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Keywords:

  • polar meteorology;
  • polar stratospheric clouds;
  • climate change

Abstract

Over the last 30 years, Antarctic mid-tropospheric temperatures in winter have increased by 0.5 K per decade, the largest regional tropospheric warming observed. Over this period, amounts of polar stratospheric cloud(PSC) have also increased, as rising CO2 concentrations cooled the stratosphere. By imposing an idealisation of these increases in PSC within the radiation scheme of an atmosphere-only general circulation model, we find that they could have contributed to the observed warming. The present generation of global climate models do not properly represent PSCs, and so these results demonstrate the need to improve the representation of PSCs. Copyright © 2009 Royal Meteorological Society and Crown Copyright