A recent NASA study shows that global warming did not cause Antarctica ice melt loss over a nine year period between 1992 and 2001, during which the continent actually gained more than 110 billion tons of ice every year. The study, which appeared in the Journal of Glaciology, also reported that the amount slowed to 80 billion tons of ice a year between 2003 and 2008, but the gains have not been consistent around the continent.
According to the study results, there was a loss in ice in the Antarctic Peninsula, as well as the areas of the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers. This information coincides with previous findings. However, it also showed that in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica, there were gains in ice that offset any losses.
Global warming not ending
The research team came to their conclusions after using two satellites to measure height changes in Antarctica. They measured large changes over small areas, and small changes over large regions of the continent. Researchers say that if the losses in the peninsula and in parts of West Antarctica keep increasing at the rate they have been, that the losses will equal the gains that have occurred in the eastern parts of Antarctica and eventually result in a loss.
The gains in ice accumulation reported in the study are said to be due to higher snowfall. Core samples were used to study snowfall from the past 10,000 or more years, which showed the East Antarctica ice thickness has been increasing for quite some time, regardless of global warming predictions. They concluded that this increase was due to the air becoming warmer and carrying more moisture into the area after the last Ice Age. Climate changes resulted in twice as much snow falling onto the ice, which then was compacted down to form new ice.
Ice gains keep Antarctica from contributing to rises in sea level
The report showed that despite global warming, Antarctica isn’t contributing to any rises in sea level and is actually lowering sea level by 0.23 millimeters a year. The NASA study challenges findings such as those of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes that claims Antarctica is losing land ice. This NASA study disagrees with those conclusions. However, discrepancies may occur due to the difficulty of measuring the continent.
Other studies have showed that ice in both the Arctic and in Greenland is freezing at historic levels, which could explain why the sea level rise hasn’t been as high as some organizations have predicted. It has also been shown that Greenland glaciers are receding, which is attributed to global warming. #News #Science