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Monday, January 4, 2016

Here is how Antarctica Gaining Ice

Welcome to 2016.  Should be an interesting year as we continue to navigate through some uncharted territory. 

Already this year, in a few short days, we've seen continued anomalies in weather patterns including up to 17 million people at risk of flooding in MS and above freezing temps in the Artic.  We are always looking for signs of global warming and changing environments.  Yet, these sign are not steady or indisputable.  

Here, as an example, ice loss or gain in the it shrinking or growing?  And, in either direction, what does it mean to mankind?

We do know environmental changes come with health and economic risk.  Mapping our future is now a bit of a crap shoot.  We have undefined ramifications to our dependence on fossil fuel.  Quickly changing that is a key to sustainable growth.

Here is how Antarctica Gaining Ice despite Global Warming

Here is how Antarctica Gaining Ice despite Global Warming

Earlier, a study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) suggested that Antarctica is gaining more ice than losing it. The study baffled many people who were thinking that global warming is melting ice sheets around the world and resulting into increase in sea levels. The exciting thing about the NASA study was that it didn't disprove global warming.

Then how Antarctic Ice Sheet is gaining ice in the warming world? There could be two phenomena: increase in ice sheet and melting linked to warming. The study published on October 30 in the Journal of Glaciology showed East Antarctica and interior region of West Antarctica have been adding more ice due to snow accumulation, which is a sign of global warming.

A glaciologist Elizabeth Thomas from the British Antarctic Survey said more rains happens when air has more moisture. That moisture is a sign of higher temperatures, Thomas added. Study researchers used data collected by the European Remote Sensing (ERS) satellites from 1992 to 2001 to conduct the study. They figured out how ice elevation changed with time. The researchers found regions like Antarctic Peninsula and western Antarctica were losing more ice than adding.

As per the researchers, "Specifically, between 1992 and 2001, snow accumulation added about 121 gigatons of ice per year, on average, where 1 gigaton equals about 1 billion US tons. That number dropped to 82 gigatons per year between 2003 and 2008."

The study didn't suggest that global warming is slowing down, but still, it faced criticism from some scientists who said the study didn't include current data.

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