Brian Gunter, Narooma, NSW, Australia http://members.westnet.com.au/brigun/amundsenscott-temps.html
"Trends are not always trendy"
Has the Antarctic continent become significantly warmer in recent years?
Here is a detailed analysis of the temperature data recorded at the South Pole since 1957.
Amundsen-Scott station, in Antarctica, was operated by the United States of America since January 1957. The station is located at the South Pole (see map) with coordinates -90.00°N 00.00°E. The station is located 500 km from the nearest coast and at an elevation of 2,950m.
The raw data were extracted from the website of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI).
Graphical plots are presented below of values of mean temperatures for each of the 12 months and also for each year (January-December).
A polynomial trend line was fitted through each of the sets of data.
This study is a more detailed analysis of temperature trends that I have made for 13 long-term stations in Antarctica. http://members.westnet.com.au/brigun/antarctica-temps.html That study showed that mean summer, winter and annual temperatures at 10 of the 13 stations also had essentially zero temperature trends over the past 60-70 years. The three stations located on the more-northerly Antarctic Peninsula had significant increased temperature over that same period.
The temperature at Amundsen-Scott station has varied little over the past 60 years. In most months (and annually) there is a cyclic pattern with a high around 1970 and a low around 2000.
No conclusions can be drawn on trends since 2000 as one or two high or low values (eg 2005 and 2013) can greatly affect the fitted polynomial trend line. This is particularly so in the annual plot (which has a smaller sample due to many incomplete years of data).
No consistent trends (except for the cyclical pattern) are evident in the monthly plots.
So, there is no evidence of any significant change in the temperature at Amundsen-Scott station over the past 59 years!
ANNUAL AND MONTHLY TEMPERATURE TRENDS AT AMUNDSEN-SCOTT STATION, ANTARCTICA
This article was written by Brian Gunter of Narooma, NSW. In his previous life Brian was an engineering hydrologist involved over many years in the analysis of rainfall and river flow data for the planning of water resources projects in Australia, Asia and Africa. In recent years he has been one of the Marine Rescue NSW (previously Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol) volunteer weather observers who operate the Narooma station for the Bureau of Meteorology.
28 May 2015