Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Earth Science

NASA Study Shows Net Gains For Antarctic Ice (google.com) 319

A widely circulated NASA study published in the Journal of Glaciology, and reported by UPI, says that Antarctic ice has measurably thickened in recent decades, a conclusion at odds with earlier findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "which in 2013 suggested gains were not keeping up with losses." The new study ... 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 between 1992 and 2001. Annual gains of 82 billion tons were observed between 2003 and 2008.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NASA Study Shows Net Gains For Antarctic Ice

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Who funded it? Where did these people work before NASA? They need to be investigated.

  • Science is Settled (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nuisance ( 153513 ) on Sunday November 01, 2015 @06:05AM (#50841457)

    Yesterday Antarctica was contributing 0.27mm p/y to sea level rise
    Today Antarctica is removing 0.23mm p/y to sea level rise
    A 0.5mm p/y change in a day.
    We are told sea level is rising 2.6 to 2.9mm p/y so that 0.5mm p/y change is 16 - 20% of the total figure, that is a massive discrepancy.

    Keep being told that the science is settled, this hardly looks like settled science to me.

    But queue the alarmists, I am sure they will explain this is 'worse news than eva' and matches what they predicted.

    Or wait a year or two and NASA will adjust the data based on models 'cause the real data doesn't match the models, and everyone knows models trump real data in climate science.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

      But queue the alarmists, I am sure they will explain this is 'worse news than eva' and matches what they predicted.

      Did you even RTFA?

      "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."

      In short, this is not good news or bad news. This is just news. It's not telling us that ice isn't melting.

      • by towermac ( 752159 ) on Sunday November 01, 2015 @06:59AM (#50841553)

        Really? Because you said, 'Ice loss in the Antarctic is causing sea level rise.' That was a big one, as far as why and how everybody is going to die.

        Perhaps I exaggerate your position slightly, but is it really 'just news?' It changes nothing? I guess it wouldn't, if saving the planet from the deadly effects of AGW was never the goal in the first place.

        • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday November 01, 2015 @07:12AM (#50841583) Homepage Journal

          Perhaps I exaggerate your position slightly, but is it really 'just news?' It changes nothing? I guess it wouldn't, if saving the planet from the deadly effects of AGW was never the goal in the first place.

          In fact, it changes nothing with regards to sea level rise; it's still rising. It changes things for Antarctica, but I don't live there. Also, thickening of the ice doesn't slow global warming. Only growing ice extent can do that, by reducing albedo.

          • In fact, it changes nothing with regards to sea level rise; it's still rising

            Yes, at a small rate that is of little practical significance.

            It changes things for Antarctica, but I don't live there.

            Antarctica and Greenland are relevant because if they aren't melting, large scale sea level rise is simply not possible, and whatever changes we are observing now must be self-limiting.

            Also, thickening of the ice doesn't slow global warming.

            Good! A wetter, warmer climate for the world is a good thing.

            • Seems you missed the wet warm tropical storm aka Taifun in the Phillipines two weeks ago?
              For basically every place on the world where it is aalready warm and wet, becomming more warm and more wet is a catastrophe.

          • Also, thickening of the ice doesn't slow global warming. Only growing ice extent can do that, by reducing albedo.

            Which brings up the question of whether urban heat islands could be mitigated somewhat by switching from black asphalt and tar surfaces to painting the streets and roofs white?

            Or, better yet, paint it with something like the new nanotech pigment [stanford.edu] that reflects (rather than absorbing and/or down-shifting) 97% of the incident light and only strongly couples to the "infrared window" where the atmosph

      • Obviously it's not just news. Either the paper presented above is incorrect for some reason or the uncertainty and completeness of the IPCC report is called into question. It's sad that its so hard to actually address the science without half the posters going nuts.
    • "But queue the alarmists,"

      When we have the alarmists all lined up, then what?

    • All I know, low laying islands and shorelines are getting into trouble. Google for Maldives.

    • by mspohr ( 589790 )

      The science is settled, the climate is warming.
      Of course, the effects of a warming climate on the sea, land, fish, animals, etc. is being studied and the effects are not always clear and obvious.
      This result is interesting and not obvious. If the Antarctic is actually contributing 0.23mm a year to sea level falling, then other areas such as Greenland are contributing more to sea level rise. It is clear that the sea level is rising about 3.2mm a year. This is not in dispute except for the flat earth folks. It

  • Cue Al Gore (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 01, 2015 @06:10AM (#50841475)

    Antarctic ice has measurably thickened in recent decades, a conclusion at odds with earlier findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

    That sounds like an...
    *sunglasses*

    inconvenient truth.

