4/05/2013

Study Reveals Why Antarctic Ice Continues To Expand Despite Global Warming


It is not news that our planet is warming and an increasing rate with every passing year, but what has been surprising is the amount of ice expansion at the south pole.  As ice continues to disappear at the Arctic Circle, sea ice around Antarctica is expanding during the winter.  ice in the Antarctic has reached an all-time high in 2010 despite the year being recorded as the hottest ever.  Scientists have unlocked the mystery which brings it all back to global warming.


According to a new study published Nature Geoscience, every year the edges of the Antarctic thaw, sending more and more melting ice out into the ocean.  That melted water forms large cold-water plumes in the ocean, which, according to the study, "shields the surface ocean fro the warmer deeper waters that are melting the ice shelves." As temperature drop in the winter, these cold-water plumes refreeze, adding to the ice in the Antarctic.

Although the ice formation in the Antarctic seems to be increasing, the overall melt across the planet is still contributing to a rise is sea level overall.  Additionally, the ice below the surface in the Antacrtic is still melting as quickly as ever.  The Antarctic is losing about 250 billion tons of ice a year, which alone contributes to a rise of .003 inches in sea level, and the loss seems to be moving faster. The effect mis exacerbated by the fact that snowfall in the region has been less than expected.