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Old 08-05-2013, 10:25 PM
 
Location: White House, TN
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Let's say the Antarctic current in the 50s and 60s South was a warm ocean current instead of cold. How would the climate of Antarctica and the subantarctic islands differ?

We have real-world examples in the Northern Hemisphere to back this up. Norway is a prime example for the peninsula. Norway has the Gulf Stream, and is primarily in the 60s North. The northern-middle Antarctic Peninsula would likely have a climate similar to Trondheim, Norway; the northern peninsula likely would be Dfb, and the southern peninsula Dfc. The non-peninsular coast would likely be Dfc north of 70 N, and ET to the south. Think reverse Longyearbyen for McMurdo. There would be large areas of taiga where the coast came out farther (where the coast was, say, at 65-67 S). The interior would be primarily tundra in West Antarctica, with a smaller ice sheet in the interior in higher elevation areas. The South Pole would still be covered in ice and have a similar, but slightly warmer, climate than it has today. Vostok's record low of -89.2 C (-128.6 F) would probably have been more like -82 C (-116 F)
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:53 PM
 
Location: In transition
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I think the Antarctic ice sheet would shrink but still be quite present. The tip of the Antarctic peninsula might have a climate similar to Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland and would be able to support a stunted forest

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestmannaeyjar#Climate
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