Scientists Report Faster Warming in Antarctica

Photo Credit: NC State

From the New York Times:

West Antarctica has warmed much more than scientists had thought over the last half century, new research suggests, an ominous finding given that the huge ice sheet there may be vulnerable to long-term collapse, with potentially drastic effects on sea levels.

A paper released Sunday by the journal Nature Geoscience reports that the temperature at a research station in the middle of West Antarctica has warmed by 4.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1958. That is roughly twice as much as scientists previously thought and three times the overall rate of global warming, making central West Antarctica one of the fastest-warming regions on earth.

“The surprises keep coming,” said Andrew J. Monaghan, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., who took part in the study. “When you see this type of warming, I think it’s alarming.”

To try to get to the bottom of the question, David H. Bromwich of Ohio State University pulled together a team that focused on a single temperature record. At a lonely outpost called Byrd Station, in central West Antarctica, people and automated equipment have been keeping track of temperature and other weather variables since the late 1950s.

It is by far the longest weather record in that region, but it had intermittent gaps and other problems that had made many researchers wary of it. The Bromwich group decided to try to salvage the Byrd record.

They retrieved one of the sensors and recalibrated at the University of Wisconsin. They discovered a software error that had introduced mistakes into the record and then used computerized analyses of the atmosphere to fill the gaps.

Much of the warming discovered in the new paper happened in the 1980s, around the same time the planet was beginning to warm briskly.

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They can’t find any recent warming, so they took a broken sensor with “intermittent gaps and other problems”, “recalibrated” it, “used computerized analyses of the atmosphere to fill the gaps” and “discovered” warming that “happened in the 1980s”. If you believe that this is science, then I strongly suggest you prep your telescope, lest you miss out on a spectacular sleigh sighting…


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Of course they have to prep the IPCC report with junk peer review papers like this to conform to the meme.
This is just sickening and outrageous.

jeff 5778

These people got paid for this.

j ferguson

Help me to understand this. One reporting station with one sensor, later discovered to have become defective, whose record is intermittent over the period of the study? Wow!

jonny old boy

I read this article on the BBC site ( obviously they were lightning quick to put it online ) and actually laughed out loud reading it….

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead

jeff 5778 says:
December 24, 2012 at 9:15 am
These people got paid for this.
Correction. We pay through the nose for people to do this.

I already have a partial recreation of their paper. The AWS data was significantly changed for byrd – I can’t find much detail on that but the corrections are large. The main trend is basically a combination of the manned station and the aws station data.
I will post something soon on this.
The highest temperature reported in the entire reconstruction was -9.7 Celcius.


This is an encouraging sign. The barrel is truly empty of anything but hot air.


There you again using facts to dispel fantasy. The only thing warming these days is the disperation of the grant seekers to keep the game going.

Isn’t the west Antarctic a bit volcanic? Getting warmer? Well, d’uh……

Isn’t the west Antarctic volcanic? Getting warmer? Well, d’uh….


Actually, it should read
“Scientists Pull Faster One on Warming in Anarctica”

Richard deSousa

Good grief! The average temperature of Antarctica is over -50 degrees. If there is anything melting in Antarctica it’s the ice shelf over the ocean, but it’s only a small portion of the continent. Photo showing the Antarctic continent.


I’ve heard that dogma in science changes one death at a time. Unfortunately, many of these people are still quite young!


Nice feedback loop there. We have gaps in the record, so we use our model to fill the gaps. This gives new input to the model to drive it warmer, which is then used to re-calibrate the sensor. Again we run our model to fill the gaps with the newly recalibrated data. Gosh, it got warmer. Recalibrate again. Anybody see a problem? Nah, completely objective. That is, I completely object to this charade being called science. When I grew up, doing this as a high school science project would have gotten you a big fat “F”.

Was there anything in the “Mayan Calendar” about this? – Because that one needs re-calibrating too!

