Monday, May 29, 2017

Antarctica Heights Settle Polar Warming Puzzle

Computer simulation shows that Antarctica is warming far slower than the Arctic region because of its much greater height.

The distant summit of Mount Vinson in Antarctica, rising to 4,892 meters, is higher than Mont Blanc (4,810 meters) in the European Alps. (Image Credit: Torch Magazine via Flickr) Click to Enlarge.
Scientists believe they have settled one of the great polar puzzles − why Antarctica is warming at a rate so much slower than the Arctic region.  And the answer is a simple one:  Antarctica is so much higher.

To ram the point home, they used a computer simulation to hammer the entire southern continent until it was no more than a meter above sea level.  At which point, in their simulation, warming at the South Pole became much more dramatic.

The two poles are very different:  the Arctic is an ocean almost entirely surrounded by land, while Antarctica is a vast continent entirely surrounded by frozen ocean.

Read more at Antarctica Heights Settle Polar Warming Puzzle

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