

This may be due to the fact that the arctic has an ocean ice pack and the antarctic a continental ice sheet. The antarctic currently appears to be cooling.

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