Bob W in NC

Don’t I remember a WUWT post showing that West Antarctica should actually be considered a distinct continent from Antarctica? That plus the sham science in this case (and in a plethora of other cases) leaves me wondering about the scientific acumen of those supporting CAWG…
Just wondering…

Not to mention that the sensor is in the built up area of Antarctica. How much of this is due to the “urbanization” of an otherwise uninhabitable continent?


“Much of the warming discovered in the new paper happened in the 1980s”
The problem with warming the past is that it tends to make the present cooler in contrast. Even Hansen knows you have to adjust past temperatures downward to preserve any semblance of a hockey stick. If current temperatures in Western Antarctic stay flat or cool, watch them revisit the temperature record and adjust past temperatures again to remove the downward trend from the 1980s. They got grant money to adjust past temperatures upward, and they’ll get more grant money to adjust them downward again. What a sweet shell game they’ve created for job security!

john robertson

Just the beginning of the rush to produce IPCC correct papers to save the AR5.
Reviewers are done , now the team gets to work.
Definition of insanity ?
Team response, If we just communicate the cause properly, this time it will work.
Or in a hat tip to WUWT commenters, Let the policy based evidence manufacturing begin.


I read the BBC article on it (link below). They in turn linked to Nature Geoscience but I couldn’t see the paper on the link page. So it’s difficult to make out just how they pulled this off. I would be interested to know because if the temperature rise has doubled and is therefore 2.2 degrees F greater than they thought then it must mean that they pushed the starting temp (1957) down by 2.2 degrees. They can’t add 2.2 degrees to current readings (can they?) if they are accurately taken. Their models might show interesting and yes, dubious patterns in between but to get that rise of 4.4 degrees they have to have pushed the 1957 temp down by 2.2 degrees and confidently stated as fact that the temps back then were indeed that much lower. Either that or they would have to give the record a sharp dip down at a later year in order to start the 4.4 degree rise from that point. I can’t see how that can be achieved with any certainty at all.


@sean71 says:
>>This is an encouraging sign. The barrel is truly empty of anything but hot air.<<
Agreed. They are grasping at straws.


I look forward to some remarks from someone who has read this paper.

george e. smith

So is the Antarctic peninsula still north of the Antarctic circle, where the sun always rises every day; and did all those volcanoes disappear ?
The biggest news evidently is that West Antarctica is not Antarctica, but simply a floating ice shelf !
I learn something new every day. I thought I once read that Greenland was just a group of islands, surrounding a big block of ice, so it couldn’t go anywhere; but maybe not ?
In any case, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans both go sloshing back and forth twice a day under the Antarctic Peninsular ice shelves; and apparently now; according to the NYT report, go sloshing under West Antarctica as well.
Does somebody have a geological map of Antarctica; the land piece that is sans all those floating ice shelves.
Maybe they should ban cruise ships, and ice breakers (kayaks too) from going down there and breaking up those floating ice shelves. Seems like plain vandalism to me.
In any case, I’m not going to worry, since this new robust paper says suggests , may, potentially; and the scientists can’t distinguish between that, and doesn’t suggest, may not, and potentially not. Wake me when they decide yea or nae.
Lemme guess, this Byrd Station thermometer; its hanging up on a rare misshapen Charlie Brown like Russian Christmas tree; izzat about it ??, and they don’t have wifi so Micro$oft hasn’t been fixing all the bugs in their windows, since 1958 !


Merry Christmas to all. Keep rocking world in the year.


A paper released Sunday by the journal Nature Geoscience reports that the temperature at a research station in the middle of West Antarctica has warmed by 4.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1958.
Are there scientists who actually use the Fahrenheit scale in their work? I thought they all used either the Celsius scale or the Kelvin one, which is just a version of the Celsius scale starting at absolute zero.


Looks like they timed the release of this one for AR5… with little time to react or have a chance to publish a refutation. Typical.

