Atmospheric Variability along the Antarctic Coast

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Sunday, 4 January 2015
Matthew Bessasparis, Millersville University, Carlisle, PA

In order to better understand the effect of climate change on physical processes in the Antarctic, the variability of storms along the Antarctic coast was examined. Data from 2005 to the present was collected from 15 Automated Weather Stations (AWS) set up by the University of Wisconsin on the coast of the West Antarctic Peninsula, the Amundsen Sea, and the Ross Sea. To characterize the seasonal pattern of the intensity and frequency of storms, the average mean, range, and standard deviation of pressure, temperature, and wind speed for each month was found. The long-term trend of the parameters was found by removing the seasonal pattern from each monthly mean. The seasonal pattern of both the frequency and intensity of storms was found to be highest in the winter - this could impact other physical processes such as sea ice formation or the depth of the ocean mixed layer. Over the time period studied, there was no significant long-term trend in any of the parameters measured.