Antarctic Snowfall Has Doubled Since 1850
Not by Fire but by Ice
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Antarctic Snowfall Has Doubled Since
21 Jan 08 - A new paper has just appeared in Geophysical Research Letters entitled "A doubling in snow accumulation in the western Antarctic Peninsula since 1850." The article is by scientists with the British Antarctic Survey and the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada.
As seen in the figure below, snow accumulation has been rising like a
rocket. "Annual accumulation has more than doubled in the last 150
years," the authors state. "At the beginning of the record
annual accumulation is relatively stable until about 1930 when it begins
to increase steadily.
So while we’ve heard recent reports about Antarctica losing ice, here we again find evidence to the contrary. Not only is there no evidence of melting at the Gomez site, snow is accumulating there at an amazingly high rate.
Magazine covers may have wonderful pictures of melting of the
Antarctic, but IPCC in their 2007 report clearly states "Antarctic
sea ice extent continues to show inter-annual variability and localized
changes but no statistically significant average trends, consistent with
the lack of warming reflected in atmospheric temperatures averaged
across the region."
In fact, Antarctic sea ice extent has recently set record highs for both total areal extent as well as total extent anomaly (see chart above). Furthermore, IPCC tells the world "Current global model studies project that the Antarctic ice sheet will remain too cold for widespread surface melting and is expected to gain in mass due to increased snowfall."
Ref: Thomas, E. R., G. J. Marshall, and J. R. McConnell, 2008. A doubling in snow accumulation in the western Antarctic Peninsula since 1850. Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L01706, doi:10.1029/2007GL032529.
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