It would be useful to post a link to real climate which carries a graph from the paper. It shows modest warming through the 90’s but then a cooling from around 1998.
Unfortunately it doesn’t show a reconstruction from the 1930’s which seemed to have some serious warming

Bryan A

Sounds like another Sighting Field Trip for Anthony 🙂
I wonder if they built a Structure around it (near by) and heated it so that the Scientists at the station can moniter the temp in comfort


An unverified computer model is “worthless”. Over half of the newly minted PhD get their degree based on “working, but unverified computer models”.
/sarc following, truth above
Let us use an unverified computer model to adjust the unverified broken sensors to prove an unverifiable theory!
Life is Good — Eat, Drink be Merry — “What me worry?!?!”

“If you believe that this is science, then I strongly suggest you prep your telescope, lest you miss out on a spectacular sleigh sighting…”
the level of discussion here is detoriating…


j ferguson says:
“Help me to understand this. One reporting station with one sensor, later discovered to have become defective, whose record is intermittent over the period of the study? Wow!”
Yes, but The world renowned Eric Steig says that the results are better than the results in his paper (so he finally admits that there are problems with his paper?) and he notes that the results in this paper “…matches a recent temperature reconstruction from a nearby borehole in the ice sheet, adding confidence in the findings.”
I’m not sure how he can conclude this. The borehole record shows 1.5 degrees C (2.7 F) rise, all of which occurs since 2000; the new paper says 4.4 degrees F rise with most occurring in the 1980s. These two models don’t seem to agree well at all. Guess you have to be a “climate scientist(TM)” to see that agreement.


Sounds like Rube Goldberg science to me.


I forwarded this to some mainline stats and physics colleagues at OSU. Maybe they ask some questions.


-20 degrees, +4.4 degrees = -15.6 degrees. Still to cold to have any ice melt. Then they run it through a computer model. Sheesh, this counts as science now?

This is nice to know, I guess but tell me something that has real importance or stop bothering me with fluff. It is obvious none of these people have a clue about what the difference between -40 C and -38 C is? It is simply my exposed skin freezes quicker at – 40 and I was never dumb enough to time the difference or stick my tongue on the metal porch railing either. It is glibness like this and the over misuse of perfectly valid adverbs that destroy what ever meaning they have in the language.

Eyeballing the Bromwich graph at Real Climate It looks like the warming trend rolled over sometime 2001- 3 in line with the Global SST data – see my blog Global cooling – Climate and Weather Forecasting at
Of course the ignoring of this really significant part of this paper and the trumpeting of the 1980 warming as a sign of coming disaster by such Alarmist propagandists as the BBC, Time and the MSM in general was only to be expected.


Are you sure these scientists aren’t simply employing sarcasm? I mean, who would take this seriously? They could be the Jonathan Swifts of Climate Science. We use sarcasm a lot in these comments. This looks like they’re out there tweaking the noses of AGW climate scientists. That kind of humor can be very effective.


“They can’t find any recent warming, so they took a broken sensor with “intermittent gaps and other problems”, “recalibrated” it, “used computerized analyses of the atmosphere to fill the gaps” and “discovered” warming that “happened in the 1980s”. “

They know they will get away with it. Winston Smith science; the end of objective reality. Stakes are high and decisions urgent. This is about billions of dollars. The LazyTeenagers of this world are hungry; they need jobs in the crookademia.

4.4degF = 2.4degC. But I guess 4.4 is a bigger number and therefore sounds scarier. Interesting that even with all the fiddling of numbers they can still only claim that the temperatures rose in the 80s, at least 22 years ago. What’s happened since? I wonder if nothing in particular, but best not to mention that because it detracts from the scary message.

Steve Oregon

The idiocy and purposeful mendacity of the scientists is surpassed only by the wallowing naivety of the New York Times.
The disturbing combination of no authenticity and blind acceptance produces ignorance on a grand scale.

