Western region of Antarctica is one of the fastest warming regions of the World

Map showing warming in Antarctica (Credit: Julien Nicolas / Ohio State University)Researchers have found the rapid warming of the western part of the ice sheet of Antarctica.

This research has been published online in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Researchers have observed that the western region of the Antarctica is facing nearly two times faster warming than the previous opinions. They recorded temperature from Byrd Station, a scientific station in the center of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), and found the increase of 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit (2.4 degrees Celsius) in average annual temperature since 1958. This increase is about three times faster than the average temperature increase in the world.

This research shows the contribution of the West Antarctica to the rise of water levels in the world.

“Our record suggests that continued summer warming in West Antarctica could upset the surface mass balance of the ice sheet, so that the region could make an even bigger contribution to sea level rise than it already does,” David Bromwich, professor of geography at Ohio State University and senior research scientist at the Byrd Polar Research Center, said in a statement.

“Even without generating significant mass loss directly, surface melting on the WAIS could contribute to sea level indirectly, by weakening the West Antarctic ice shelves that restrain the region’s natural ice flow into the ocean.”

Researchers are working on the cause of rapid warning.

“West Antarctica is one of the most rapidly changing regions on Earth, but it is also one of the least known,” he said. “Our study underscores the need for a reliable network of meteorological observations throughout West Antarctica, so that we can know what is happening—and why—with more certainty.”

Reference:

Bromwich, D., Nicolas, J., Monaghan, A., Lazzara, M., Keller, L., Weidner, G., & Wilson, A. (2012). Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth Nature Geoscience DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1671

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