    Yeaaaaahh!

  • ARCTIC vs ANTARCTIC (Score:4, Informative)

    by Caspian ( 99221 ) on Sunday November 01, 2015 @08:11AM (#50841745)

    As even a cursory Wikipedia reading will note, ARCTIC ice is DECREASING in extent at a faster rate than ANTARCTIC is INCREASING.

    In other words, Antarctic ice is growing X units per year, but Arctic ice is SHRINKING more than X units per year.

    The net result is that the Earth's ice cover is shrinking.

    See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_sea_ice#/media/File:Antarctic_Grows.jpg

    Those who believe anthropogenic climate change is a myth thrive on the confusion caused by nuance like this. But the Earth's climate is not a simple system. It has nuance. Ice may be shrinking overall, and yet still growing in some places.

    • One problem: that pesky old Greek guy with the bathtub,

      Arctic ice floats. Antarctic ice is on land.

    • With all due respect, Wikipedia is probably not the best source to cite on this matter.
    • The map of antarctic ice-thickness changes shows virtually the entire continent in red to yellow (thickening ice) and two tiny areas in blue-to-green (thinning ice.) Thinning ice accounts for something like one percent of the continent, and 99% of the published discussion. For decades, most peer-reviewed articles on WAIS thinning have studiously avoided any mention of the rest of the continent. The same is true for Greenland, where for decades most of the published literature has focused on the margins and
    • As even a cursory Wikipedia reading will note, ARCTIC ice is DECREASING in extent at a faster rate than ANTARCTIC is INCREASING.

      When arctic ice melts, it doesn't lead to sea level rise, so as far as sea level rise is concerned, this is important, since it contradicts the doomsday scenarios of AGW activists when it comes to coastal flooding.

      Those who believe anthropogenic climate change is a myth thrive on the confusion caused by nuance like this.

      I'm sorry, but the problem here is that you failed to understa

      • When arctic ice melts, it doesn't lead to sea level rise, so as far as sea level rise is concerned.

        Except for the drop-in-the-bucket part of it on land rather than in the Arcitc Ocean.

        That's mostly Greenland and Iceland (which are really pretty small, though their position near the pole makes them look gigantic in Mercator projection maps.)

        I hear there is joy in Iceland over their current warming trend. Though the recent retreat of their glaciers and improvement of their growing conditions is still far fro

        • Icelands in in the middle of the gulf stream.
          In comparision with the "rest of" Europe it never was really cold there ;)

          they are once again able to grow some of the crops that were common there at the time.
          That is nonsense. They never stopped growing them. You are mixing up Icelands with the south of Greenland ;)

      • Last time I checked Greenland, Alsska, north Skandinavia and north Siberia was in the Arctic, AND on land.
        In case there was a recent change in the earth axis, which I missed, which puts some of those regions out of the Arctic: please inform me.
        Urgend: if that is the case, the ice there will melt even quicker!

        If the ice on Greenland melts, it will alone lead to a sea level increase of ~15meters. For you US citizens: it is save to assume a meter is a yard ... or multiply by three to get feet.

    • It is an interglacial. Of course ice cover is shrinking. Has been for ~12,000 years

      Used to be hundreds of feet of it where I am sitting.

  • Link to article (Score:4, Informative)

    by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Sunday November 01, 2015 @08:37AM (#50841799)
    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/... [ingentaconnect.com]

    You can connect at the bottom of the page as of right now the link in the article above is not working for me.

    I am not a glaciologist but i read the article and am a bit puzzled by the findings related to snowfall and "thickness". It looks as if only satelite data was used, so why can't Antarctica actually be losing massive amounts of ice and the resulting removal of mass cause uplifting of the underlying rock? Removal of large amounts of mass over wide areas tend to have that effect and I was not able to find reference in the references. ICESat only uses laser range finding.
    http://icesat.gsfc.nasa.gov/icesat/glas.php
    • so why can't Antarctica actually be losing massive amounts of ice and the resulting removal of mass cause uplifting of the underlying rock?

