Antarctica’s temperature varies widely according to season and region, and for years it had been thought that the South Pole had stayed cool even as the continent heated up.
Researchers in New Zealand, Britain and the United States analyzed 60 years of weather station data and used computer modeling to show what was causing the accelerated warming.
They found that warmer ocean temperatures in the western Pacific had over the decades lowered atmospheric pressure over the Weddell Sea in the southern Atlantic.
This in turn had increased the flow of warm air directly over the South Pole—warming it by more than 1.83C (about 3.3F) since 1989.
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