Henry Clark

The real temperature history picture:
For 460 locations aiming to represent the high-latitude Southern Hemisphere from 60 degrees to 90 degrees latitude:
Chapman, W.L. and Walsh, J.E. 2007. A synthesis of Antarctic temperatures. Journal of Climate 20: 4096-4117.
Even the above, though, effectively understated the cooling over the last couple decades of the 20th century within inland Antarctica (compared to such as Comisco 2000* finding substantial cooling there over 1979 to 1998), because the inland ice sheet is not the same as the whole high-latitude Southern Hemisphere zone that includes surrounding oceans.
* http://
Antarctic temperature trends were somewhat the opposite of the bulk of the rest of the world, and there is a reason for that.
During the global cooling scare period of the 1960s-1970s, when there was major cooling in most of the world with weak solar cycle 20 (as in the Northern Hemisphere average in the data of the time like ), the Antarctic warmed. During the global warming scare period of high-activity solar cycles 21 and 22 (1976 to 1996), when the bulk of the rest of the world warmed (before having global temperatures be flat to declining since the 1998 El Nino through now), the Antarctic cooled.
Why can the ice-covered part of Antarctica have a temperature trend the opposite of even ocean waters a relatively short distance away as seen, for example, in ? Why did the Antarctic Peninsula, where a narrow strip of land is without a wide ice expanse and is nearby dark blue ocean water, warm even while the white ice sheet inland cooled?
The answer is in particularly the bottom right (click to enlarge), ,
Global temperatures rose on the whole since the Little Ice Age, corresponding to the rise in solar activity (where, since shorter solar cycles are more intense than longer ones, an illustration, using historical data harder to fudge than most metrics, is how average solar cycle length over 1901 to 1996 was 10.5 years compared to the slower weaker cycles averaging 11.5 years each over the prior century from 1798 to 1901 ). However, pure Antarctic ice/snow is the prime special place on Earth where the surface is whiter than clouds, making decline in average cloud cover have the opposite temperature effect it does in most places, making Antarctic temperature trends diverge from the surrounding oceans and world for as long as decades at a time.
Propagandists spread false claims like spam, particularly against the truths of greatest threat to their cause (like what would be seen if someone read all the preceding plus looked at all the graphs linked), but reality is quite internally consistent in non-fudged, non-revisionist data once one understands the top factors involved.

James at 48

This was discredited well over a year ago. This is the gift that keeps on giving. 🙁


You guys know there are volcanoes under the West Antarctic, right?
Antarctica Volcanoes

Joe Public

The modern Magi brings gold, frankincense, and mirth.

It’s the middle of summer down here in Australia and so ’tis time for Climate Fear… except this year the rivers are full, it’s been a cool spring and summer and all the state capitals have had rain recently…so with no bushfires raging and no dry riverbeds to point to the Warmists have got their knickers in an awful tiwst.
What can they do to illustrate how right they’ve been with their predictions?
It’s far enough away and there’s a lot of scary ice there…(more ice in fact that there was last christmas!)
It’s only a matter of time before the Australian people turn on these idiots.


Maybe the reason that the thermometer is reading more than they thought it would is because it’s now in Colorado…:-)…..Merry Christmas.

Chuck L

Antarctica is roughly the size of North America. Concluding that West Antarctica is warming by using one station, Byrd Station (possibly with a broken sensor), is like using SFO to conclude that Western North America is warming. How does cr@p like this get published?

Henry Clark

EDIT: Although the rest should all work already, the second link in my prior comment had a typo; removing the extra duplicate http : // makes it work.

This is an amazing bit of stupidity from the warmista. We’ve already been through all of this with the O’Donnell/Steig dust up. The Byrd temp data is a conflation of different thermometers, different places, horribly incomplete data, (only summer temps in the most recent part of the record) and the temps never get above freezing. THERE IS NO MELT IN THE BYRD AREA!!! None, nade, zippo, zilch.
For a refresher of the inanity about trying to derive a temp from Byrd, much less having that one spot be representative of an rather large part of a continent, go here.
Brings back good memories. Good times to be had by all, again! 🙂 For those interested, I put up a bit of my perspective here.
Cheers and Merry Christmas to all!