Polar see-saw

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The warming during the Younger Dryas is out of phase between the two hemispheres.

The polar see-saw (also: bipolar seesaw) is the phenomenon that temperature changes in the northern and southern hemispheres may be out of phase. The hypothesis states that large changes, for example when the glaciers are intensely growing or depleting, in the formation of ocean bottom water in both poles take a long time to exert their effect in the other hemisphere. Estimates of the period of delay vary, one typical estimate is 1500 years. This is usually studied in the context of ice-cores taken from Antarctica and Greenland.

See also[edit]


  • Severinghaus, Jeffrey P. (26 February 2009). "Climate change: Southern see-saw seen". Nature. 457 (7233): 1093–4. doi:10.1038/4571093a. PMID 19242465.
  • Chylek, Petr; Folland, C.K.; Lesins, G.; Dubey, M.K. (2010). "Twentieth century bipolar seesaw of the Arctic and Antarctic surface air temperatures". Geophysical Research Letters. 37 (8): L08703. doi:10.1029/2010GL042793.
  • Jung, Simon J.A.; et al. (April 2010). "Southern Hemisphere intermediate water formation and the bi-polar seesaw" (PDF). PAGES News. 18 (1).