Sunday, April 19, 2009

Antarctic Ice Growing, Not Shrinking

Ice is expanding in much of Antarctica, contrary to the widespread public belief that global warming is melting the continental ice cap. The results of ice-core drilling and sea ice monitoring indicate there is no large-scale melting of ice over most of Antarctica, although experts are concerned at ice losses on the continent's western coast.

Antarctica has 90% of the Earth's ice and 80% of its fresh water. Extensive melting of Antarctic ice sheets would be required to raise sea levels substantially, and ice is melting in parts of west Antarctica. The destabilisation of the Wilkins ice shelf generated international headlines this month. However, the picture is very different in east Antarctica, which includes the territory claimed by Australia.

East Antarctica is four times the size of west Antarctica and parts of it are cooling. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research report prepared for last week's meeting of Antarctic Treaty nations in Washington noted the South Pole had shown "significant cooling in recent decades." Australian Antarctic Division glaciology program head Ian Allison said sea ice losses in west Antarctica over the past 30 years had been more than offset by increases in the Ross Sea region, just one sector of east Antarctica.

A paper to be published soon by the British Antarctic Survey in the journal Geophysical Research Letters is expected to confirm that over the past 30 years, the area of sea ice around the continent has expanded.

From "The Australian"


At 4/19/2009 2:37 PM, Anonymous Mika said...

Here's another example of how a single piece of information can be oversimplified and misinterpreted by an individual lacking in greater knowledge about a subject to generate - sometimes intentionally - misinformation.

National Geographical Society, and other knowledgable sources, explain that warming temperatures are actually creating more snow and ice in parts the Antarctic. This phenomenon is actually the result of global warming and re-confirms it. Of course, desperate global warming deniers want to seize upon this story and only show "the tip of the iceberg" as it were.

At 4/19/2009 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It of course goes both ways. Those committed to the idea of global warming also use any information available to show that they are right. There are many opinions out there, and there is still much data to be collected, studies to be done. Lay people on both sides are way to invested and are making unqualified conclusions and arguments based on articles they read, which are authored (usually) by other lay persons doing the same.

At 4/19/2009 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warming temperatures create ice? In what universe? Mika proves that "global warming" is a fraud. If global warming is simultaneously responsible for both heat and cold, it can be used to prove anything. A logical system that can be used to prove anything is meaningless.

At 4/19/2009 5:54 PM, Anonymous Dr. T said...

Sure, Mika, warming leads to more snow and more snow leads to more warming and.... This shows what a gullible person you are.

The researchers didn't find more snow in eastern Antarctica. They found more ice. They found bigger glaciers. The ice has been accumulating for at least thirty years. (Global warming advocates have falsely claimed that Antarctica lost ice during this time period.)

Global warming advocates have a religion that is immune to facts and have conclusions that are based on selected data and unrealistic models. They worship the invented god known as the IPCC and want us to become a planet of primitives living without electricity or automated transport.

There is no reliable evidence supporting global warming. There is no evidence that increased carbon dioxide causes global warming. In fact, there is no evidence that greenhouse gas effects apply to anything other than sealed greenhouses. Climatologists who extrapolated those old experiments to the entire planet and its atmosphere were not being scientists; they were being fools or manipulators.

And, in case you are wondering, I am a scientist and I did read the final draft of the IPCC report, one of the worst pieces of "scientific" writing I have encountered.

At 4/19/2009 7:46 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"National Geographical Society, and other knowledgable sources, explain that warming temperatures are actually creating more snow and ice in parts the Antarctic"...


What's next? Daily Kos and Media Matters will also become, 'knowledgable sources"?

At 4/20/2009 12:39 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> National Geographical Society, and other knowledgable sources, explain that warming temperatures are actually creating more snow and ice in parts the Antarctic. This phenomenon is actually the result of global warming and re-confirms it.

Oh, BULL f-ing SH**.

Just curious -- were they predicting it BEFORE it was found to be happening?Got a citation for that?


I predict you won't be answering with one....

At 4/20/2009 2:32 PM, Anonymous Mika said...

Reincarnation has been proven! The same guys who - centuries ago - said the earth is obviously flat, not round, and that any fool can see that the sun revolves around the earth - are alive and well, only now they are denying climate change. (I suspect they used to say that Copernicus practiced "junk science".)

The critical mass of evidence is there for those who are able to be objective. Unlike others on this blog, I don't claim to have the personal expertise to make the call, but the vast majority of the world's knowledgeable experts in this science do. When 9 out 10 physicians say your kid needs the surgery, do you go with the advice from the janitor who says he doesn't?

At 4/20/2009 2:57 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Per his usual style mika is again in error...

Consider doing a little homework sir...

Global Warming and Climate Change in Perspective: Truths and Myths About Carbon Dioxide, Scientific Consensus, and Climate Models

At 4/20/2009 3:18 PM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

Mika I beleive you are ignoring the other numerous times in History where there was a poorly laid "consensus" of facts.

