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Rapid recent warming on Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica, from borehole thermometry

By B.E. Barrett, K.W. Nicholls, T. Murray, A.M. Smith and D.G. Vaughan


The Antarctic Peninsula has warmed faster than the global average rate of warming during the last century. Due to limited availability of long term meteorological records, the geographical extent of this rapid warming is poorly defined. We collected borehole temperature measurements in the upper 300 m of Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica, and employed an inverse modeling scheme with a heat diffusion-advection equation to determine the recent surface temperature history of the borehole position. Our results reveal recent warming of 0.17 +/- 0.07 degrees C (decade)(-1) since 1930. This result suggests that, at least in an attenuated form, the rapid warming observed over the Antarctic Peninsula extends as far south as Rutford Ice Stream. This result agrees with other recent results that show a warming trend across much of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Citation: Barrett, B. E., K. W. Nicholls, T. Murray, A. M. Smith, and D. G. Vaughan (2009), Rapid recent warming on Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica, from borehole thermometry, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L02708, doi:10.1029/2008GL036369

Topics: Meteorology and Climatology, Glaciology
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1029/2008GL036369
OAI identifier:
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