Antarctic Ice Study Says Ice Sheet Is Growing

A new Antarctic ice study revealed that the ice sheet is actually growing. A new NASA study revealed that not only are sea levels not rising at the rate climate change activists are claiming, but there's also a fallibility of the measuring tools currently used to gauge melting and growth.

The Antarctic ice sheet study by NASA also found that more ice has been gained than has been lost, and it challenges findings by other climate change and global warming reports, MSN notes.

The review of the ice sheet also concluded that the results of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on the loss of land ice are false.

Researchers from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the Sigma Space Corporation engineering firm, and the University of Maryland in College park published the Antarctic Ice Sheet report in the Journal of Glaciology last Friday. The fresh analysis of satellite data revealed that a net gain of 112 billions tons of ice had occurred from 1992 to 2001.

Between 2003 and 2008, the rate of ice sheet gain reportedly slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year. Although the lack of ice melting in Antarctica sounds like news that required rejoicing, climate change scientists urge a pause in the celebratory dancing. The researchers maintain that an end to global warming has not occurred, and the ability to measure ice height remains difficult.

In just several decades, the ice growth could simply melt away, according to the authors of the NASA study.

"I don't think there will be enough snowfall increase to offset these losses," Jay Zwally, lead author and NASA glaciologist, stated in a media release.

For now, the study authors say these findings challenge current explanations for sea level rise, much of which is attributed to melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, the Daily Mail reports.

"The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away," said Dr. 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."

The NASA climate change study stated that the problems with measuring small changes in ice height, especially in East Antarctica, are now documented. This region of Antarctica is the largest portion of the polar continent. The Goddard researchers found land elevation gains in East Antarctica and have attributed the increases to snowfall.

"We're essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge" in other parts of the continent, Zwally added. "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."

The team led by Zwally utilized meteorological data dating back to 1979 to illustrate the manner in which snow accumulation in East Antarctica has actually been on the decline and to show that the increased elevation must have resulted from thicker ice. The ice sheet gains were calculated by viewing the ice height of the sheet as measured by radar instruments from two European Space Agency satellites from 1992 to 2001, as well as by laser sensors on a NASA satellite from 2003 to 2008.

According to NASA, after the end of the Ice Age about 10,000 years ago, warming air transported more moisture to Antarctica and doubled the amount of accumulating snowfall and ultimately compacted the precipitation into ice.

In 2008, NASA will launch news tools designed to more accurately measure the long-term ice sheet changes in Antarctica. The ICESat-2 system will be able to measure ice height, which are the thickness of a No. 2 pencil if the predictions by scientists are correct.

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