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Antarctica is warming

This New York Times article reports on research done at the University of Washington in Seattle and at the NASA Goddard Space Institute in New York that will soon be published in the journal Nature.  The scientists used satellites to interpolate temperatures between sparse weather stations.  They determined with a high level of confidence that warming is occurring in Antarctica just as it is in the other six continents.  This finding validates the reliability of the models that scientists use to predict the earth’s response to greenhouse gases.  Apparent cooling in parts of Antarctica had called these models into question, and global warming skeptics grasped at the anomaly.   The new research found the average warming across Antarctica to be 0.18 degrees Fahrenheit over the period 1957 – 2006, comparable to the warming measured globally.  The scientists acknowledge that more work is needed to determine how much of the warming is due to natural climate swings and how much to carbon dioxide.  A third scientist, at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, called the climate dynamics in Antarctica “complex,” but noted that his own findings, using different techniques and assumptions, accorded well with the results obtained in the latest research.

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