Antarctic Science

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Antarctic Science (2009), 21:541-563 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2009


Antarctic climate change and the environment

P. Conveya1 c1, R. Bindschadlera2, G. di Priscoa3, E. Fahrbacha4, J. Gutta4, D.A. Hodgsona1, P.A. Mayewskia5, C.P. Summerhayesa6, J. Turnera1 and the ACCE Consortium*

a1 British Antarctic Survey, NERC, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
a2 Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
a3 Institute of Protein Biochemistry, National Research Council, Via Pietro Castellino 111, I-80131 Naples, Italy
a4 Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
a5 Climate Change Institute, Sawyer Research Facility, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
a6 Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, Scott Polar Research Institute, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1ER, UK
Article author query
convey p [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
bindschadler r [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
di prisco g [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
fahrbach e [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
gutt j [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
hodgson da [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
mayewski pa [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
summerhayes cp [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
turner j [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


The Antarctic climate system varies on timescales from orbital, through millennial to sub-annual, and is closely coupled to other parts of the global climate system. We review these variations from the perspective of the geological and glaciological records and the recent historical period from which we have instrumental data (xs223Cthe last 50 years). We consider their consequences for the biosphere, and show how the latest numerical models project changes into the future, taking into account human actions in the form of the release of greenhouse gases and chlorofluorocarbons into the atmosphere. In doing so, we provide an essential Southern Hemisphere companion to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment.

(Received July 20 2009)

(Accepted September 26 2009)

Key wordsAntarctica; biology; environmental change; geology; glaciology; Southern Ocean




* see Appendix 1