Antarctic Ice Cap Growing Thicker

Not by Fire but by Ice


Discover What Killed the Dinosaurs . . . and Why it Could Soon Kill Us





Antarctic ice growing, not shrinking
By Greg Roberts
18 Apr 09 - "Ice is expanding in much of Antarctica, contrary to the
widespread public belief that global warming is melting the continental ice cap."
See Antarctic ice growing, not shrinking
No Global Warming in Antarctica
15 Sep 07 - "It's hard to see a global-warming signal from the 
mainland of Antarctica right now," says head of Polar Meteorology 
Group at the Byrd Polar Research Center
See No Global Warming in Antarctica
Record snows crush historic Antarctic hut
- 28 Nov 06 
See Record Snows Crush Antarctic Hut
ce and snow piling up over a large area of Antarctica
- 19 May 2005 - According to a new study published in the online edition of Science, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet gained about 45 billion tons of ice between 1992 and 2003. The ice sheets are several kilometers thick in places, and contain about 90% of the world's ice.
Using data from the European Space Agency's radar satellites ERS-1 and ERS-2, a
research team from the University of Missouri, Columbia, measured changes in altitude over about 70% of Antarctica's interior. East Antarctica
thickened at an average rate of about 1.8 centimeters per year over the time period studied, the researchers discovered. 

The region comprises about 75% of Antarctica 's total land area and about 85% of the total ice volume. The area in question covers more than 2.75 million square miles - roughly the same size as the United States.

(This means that more than 90 percent of the world's glaciers are growing thicker … while the media keeps yelling about the ones that are melting.)

* * *

Antarctic snow pack increasing 5 feet per year  
18 Jul 05 – Here’s another case where the media seems to be trying to hide the fact that snow levels are increasing in Antarctica. The headline, about the Halley VI research station, reads “Base on skis wins polar contract.”  The article then rambles on for ten paragraphs before almost mentioning that snow is accumulating in the area at the rate of five feet (1.5m) per year, and that “the previous four bases were all buried.” 

Think about that. Snow is accumulating over an area bigger than the
continental United States. How in the world are sea levels supposed to rise, if so much moisture is getting locked up on land as ice? (They're not.)

  * * *

Misleading Reports

Most articles make it sound as if all of Antarctica is melting. As far as I’m
concerned, these reports are misleading, because it's mainly only the ice on 
the Antarctic Peninsula that's melting..   

Here’s a map of Antarctica. At 5,500,000 square miles, this continent is 
almost twice the size of the contiguous forty-eight United States (about 
3,500,000 square miles).

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 - 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.





                                                                                    * * * 

Here's one of the articles that I'm talking about, from the AP in London (April 21, 2005) that would have you to that Antarctica is melting. The headline shouts, "Study Shows Antarctic Glaciers Shrinking." I think this is another case of biased science and biased reporting, where 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, which was written by 
Emma Ross. I have 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.

                                                                 * * *

Antarctic Ice Sheet Growing Thicker -

Here’s an e-mail that I received yesterday, Dec 13, 2004, from a geophysicist who was stationed at the Byrd Station. He confirms what I’ve been saying all along … that the ice is growing thicker in Antarctica.


I spent much of the austral summer of 1969-70 as a geophysicist at Byrd Station 
and also about a month at the South Pole.  I have not looked at my pictures in about a decade but I may have some with the towers in the background.

While at Byrd I made a trip to the original Byrd station site about 6 miles away.

By that time the station was totally buried but flagging marked an entry way.  We had to dig down about 10 feet to a hatch and then go down a long ladder.  It was an eerie sight - like something out of a science fiction film.  The roof had been braced with 14"x14" timbers which were snapped like toothpicks and 55 gallon fuel cans, which were stacked and welded together were compressed to about 12 " in height.  We had to crawl through much of the station.  Equipment was still in place in the infirmary and there were still plates of food on the mess hall tables.

Dick Kuberry   


 * * * 

Satellites show overall increases in Antarctic Sea Ice Cover Around Antarctica   
Claire Parkinson of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center found that sea ice seasons have lengthened by at least one day per year over an area of 2.16 million square miles (about 3/4 of the size of the continental United States). This is roughly twice as large as the area where sea ice seasons have shortened by at least one day per year. 

Sea ice now covers the area for three weeks longer per year than it did 21 years ago. Annals of Glaciology, Aug 22, 2002 
See also
Thanks to Cory van Pelt for this link

 * * * 


Back to expanding glaciers.

See also Greenland Ice Cap Growing Thicker

See also: Himalayan Glaciers Not Shrinking





Order Book I Q & A I Book Reviews I Plant Hardiness Zone Maps I Radio Interviews I Table of Contents I Excerpts I Author Photo I Pacemaker of the Ice Ages I Extent of Previous Glaciation I Crane Buried in Antarctic Ice Sheet I Ice Ages and Magnetic Reversals I It's Ocean Warming I E-Mail Robert at l Expanding Glaciers