An analysis of a 34-year air temperature record from Fossil Bluff (71°S, 68°W), Antarctica
An analysis of a long-term surface air temperature record for Fossil Bluff in the George VI Sound, West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) documents in detail some important aspects of the climate of this area for the first time. The analysis identifies the close dependency of air temperatures on latitude in the WAP but reveals that the strength of this dependency is greatest in winter. This result along with others leads to the Fossil Bluff climate regime being characterized as ‘continental’ rather than ‘maritime’ as found further north. The WAP as a whole displays large interannual temperature variability but this is greatest in Marguerite Bay rather than the Fossil Bluff area. Evidence is also provided for secular climatic change appearing in summer throughout the WAP over the last few decades. The representativeness of existing Antarctic Peninsula annual air temperature climatologies, based mainly on snow temperature measurements, for the winter and summer periods is also noted.(Received November 2 1995)
(Accepted March 11 1997)
Key Words: air temperature variations; Antarctic Peninsula; climate change.