Antarctic Climatology and Meteorology

  1. A.P. Crary,
  2. L.M. Gould,
  3. E.O. Hulburt,
  4. Hugh Odishaw and
  5. Waldo E. Smith
  1. H. Wexler and
  2. Morton J. Rubin

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM001p0036

Antarctica in the International Geophysical Year: Based on a Symposium on the Antarctic

Antarctica in the International Geophysical Year: Based on a Symposium on the Antarctic

How to Cite

Wexler, H. and Rubin, M. J. (1956) Antarctic Climatology and Meteorology, in Antarctica in the International Geophysical Year: Based on a Symposium on the Antarctic (eds A.P. Crary, L.M. Gould, E.O. Hulburt, H. Odishaw and W. E. Smith), American Geophysical Union, Washington D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM001p0036

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1956

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900018

Online ISBN: 9781118669204



  • Climatology and meteorology;
  • Little America and Maudheim;
  • New Zealand;
  • Southern Hemisphere circulation;
  • Tropopause disappearance;
  • Winds;
  • Wintertime temperature soundings


The Antarctic affords an opportunity to investigate a wide range of meteorological problems under conditions not found elsewhere on Earth. These problems include the examination of the thermal, mass, and mobile structure of an atmosphere cut off both from direct solar energy for many months and, in contrast to its Arctic Ocean counterpart, from conduction of appreciable heat from below. The sharp distinction between the troposphere and the stratosphere, so marked elsewhere, is believed to vanish during the polar night over Antarctica.

Another problem is whether the Antarctic troposphere's flow pattern is dominated by the mid-latitude planetary wave system moving like spokes of a wheel around the Pole as appears to be the case in the Arctic, or by waves moving radially outward from the interior of the Continent, as suggested by earlier meteorological observations. A smaller-scale, but important problem, especially for field and aircraft parties, is the drainage, blocking, and deflective influence of mountains and hills on producing local circulations and blizzardy winds up to hurricane force.

The existence of a uniformly thermal and flat snow surface, such as is found for hundreds of miles over the Ross Ice Shelf, will provide an unexcelled natural laboratory to study atmospheric turbulence and energy exchange between atmosphere and snow surface. The incoming and outgoing radiation fluxes, the albedo of the snow surface, the polar white-out, and the variations of ozone and other gases are further examples of problems in polar geophysics which will be investigated during the forthcoming International Geophysical Year.