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The Antarctic Climate Card

February 16, 2016

By Paul Homewood




When it comes to the poles, it is always the Arctic which gets most of the attention. Time then to update what has been going on down under lately.


RSS shows that atmospheric temperatures have effectively remained unchanged during the satellite era, dropping by just 0.02C/decade. (UAH are similar, with a drop of 0.01C).


RSS_TS_channel_TLT_Southern Polar_Land_And_Sea_v03_3



2015 finished at 0.15C below the baseline average of 1979-98.





Sea ice extent has been running close to average for the last few months, down from last year’s record levels.




Sea ice area also shows no long term changes.





And, to complete the picture, SSTs across the Southern Ocean remain much lower than they were prior to 2005.





In short, the climate in the Antarctic appears to be remarkably stable.




Antarctic Peninsula

It is regularly claimed that the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming regions on earth.

However, if we check the actual data, we find this claim is grossly misleading. There seems to have been a shift upwards in temperatures during the 1970’s and 80’s. But since then, there appears to have been little trend at all.

Indeed, last year was unusually cold, compared to many recent years.









We can see this clearly when we look at the trends for the two longest running stations, Faraday and Esperanz, at different ends of the peninsula . (Faraday aka Vernadsky).


Map of Wintering Base Stations in Antarctica, 2002







5-Year averages are now lower than they were in the 1970’s at Faraday, and in the 1980’s at Esperanz. At both sites, temperatures appear to be past their peak.

So it appears that another myth has been blown apart.


None of this, of course, was supposed to be happening. Global warming theory demands that warming is faster at the poles. Whatever is going on in the Arctic, the Antarctic is not playing ball.

  1. February 16, 2016 9:13 pm

    Don’t hold your hand on your butt waiting for the global warming crew to acknowledge this…it’ll grow there first!

  2. February 16, 2016 10:23 pm

    Very few people appreciate that the surface of the Antarctic continent, including the Peninsula sees no temperatures above zero. The Australian Antarctic station at Davis is an exception. It is known as the Riviera of the south because it is uniquely ice free (local influence of warm energy gathering rocks) causing temperatures rise above zero for a couple of months each year. At the Antarctic Pole the air at 500 hPa (about 5.5 km) and all levels below is warmer in winter than the surface of the continent.The warmth of the air above the icy continent is due to its ozone content. Ozone levels increase in winter as the rate of destruction of ozone by short wave radiation from the sun falls away, especially of course, during the polar night. Another factor comes into play in winter and that is the strength of descent of very cold air (-85°C) from the mesosphere inside the polar vortex….effectively the southern margin of the jet stream. That appears to affect the temperature of the air down to perhaps 300 hPa.

    So, the warmth of the air in winter is due to the fact that ozone is a greenhouse gas and absorbs long wave radiation from the Earth. The temperature of the stratosphere at 30 hPa (the ozone maximum is experienced at 30 hPa) over the pole inn August increased from -100°C to -85°C about 1998 and has been in slow decline since that time.

    So, the temperature of the continent is determined in the stratosphere by natural processes that have been in operation for a very long time.Temperature has nothing to do with ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’ and proponents of that theory reveal their lack of observation of the real world by suggesting that it does.

    The ozone content of the air above Antarctica is affected by the rate of uplift of ozone destroyers such as NOx from the troposphere and its descent from the mesosphere. When the ‘ozone hole’ manifests in October-September ozone levels reach their annual maximum on the margins of the continent itself and the warming effect of ozone drives surface atmospheric pressure to a resounding planetary low at 60-70° south. Surface pressures declined south of 50° south latitude until 1998 and there has been a marginal increase since that year. Surface pressure varies strictly with the ozone content of the air. So, the ‘ozone hole’ is a product of a very narrow focus in blissful disregard of a larger, more complex and far more interesting picture.

    There is no ‘troposphere’ over Antarctica because ozone is ubiquitous throughout the atmospheric column.

    More at

    Oh, and by the way, your daily weather and climate, wherever you are located, including the Arctic, is ultimately tied to atmospheric processes in Antarctica.

  3. February 16, 2016 11:00 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Polar amplification is the most fundamental tenet of global warming theory.
    “Whatever is going on in the Arctic, the Antarctic is not playing ball”…

  4. wehappyfew permalink
    February 16, 2016 11:27 pm

    “…it appears that another myth has been blown apart.

