Climate change in Antarctica

Over the past couple decades, significant warming has been registered in some parts of Antarctica. Lack of basic knowledge is a fundamental hurdle for efforts to comprehend climate change here. Research suggests that for the past 30 years, the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica has contributed to limiting the effects of global warming in the continent.

Climate in Antarctica

The climate in Antarctica is colder than in any other place on earth. And even though Antarctica is covered with snow and ice, the continent is essentially a desert, with exceedingly low annual precipitation.

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Status and prospects

Over the past couple decades, significant warming has been registered in some parts of Antarctica and great changes are likely in the years to come.

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Climate components

Antarctica produces cold air, cold water and ice. These processes are fundamental for the climate system of the southern hemisphere, and influence that of the northern hemisphere as well.

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Worldwide impact

The vast ice-bound expanses of Antarctica serve as a global thermostat, regulating the world’s climate system.

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Research

Climate research at the Norwegian Polar Institute focuses especially on sea ice, glaciers, oceanography and marine ecosystems, and much of the research is coordinated through the Centre for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems (ICE).

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