S42 Antarctic Temperature Variability and its Relationship to the Amundsen-Bellingshausen Seas Low

Sunday, 6 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Donald E. Lippi, Ohio University, Athens, OH; and R. L. Fogt

Regional warming has been observed in many of the surface observation stations along West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula as well as various other stations throughout the continent. It is suspected that the location (latitude/longitude) and magnitude (central pressure) of Amundsen Bellingshausen Seas Low (ABSL), a semi permanent low pressure system in the South Pacific Ocean, has a direct relationship with the warming of these areas. This research examines the correlation between the average seasonal temperatures of the surface stations and the location and the magnitude of the ABSL.

Using surface temperature data to calculate the average seasonal temperature and running correlations with data from three global atmospheric reanalyses, we were able to show that the ABSL could be one of the factors driving the changes in the climate of Antarctica. Interestingly, the magnitude of the ABSL has a strong correlation with the temperatures of the Antarctica Peninsula annually which is consistent throughout the three reanalyses. In addition, there are variations in the strengths of the correlations seasonally for other stations, with winter showing strong correlations for most of the stations, followed by summer, both of which are also consistent through the reanalyses, while both fall and spring show weaker correlations and consistencies. The longitude of the ABSL seems to have the greatest influence on the temperatures of the Antarctica Peninsula during the fall. The latitude of the ABSL doesn't seem to have quite as strong of an influence as the magnitude; however, in the winter, summer, and fall seasons, the latitude does have a fairly strong correlation but somewhat inconsistent influence on the temperatures in many of the stations.

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