    None of this, of course, was supposed to be happening. Global warming theory demands that warming is faster at the poles. ”


    I calculated the linear regression trends for the two stations you picked:

    Faraday: 0.48K/dec …. about 3 times the global average
    Esperanz: 0.28K/dec … almost 2 time the global average

    Do you concur?

    It seems the Myth is Confirmed!

    • February 17, 2016 10:31 am

      What has the trend been since, say, 1990?

      That is my whole point – Faraday and Esperanz did warm up about 40 yrs ago, but have since stopped.

      You need to understand the difference between IS warming and WAS warming.

      BTW – Global warming theory demands the whole of Antarctica warms, not just a tiny part of it.

      • wehappyfew permalink
        February 17, 2016 12:59 pm

        trend since 1990:

        Faraday …. 0.23K/dec … much higher than global
        Esperanz … 0.17K/dec … slightly higher than global

        Your 5-year running means reach all-time highs in 2010 and 2002. There is certainly a lot of variability, but the running means are reaching higher highs and higher lows.

        If you shorten your time period further, you can find downtrends even!

        Will you revisit these data when the next oscillation reaches new highs in a few years?

        Physics requires that Antarctic climate respond to all the forcings – not just CO2, plus all the complex circulations, currents, etc.

        Ozone destruction has removed a large GHG forcing locally over the south pole, for much of the year.

        Manabe predicted circulation and salinity changes in response to CO2 increase way back in 1991 … he predicted this would increase sea ice. His prediction has been vindicated.

        Click to access sm9101.pdf

        “…This is why sea surface temperature hardly changes and sea ice slightly increases near the Antarctic Continent in response to the increase of atmospheric CO2…”

      • February 17, 2016 7:33 pm

        Esperanza has actually had a falling trend since 1992, and Faraday since 1995.

        Also worth noting that both stations were likely affected by Pinatubo in 1991/2, thus affecting the trend since 1990.

        There is certainly much natural variability, as you rightly say, but no evidence that running means are rising or that the next oscillation will be up.

        BTW – you might be interested in Jim Steele’s analysis, suggesting that temperature trends in the Peninsula have been simply weather driven

      • February 17, 2016 5:00 pm

        who stated that global warming depends on antarctica melting??
        it’s gonna give you record cold/heat/drought/floods and an ice age effect (which with the excess heating will not be anything like you imagine and there is so many variables nobody knows)
        we live in interesting times
        but watch as it melts

      • February 17, 2016 5:35 pm

        Not to mention the fairies at the bottom of the garden!

  5. Chris permalink
    February 17, 2016 4:12 am

    “GRACE” satellite data, is a total fraud which the alarmists will always point to, and mention “antarctic ice volume decreasing!!1”

    • February 17, 2016 4:49 pm

      Visit Climate Audit’s recent post on this. The problem is not Grace per se. It was a model used to estimate the isostatic adjustment that has ro be applied to estimate Antarctic ice mass. When this was actually finally measured using differential GPS in 2013, turns out the earlier model estimate was high by almost 5x. When the observed adjustment is applied, there is essentially no ice loss and the GRACE answer accords to Zwally’s new IceSat analysis to within instrumental uncertainty.

  6. February 17, 2016 10:10 am

    To use a linear slope for a seasonally fluctuating variable does not make much sense statistically.

    Your first graph should instead show a 12- or 24-month moving average. This would have the merit of eliminating the seasonal factor. Also it would better illustrate the decline in temperature.

    I have posted two charts in my blog to illustrate an alternative approach to use of trend lines for data that is cyclical or quasi-cyclical.

    • Tom Moran permalink
      June 9, 2016 11:22 am

      Thanks for the data. Should your blog read 1882 or 1982? Sausage fingers? : )

  7. eliza permalink
    February 17, 2016 11:51 am

    Completely back to normal (arctic thick ice)

  8. April 1, 2016 3:14 pm

    I don’t understand why do you say that temp. at Esperanza and Faraday haven’t increased respect to 1970’s and 1980’s when in the graphs you have posted it could be seen that now is hottest than in past decades. ?!?!

    • April 1, 2016 5:41 pm

      There are ups and downs, but temperatures have been pretty much flat since 1990.

      What I said was

      There seems to have been a shift upwards in temperatures during the 1970’s and 80’s. But since then, there appears to have been little trend at all.

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