Sep 28, 2016

Assessing recent trends in high-latitude Southern Hemisphere surface climate

Julie M. Jones, Sarah T. Gille, Hugues Goosse et al
Nature Climate Change
  • States that understanding the causes of recent climatic trends and variability in the high-latitude Southern Hemisphere is hampered by a short instrumental record
  • Analyzes recent atmosphere, surface ocean and sea-ice observations in this region and assesses their trends in the context of paleoclimate records and climate model simulations
  • Superimposes significant linear trends in annual mean sea-ice extent, surface temperature and sea-level pressure on large interannual to decadal variability over the 36-year satellite era
  • Finds that most observed trends are not unusual when compared with Antarctic paleoclimate records of the past two centuries
  • Finds that, with one exception, simulations that include anthropogenic forcing are not compatible with observed trends
  • Results suggest that natural variability overwhelms the forced response in the observations, but the models may not fully represent this natural variability or may overestimate the magnitude of the forced response