The climatic change on King George Island (KGI) in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, in the years of 1948–2011 are presented. In the reference period, a statistically significant increase in the air temperature (0.19 ° C/10 years, 1.2 ° C in the analysed period) occurred along with a decrease in atmospheric pressure (−0.36 hPa/10 years, 2.3 hPa). In winter time, the warming up is more than twice as large as in summer. This leads to decrease in the amplitude of the annual cycle of air temperature. On KGI, there is also a warming trend of daily maximum and daily minimum air temperature. The evidently faster increase in daily minimum results in a decrease of the diurnal temperature range. The largest changes of air pressure took place in the summertime (−0.58 hPa/10 years) and winter (−0.34 hPa/10 years). The Semiannual Oscillation pattern of air pressure was disturbed. Climate changes on KGI are correlated with changing surface temperatures of the ocean and the concentration of sea ice. The precipitation on KGI is characterised by substantial variability year to year. In the analysed period, no statistically significant trend in atmospheric precipitation can be observed. The climate change on KGI results in substantial and rapid changes in the environment, which poses a great threat to the local ecosystem.
This paper provides an overview of the results of research on changes in ground temperature down to 50 cm depth, on the Kaffiøyra Plain, Spitsbergen in the summer seasons. To achieve this, measurement data were analysed from three different ecotopes (CALM Site P2A, P2B and P2C) – a beach, a moraine and tundra – collected during 22 polar expeditions between 1975 and 2014. To ensure comparability, data sets for the common period from 21 July to 31 August (referred to as the “summer season” further in the text) were analysed. The greatest influence on temperature across the investigated ground layers comes from air temperature (correlation coefficients ranging from 0.61 to 0.84). For the purpose of the analysis of the changes in ground temperature in the years 1975–2014, missing data for certain summer seasons were reconstructed on the basis of similar data from a meteorological station at Ny-Ålesund. The ground temperature at the Beach site demonstrated a statistically−significant growing trend: at depths from 1 to 10 cm the temperature increased by 0.27–0.28 ° C per decade, and from 20 to 50 cm by as much as 0.30 ° C per decade. On the Kaffiøyra Plain, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) has a greater influence on the ground an d air temperature than the Arctic Oscillation (AO).
This article presents the results of observations of selected fluxes of the radiation balance in north-western Spitsbergen in the years from 2010 to 2014. Measurements were taken in Ny-Ålesund and in the area of Kaffiøyra, on different surface types occurring in the Polar zone: moraine, tundra, snow and ice. Substantial differences in the radiation balance among the various types of surface were observed. The observations carried out in the summer seasons of 2010-2014 in the area of Kaffiøyra demonstrated that the considerable reflection of solar radiation on the Waldemar Glacier (albedo 55%) resulted in a smaller solar energy net income. During the polar day, a diurnal course of the components of the radiation balance was apparently related to the solar elevation angle. When the sun was low over the horizon, the radiation balance became negative, especially on the glacier. Diurnal, annual and multi-annual variations in the radiation balance have a significant influence on the functioning of the environment in polar conditions.