Just less than a century ago Eugenics was another pseudo-science. There was a scientific consensus of individuals sponsored by the government that very closely mirrors the current themes on global warming.

At 4/20/2009 6:01 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

I'm not convinced of human-caused global warming, or global warming at all for that matter, but I don't understand the vehement responses to Mika's post.

It's a pretty simple concept: greater heat in the atmosphere causes an accelerated cycle of evaporation and precipitation. Warmer water evaporates faster yes?

At the poles, it rarely gets warm enough to actually melt this increased precipitation, and so this precipitation builds up and builds up.

In some theories, see Hollywood, this is actually a precursor to an ice age, while in others it actually causes the ice rivers to speed up and flow more quickly to the see - causing the oceans to rise.

An open mind is not a liability.

At 4/20/2009 6:20 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

1, I am reading the link you posted. It's very good. Thank you. Maybe you should have read it too.

"It is also possible that the warming seas around Antarctica will cause more snowfall over the continent and will counteract the sea-level rise."

At 4/21/2009 11:02 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Maybe you should have read it too"...

I did read it misterjosh but what shocks me is when one leaves a clue to the possibility that anthropomorphic global weather change is questionable at best there is no follow up by you and others with what appears to be your limited curiosity...

It seems that you're willing to let others do the thinking for you for want of a better way to descibe it...

It seems to be that skeptical attitudes are needed before one even considers buying into the IPCC/Al Gore fraud...

I don't know what sort of job you have or will have but if it involves the use of energy you might want to be very skeptical about the mikas of the world...

misterjosh may I suggest you consider following this blog where real science is at play with regard to the supposed global warming problem: Watts Up With That

At 5/12/2009 12:35 PM, Blogger UCLA Scientist said...

The climate change deniers never miss a chance to tell us that research is showing the Antarctic ice sheet is actually growing. That sounds like the total amount of ice is increasing and things are just fine......the globe isn't heating up if it's not happening there......right?

That IS enough to make some people disbelieve the climate scientists because, after all, no one wants to think the climate is going to steadily get worse. We all secretly hope that the deniers are right.

Yes, the Antarctic ice sheet is growing in height in the central region, but making just that one point is very misleading and quite dishonest.

There is an enormous amount of research that has been conducted on the poles and there is much more to the story than just the increase in snow in the middle of the continent. Indeed the coast is where the real action is.

The leading U.S. climate scientist Dr. James Hansen responded via email saying "The most precise data on the mass of the ice sheets, from the gravity satellite, show that, overall, Antarctica is losing mass, as is Greenland, even though East Antarctica is gaining a small amount of mass."

"All of the models, and the observations, have the central parts of Greenland and Antarctica growing faster because of global warming. This is a consequence of warmer air holding more moisture, thus increasing snowfall. But the net effect of warming on both continental ice sheets is mass loss, the increased melting being a larger effect than the increased snowfall.

He also said "The fact that West Antarctica is shedding mass at a substantial rate, even though there is only small warming of surrounding sea surface temperatures, is a telling fact in my opinion, and a likely consequence of the warming ocean at depth, which affects the ice shelves that buttress West Antarctica, as discussed in our paper "Dangerous human-made interference with climate: a GISS modelE study."" [1]

Apples and Oranges

But the reason that the North Pole is melting so much faster (last years summer minimum shattering the previous record of 2005) than the South Pole is very easy to understand.

The South Polar Ice Sheet is two miles thick. That means that the ice is at an altitude of over ten thousand feet where the temperature is much colder than a mere six or so feet as at the North Pole. This makes it impossible for the slight rise in global mean temperature to have any affect at all in the south accept around the edges of the continent.

Also, it sits on a continent rather than on water that is above freezing - as in the north. The ice in the north is an average of 6 to 12 feet thick and is being warmed from beneath as well as above. This has a much larger impact on the North Polar Ice Cap.

Dr. Hansen also pointed out that the ozone hole (the portion of the lowest ozone being roughly the size of the Antarctic ice sheet) is letting more heat escape into the atmosphere as the ozone is a greenhouse gas. [2]

The South Pole is quite literally the coldest place on Earth, and it always will be much colder than the North Pole no matter how much global warming occurs. The Greenland Ice Sheet is very similar to the South Pole and the research shows that it, too, is melting at an accelerated pace around the edges.

"....between 1996 and 2005, they detected a widespread glacier acceleration and consequently an increased rate of ice discharge from the Greenland ice sheet," write three climate scientists in an article for of research published after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was written. [3]

It would seem that the north and south poles should react the same, but because of these gigantic differences they cannot. Antarctica is not the canary in the mine..........the canary is the Arctic, and it's telling the scientists that things are changing faster than they had thought possible.

1] Dangerous human-made interference with climate: a GISS modelE study

2] 2007 Ozone Hole 'Smaller Than Usual', 10/4/07

3] The Greenland Ice,3/2/06


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