We can put away the snorkels, SCUBA suits, and extremely long straws the Antarctic isn’t going to melt and drown us all. In actuality, according to NASA the Antarctic ice is getting thicker faster than it’s losing it. According to the study the southern ice cap is getting thicker which is more than making up for the losses in geography reported by the UN’s IPCC.
The new study, published in the Journal of Glaciology, doesn’t totally undermine the handful of studies showing significant glacier, ice sheet and sea ice shrinkage. Instead, if offers evidence of previously unaccounted gains.
The new tallies reveal an annual net gain of 112 billion tons [of ice] between 1992 and 2001. Annual gains of 82 billion tons were observed between 2003 and 2008.
The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.
According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.
“We’re essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” said Jay Zwally, a glaciologist with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study, which was published on Oct. 30 in the Journal of Glaciology. “Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica – there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.” Zwally added that his team “measured small height changes over large areas, as well as the large changes observed over smaller areas.”
Scientists calculate how much the ice sheet is growing or shrinking from the changes in surface height that are measured by the satellite altimeters. In locations where the amount of new snowfall accumulating on an ice sheet is not equal to the ice flow downward and outward to the ocean, the surface height changes and the ice-sheet mass grows or shrinks.
Attempting to avoid being branded as global blasphemers, NASA warns this will change in 20-30 years.
But it might only take a few decades for Antarctica’s growth to reverse, according to Zwally. “If the losses of the Antarctic Peninsula and parts of West Antarctica continue to increase at the same rate they’ve been increasing for the last two decades, the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica in 20 or 30 years — I don’t think there will be enough snowfall increase to offset these losses.”
Of course NASA isn’t figuring into their calculations the fact that the Earth hasn’t warmed in almost 19 years.
At least NASA is finally admitting what independent observers have been saying for a few years:
“The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away,” Zwally said. “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.”
It’s not coming from the Arctic, as reported by Real Science at the beginning of October, Arctic Sea Ice Extent Second Highest For The Date Since 2005, another site Sunshine Hours reported a few days later, Sea Ice Extent Day 282 – Arctic 1.5 million sq km Higher Than 2012.
How much is that .27 millimeters? Not much at all. Grab a ruler and ponder this; 0ne millimeter is .o393 of an inch, .27 millimeters is .0106 of an inch. Now assuming their numbers are correct, if things continue at the same pace, sea levels will rise by one inch in the next 94 years.
Either way, whether the numbers are correct or not, at least for the next century we wont be drowning for at least the next century. And even then it’s only if the present interglacial period (between ice ages) continue. Many scientists are predicting at least a mini-ice age is on tap.