Spatial patterns of variability in Antarctic surface temperature: Connections to the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode and the Southern Oscillation

  • Kwok R
  • Comiso J
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The 17-year (1982–1998) trend in surface temperature shows a
general cooling over the Antarctic continent, warming of the sea
ice zone, with moderate changes over the oceans. Warming of the peripheral
seas is associated with negative trends in the regional sea ice extent.
Effects of the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode (SAM) and the extrapolar
Southern Oscillation (SO) on surface temperature are quantified through
regression analysis. Positive polarities of the SAM are associated
with cold anomalies over most of Antarctica, with the most notable
exception of the Antarctic Peninsula. Positive temperature anomalies
and ice edge retreat in the Pacific sector are associated with El-Ni�o
episodes. Over the past two decades, the drift towards high polarity
in the SAM and negative polarity in the SO indices couple to produce
a spatial pattern with warmer temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula
and peripheral seas, and cooler temperatures over much of East Antarctica.

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  • Ron Kwok

  • Josefino C. Comiso

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