The new study flies in the face of findings by IPCC of ice loss in Antarctica.
It’s a study that is sure to make waves in a heated debate: NASA says the increase in Antarctic snow is actually greater than its losses, contradicting global warming predictions.
The study reports a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice between 1992 and 2001, which slowed to 82 billion tons of ice each year between 2003 and 2008 — so things are getting worse, just not as much as some may have expected, according to a Business Standard report.
Still, it means that the Antarctic Ice Sheet is adding more ice than it is losing, indicating that we may still be a few decades from seeing Antarctica start to melt away, said Jay Zwally, the lead researcher on the project out of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
The findings are based on readings from the European Remote Sensing system and NASA’s Earth Observing System.
Apparently, East Antarctica has actually been thickening for quite a while, which is based on thousands of years of info on how snow has accumulated in that region. This stayed steady in recent years, but ice losses started to accelerate in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula.
In fact, the lack of melting in Antarctica could be reducing the sea level rise by 0.23 millimeters each year. But that means the rise in waters must be coming from some other source.
The findings were published in the Journal of Glaciology.
The findings are sure to cause plenty of debate on an already heated topic, with global warming skeptics claiming this proves that the problem is not as severe as is being claimed, while proponents argue that the trend is still moving toward unsustainable warming even if Antarctica is — for now — temporarily maintaining its ice sheet.