Published 24th July 2019

British Antarctic Territory in a 1.5°C warmed world

Adelie penguins on an iceflow

The journal ‘Frontiers in Environmental Science’ recently published a paper summarising the likely changes that will happen to the Antarctic Peninsula when global temperatures rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Read the paper in full.

Professor Martin Siegert of the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, led the work and co-collaborators included scientists and experts from the British Antarctic Survey, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, WWF, several Universities, and the Deputy Commissioner for the British Antarctic Territory.

The average global temperature has already increased by 1°C since the Industrial Revolution. During the late 20th Century, the British Antarctic Territory warmed faster than anywhere else in the Southern Hemisphere. With a further increase in global temperatures of 0.5°C, the British Antarctic Territory will see:

  • temperature increases of 1-2°C in winter and 0.5-1°C in summer;
  • increased rain and snow;
  • acceleration of glacial retreat, producing more icebergs;
  • expanded ice-free land;
  • changing distribution of wildlife;
  • increased threat from non-native species.


Infographic of 1.5 degree rise