(JO NOVA) – Antarctica is twice the size of the US or Australia. Buried 2 km deep under domes of snow, it holds 58 meters of global sea level to ransom. The IPCC have been predicting its demise-by-climate-change for a decade or two.
A new paper looks at 60 sites across Antarctica, considering everything from ice, lake and marine cores to peat and seal skins. They were particularly interested in the Medieval Warm Period, and researched back to 600 A.D. During medieval times (1000-1200 A.D) they estimate Antarctica as a whole was hotter than it is today. Antarctica was even warmer still – during the dark ages circa 700 A.D.
While there was rapid warming across Antarctica from 1950-2000, in the last twenty years, that warming has stalled. Just another 14 million square kilometers that the models didn’t predict.
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We already knew the Medieval Warm Period was a global phenomenon, thanks to hundreds of proxies, and 6,000 boreholes. But this new paper is a great addition.