Atmospheric measurements made at Earths geographic poles provide a convenient way of validating and calibrating global circulation models. Such measurements also might provide some of the first conclusive evidence of global change in the middle and upper atmospheres. But new data shows that the current models are wrong: Temperatures over the South Pole are much colder in winter than scientists had anticipated.
As reported in the Aug. 28 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, scientists have found that temperatures during mid-winter in the stratopause and mesopause regions at the South Pole are about 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit colder than model predictions.
The work was performed by Chester Gardner, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Weilin Pan, a doctoral student at Illinois; and Ray Roble, a senior scientist at the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.
James E. Kloeppel | EurekAlert!
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