      Ice has a density of approx 0.91 g/cm^3. The Earth's crust has a density of approx 2.7 g/cm^3. So the crust weighs about 3x more per unit volume than ice.

      You are hypothesizing that (in terms of net potential energy) the removal of 1 ton of ice lowering the top of the ice by a net 1 meter results in the uplifting of a net 3 tons of rock by more than 1 meter. Basic

      • so why can't Antarctica actually be losing massive amounts of ice and the resulting removal of mass cause uplifting of the underlying rock?

        Ice has a density of approx 0.91 g/cm^3. The Earth's crust has a density of approx 2.7 g/cm^3. So the crust weighs about 3x more per unit volume than ice. You are hypothesizing that (in terms of net potential energy) the removal of 1 ton of ice lowering the top of the ice by a net 1 meter results in the uplifting of a net 3 tons of rock by more than 1 meter. Basic physics says what you posit can only occur in the presence of a (massive) external energy source which replenishes that lost potential energy and then some. I suppose that might be possible if there's a huge pressurized magma bubble underneath Antarctica exerting a huge amount of upward pressure, but the burden of proof would be upon you.

        No what I was thinking was the ice could have been receeding for a long time and while the underlying rock wont rise to compensate the total distance overall, if it has been an ongoing process it can still be rising. Therefore if there was loss in the past centuries, it could be rising. This has happened in other areas of the world for different events

        I was not seeking proof or making a claim, I just was wondering where in the references cited by the paper where the question of the underlying rock late

    • so why can't Antarctica actually be losing massive amounts of ice and the resulting removal of mass cause uplifting of the underlying rock?

      Ice is less dense than rock, and rock isn't perfectly elastic anyway. So if you remove ice from rock, even if you get uplift, it's much less than the thickness of ice you removed.

  • by taylorius ( 221419 ) on Sunday November 01, 2015 @09:40AM (#50841997) Homepage

    I wish other (arguably more pressing) environmental concerns could get half as much attention as climate change. The shocking level of plastic pollution in our oceans for example. Why can't we have a big international panels on that? Could it be because fixing that would require actual work, rather than just dreaming up more ways to tax and control the population.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I wish other (arguably more pressing) environmental concerns could get half as much attention as climate change.

      Be careful what you wish for, friend. Next thing you know, there would be plastic pollution deniers asserting that floating six pack rings are actually an undiscovered form of kelp and, even if there were such a thing as plastic pollution, it would a good thing, because it gives wildlife something to eat in lean years. These would shortly be followed by an almost equally obnoxious cohort of armchair plastic experts, eager to demonstrate the reality of plastic in our oceans. And then we'll all be too busy de

  • Per TFA's conclusion: If dynamic thinning continues to increase at the same rate of 4 [gigatons/year] with no offset from further increases in snowfall, the positive balance of the [Antarctic ice sheet] will decrease from the recent 82 [gigatons] to zero in ~20 years. However, compensating increases in snowfall with climate warming may also be expected.

    Apparently, warming has added mass via more snow, and the paper doesn't appear to address possible bedrock rebound from thinning ice. At some point, temper

    • Apparently, warming has added mass via more snow, and the paper doesn't appear to address possible bedrock rebound from thinning ice. At some point, temperature will likely increase to the point where added snowfall can't keep up with the ice outflow. At the moment, the changing dynamic of the climate seems to be causing counterintuitive local changes, like added snowfall in the eastern US and eastern Antarctica, due to added water vapor in the air.

      This is only counterintuitive to people who subscribe to the Church of Alarmism. To anybody paying attention, it's natural and expected. The Earth is naturally habitable. Despite massive traumatic perturbations over the course of the past several billion years, including cometary impacts and continental drift that has rearranged the Earth and its oceans again and again, Earth still supports life. It is not going to become Venus. It is not going to become Mars. It will remain livable. Is it always go

  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Sunday November 01, 2015 @12:59PM (#50842705)

    According to this skepticalscience.com:

    > Sea ice and land ice are two separate phenomena. Antarctica is losing land ice at an accelerating rate. Sea ice around Antarctica is increasing. The reasons for sea ice increasing in a warming Southern Ocean are complex

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gaining-ice.htm

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself. -- A.H. Weiler

Working...