Report: All Antarctica Warming

Antarctica is warming rather than cooling, according to scientists analyzing half a century of temperatures on the continent.

A review by U.S. scientists of satellite and weather records for Antarctica, which contains 90 percent of the world's ice, showed that freezing temperatures had risen by about 0.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1950s.

"The thing you hear all the time is that Antarctica is cooling and that's not the case," said Eric Steig of the University of Washington, lead author of the study in the journal Nature, according to Reuters.

The average temperature rise was "very comparable to the global average," Steig told a telephone news briefing, as reported by Reuters.

Until this study, scientists have generally said that warming has been restricted to the Antarctic Peninsula beneath South America. "The area of warming is much larger than the region of the Antarctic Peninsula," scientists wrote.

Rising temperatures in the west were partly offset by an autumn cooling in East Antarctica. "The continent-wide near surface average is positive," the study said.

Published: January 27, 2009