Not by Fire but by Ice


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Oops - West Antarctic Ice Sheet not losing ice as fast
as we thought


20 Oct 09) — New ground measurements by the West Antarctic GPS Network (WAGN) project suggest the rate of ice loss of the West Antarctic ice sheet has been slightly overestimated, says this article in Science Daily.
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet  (Credit: NASA/LIMA)

"Our work suggests that while West Antarctica is still losing significant amounts of ice, the loss appears to be slightly slower than some recent estimates," said Ian Dalziel, lead principal investigator for WAGN.

Starting about 20,000 years ago, the Antarctic Ice Sheet began slowly thinning and retreating. As the weight above it diminished, the bedrock below the ice began rising, or rebounding.

The new GPS measurements show West Antarctica is rebounding more slowly than once thought, meaning that the rate of ice loss is slower than previously interpreted.

“WAGN researchers do not yet know how large the overestimation was,” the article continues.

"So the take home message is that Antarctica is contributing to rising sea levels,” said Dalziel. “It is the rate that is unclear."

       They may “not yet know how large the overestimation was,” but they
       stick with their view that that the melting ice is "contributing to rising
       sea levels.”  

       If the rate is “unclear,” how can they insist that there is a problem?

 Especially since they don’t mention the fact that the ice sheets in Eastern
       Antarctica – far bigger than the West Antarctic Peninsula – are growing
       thicker, more than offsetting any contribution to sea-level rise by the area
       in question.

       People don’t understand how big the Antarctic Ice Sheet really is. It’s
       more than twice as big as the contiguous United States. The area of the
       West Antarctic Peninsula that we’re talking about here is only a fraction
       of that.

       Let me give you this comparison.

       If the entire United States were covered by ice, the area where the ice
       is melting would be only half the size of Oregon - while the ice covering
       the rest of the United States would be growing thicker.

       Taking the entire Antarctic Ice Sheet into consideration, it looks to me as
        if the ice sheets are increasing in mass for perhaps the first time in 20,000
        years, a quite disturbing trend in the opposite direction.

See entire article:
Thanks to Steven Woodcock and George Fitzsimmons for this link





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