Misleading Reports About Antarctic Melting

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Misleading Reports About Antarctic Melting

 Primarily ice on the Antarctic Peninsula that's melting

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Most articles make it sound as if all of Antarctica is melting. These reports are misleading, because it's primarily the ice on the Antarctic Peninsula that's melting.   
Here’s a map of Antarctica. At 5,500,000 square miles (14.2 million sq km)  this continent is almost twice the size of the contiguous forty-eight United States (about 3,500,000 square miles). In the winter Antarctica doubles in size due to the sea ice that forms around the coasts.



Do you see that small piece of land jutting into the ocean toward the top left corner of Antarctica? That’s the part of Antarctica where the ice is melting (on the edges). That's the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Antarctic continent is almost 50 times larger than the Antarctic Peninsula. Saying that all of Antarctica is melting is like looking at the climate of Oregon and implying that this applies to the entire United States.


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Here's one of the articles that I'm talking about, from the AP in London (April 21, 2005) that would have you believe that Antarctica is melting. The headline shouts, "Study Shows Antarctic Glaciers Shrinking." I think this is another case of biased science and biased reporting, because what I consider the important points are buried further down in the text. 

The article could more honestly have shouted, “Most of Antarctica far colder than the much smaller Antarctic Peninsula”

Here are the first few paragraphs of the article, written by Emma Ross. I've highlighted what I consider to be important points. 


"The first comprehensive survey of glaciers on the Antarctic peninsula has shown that the rivers of ice are shrinking, mostly because of warming of the local climate.

"It is unclear, however, whether the increased temperature causing the shrinkage is a natural regional effect or a result of human-influenced global warming, said the scientists who conducted the study, published this week in the journal Science.

"Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed more than 2,000 aerial photographs dating from 1940 and over 100 satellite images from the 1960s onwards.

"They calculated that 87 percent of the 244 glaciers going out to sea from the peninsula have retreated over the last 50 years and that the pace of shrinkage has accelerated over the last decade. Until now, scientists were uncertain whether the glaciers were growing or melting.

"Fifty years ago, most of the glaciers we look at were slowly growing in length but since then this pattern has reversed. In the last five years the majority were actually shrinking rapidly," said the study's leader, Alison Cook of the British Antarctic Survey. "However, 32 glaciers go against the trend and are showing minor advance. Had we not studied such a large number of glaciers we may have missed the overall pattern."

"The Antarctic peninsula is a small segment of the Antarctic continent, located at the South Pole, and the behavior of the ice on the peninsula is not necessarily a reflection of what's going on elsewhere in Antarctica, said another of the investigators, David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey.

"Temperatures seem to be much warmer there than on the rest of the continent. "Evidence from the main Antarctic ice sheet is mixed, with some areas of the continent showing shrinkage and others showing thickening."

To see the rest of the article, click here:

So . . . why is the Antarctic Peninsula so warm? I think it's because it's 
surrounded by the ocean waters that have been warmed by underwater 
volcanic activity, and that it has absolutely nothing to do with human activity.


According to a report in Science (Jan 2002), new measurements show that the ice in parts of Antarctica is thickening. One week earlier, an article in Nature reported that Antarctica's harsh desert valleys - long considered a bellwether for global climate change - have grown noticeably cooler since the mid-1980s. 

To put this in perspective, you must realize that the Antarctic Ice Sheet and Greenland Ice Sheets are almost twice as big as the contiguous United States. They're almost 100 times bigger than all of the rest of the world's glaciers put together. In other words, more than 99 percent of the world's glaciers are growing ... and all we hear about are the few that are melting.

And that's why sea levels are falling. That's where the water comes from to 
build glaciers; from the seas.

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See also:
"CNN Features Dishonest Story" 
Huge Antarctic ice chunk collapses

26 Mar 08 - My friend Dan Hammer at ClimatePatrol.com 
has addressed this breathless story about gullible warming in 
a wonderful manner, so I'll let you read his words.
See CNN Features Dishonest Story

Antarctic ice grows to record levels
13 Sep 07 - While the Antarctic Peninsula area has warmed 
in recent years and ice near it diminished during the Southern 
Hemisphere summer, the interior of Antarctica has been colder 
and ice elsewhere has been more extensive and longer lasting,
See Antarctic ice grows to record levels

Antarctic Ice Disappearing? Don’t you believe it
27 Mar 08 - "It’s a naturally occurring event," says Hans Schreuder, 
"a MINOR event in world or Antarctic terms. 
Here’s a map showing just how small an area it is."

Did earthquake trigger Antarctic ice collapse?
27 Mar 08 - There's been little or no publicity about an earthquake 
on the Pacific-Antarctic ridge 3930 km (2440 miles) SE of Wellington, 
New Zealand on 17 March 08.
See Did earthquake trigger Antarctic ice collapse?


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