Monday, December 24, 2012

West Antarctica Warming Twice As Fast As Previously Believed

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Antarctic Ice Melt

By Alister Doyle
The Huffington Post

OSLO, Dec 23 (Reuters) - West Antarctica is warming almost twice as fast as previously believed, adding to worries of a thaw that would add to sea level rise from San Francisco to Shanghai, a study showed on Sunday.

Annual average temperatures at the Byrd research station in West Antarctica had risen 2.4 degrees Celsius (4.3F) since the 1950s, one of the fastest gains on the planet and three times the global average in a changing climate, it said.

The unexpectedly big increase adds to fears the ice sheet is vulnerable to thawing. West Antarctica holds enough ice to raise world sea levels by at least 3.3 metres (11 feet) if it ever all melted, a process that would take centuries.

"The western part of the ice sheet is experiencing nearly twice as much warming as previously thought," Ohio State University said in a statement of the study led by its geography professor David Bromwich.

The warming "raises further concerns about the future contribution of Antarctica to sea level rise," it said. Higher summer temperatures raised risks of a surface melt of ice and snow even though most of Antarctica is in a year-round deep freeze.

Low-lying nations from Bangladesh to Tuvalu are especially vulnerable to sea level rise, as are coastal cities from London to Buenos Aires. Sea levels have risen by about 20 cms (8 inches) in the past century.


  1. Little known fact, west Antarctica sits atop a massive subterranean volcano....while East Antarctica is growing exponentially, exceeding 30yr means by hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of ice, go figure...

  2. The entire western portion of the Antarctic region is volcanic, given the exponential increase in volcanic activity WORLDWIDE in the last decade it would not be too much of a leap of faith to suggest that the reason the West is melting and the east growing is due to sub ice volcanic activity

  3. Your article is supposedly about Antarctica (South pole), but your photos comparing the ice levels is of the Arctic (North Pole).

  4. "They can’t find any recent warming, so they took a broken sensor with “intermittent gaps and other problems”, “recalibrated” it, “used computerized analyses of the atmosphere to fill the gaps” and “discovered” warming that “happened in the 1980s”. If you believe that this is science, then I strongly suggest you prep your telescope, lest you miss out on a spectacular sleigh sighting…"

  5. Good catch Dana . . .. The image was used as a hasty illustration (re ice melt in general). However, in this instance, given the "specifics" they're polar opposites! :>))

    In any event it has been up-dated.

    Thanks and Happy Holidays.



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