Science & Technology
Antarctica gaining more ice than it's losing
By T.K. Randall
November 3, 2015 · 72 comments
Antarctica appears to be gaining a significant amount of ice every year. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Jason Auch
A new NASA study has called in to question what we know of global warming and rising sea levels.
For many years scientists have been warning that the ice caps are melting and that rising sea levels will eventually cause major flooding in low-lying coastal cities in countries all across the globe.
One of the biggest contributing factors has been a steady increase in the rate at which ice is melting at the poles - especially the Antarctic ice sheet which contains over 26.5 million cubic km of ice.
But not everything may be quite as it seems - that is at least according to researchers from NASA, the University of Maryland and the Sigma Space Corporation who have put forward a new analysis of satellite data showing that Antarctica has actually been gaining ice - not losing it.
The data, which indicates that the Antarctic ice sheet gained over 112 billion tons of ice every year between 1992 to 2001, is in stark contrast to research conducted by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which suggested that the total amount of ice was decreasing.
"The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away," said NASA glaciologist and lead study author Jay Zwally.
"But this is also bad news. If the 0.27 millimeters per year of sea level rise attributed to Antarctica in the IPCC report is not really coming from Antarctica, there must be some other contribution to sea level rise that is not accounted for."
Source: Christian Science Monitor
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