ARL News

The Warmest Spring Antarctic Low Stratosphere On Record?


April 2, 2003

Based on carefully selected radiosonde data, global tropospheric temperatures in 2002 appear to have been the second warmest of record, 0.6K above the long term average and exceeded only by the 0.8K above-average values in the strong El Nino year of 1998. The most surprising feature of last year was the exceptional warmth of the Antarctic low stratosphere during the austral spring, with values about 10K above the 1961-90 average. This is the warmest spring of the 45-year record, and is associated with a near disappearance of the Antarctic ozone hole (as was also the case of the second warmest spring of 1988).

Contact information: Bruce B. Hicks
Phone: (301) 713-0684