Temperature in the Arctic and the Antarctic: The Differently Directed Trends

Temperature in the Arctic and the Antarctic: The Differently Directed Trends

Valentin Sapunov (Saint Petersburg State Agrarian University, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6954-1.ch019
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This chapter aims at the consideration of world temperature dynamics and its prediction in the polar regions of the planet. The global warming started in the 17th century and has been progressing since then. The decline in average global temperature began in 1997. There exist various factors which affect the process, the abiotic ones being among the major in controlling the climate. The climate is also dependent on the interaction between abiotic, biotic, and social spheres. This system seems rather stable and not very much dependent on human activity. The effects of contemporary cooling are not expected to be significant for the mankind but are definitely important for the polar regions. In the Arctic, the temperature is increasing. The one in the Antarctic declines. The average global temperature thus becomes variable. Modern science is able to predict climate change, but extensive studies free of political and economic pressure have to be conducted.
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Polar regions are of particular importance in the dynamics of the global climate as a “kitchen of weather” (Gough, Cornwell, & Tsuji, 2004; Tsaturov & Klepikov, 2012). It is there where the cyclones and anticyclones form along with prevailing winds. They are also indicators of the general state of climate on the planet. Arctic and Antarctic regions have both common characters and principal differences. Arctic region is under control of methane (CH4) emission and anthropogenic pressure. Antarctic is almost free from anthropogenic pressure and thus develops as a significant source of global cold snap. We live in a relatively cold period. During 80% of the entire history of the Earth, Greenland and the Antarctic were free from ice (Sapunov, 2011; Howat, Negrete, & Smith, 2014). In XVII-XX centuries, global temperature increased and the ice in Greenland and the Arctic Ocean melted (Helm, Humbert, & Miller, 2014). According to the chain reaction principle, this led to the emission of greenhouse gases (pseudo green house effect) (Sapunov, 2011), such as CO2 and CH4, from melting permafrost, which, in turn, accelerated ice melting in the North (Semiletov, Makshtas, Akasofu, & Andreas, 2004).

The dynamics of the regions temperature traces cycles in 60 years, corresponding to the cycles discovered in the XX century by Kondratiev (as cited in Sapunov, 2011). They are connected with not social, but natural processes (Akimov, Kozlov, & Kosorukov, 2014; Jurganov, Leifer, & Lund Mair, 2016; Konovalenko, 2008). In this case, the homeostatic nature of the North ensures the relative stability of the continental ice (Machguth et al., 2016; Nghiem et al., 2012). Excess of CO2 entering the atmosphere in a result of permafrost melting is compensated by the intensification of photosynthesis (Semiletov et al., 2004). Since 1997, a period of global cooling began. At the same time, big (several millennia) climatic cycle increased while more noticeable small one (several centuries) decreased. This was particularly noticeable in the southern hemisphere in a form of growth of glacial massif in the Antarctic. At the same time, the asymmetry of the Earth began to grow. In the North, both ice melting and the rise in temperature tend to decrease (Sapunov, 2011). These data must be taken into account for further forecasting of climatic trends. Important instrument for climate prediction is theory of cycles.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Deeutrofication: A decrease of biological mass in water.

Global Climate: A climate in global scale.

Greenhouse Effect: A prevention of hot air convention.

Eutrofication: An increase of biological mass in water.

Pseudo-Greenhouse Effect: A prevention of infrared irradiation in the atmosphere.

Termites: The order of insects that impose significant effect on the atmosphere compound.

Global Multiyear Cycle: A repeating process in climate, which lasts over a decade.

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