Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

East Antarctica ice loss is accelerating

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Skeptical Science:

Over time, I gradually update what the science says on each skeptic argument to include new papers (or old papers I hadn’t read yet). The idea is that a clearer picture will emerge as new research and data comes out. For example, skeptics used ice gain in the East Antarctic interior to prove that "Antarctica is gaining ice". The original response was that while East Antarctica was gaining ice in the interior, it was losing ice around the edges. These two effects roughly cancelled each other out, leaving East Antarctica in mass balance. When you include strong ice loss from West Antarctica, the continent was overall losing ice. Last month, this was updated with the latest satellite data finding that Antarctic ice loss was now accelerating. Today, I’ve updated the Antarctica page yet again as the latest data shows that East Antarctica is no longer in mass balance, but losing ice mass.

The results are published in Accelerated Antarctic ice loss from satellite gravity measurements (Chen 2009) which compares two independent measurements of Antarctic ice loss. One method is the GRACE satellites which measure changes in gravity around the Antarctic ice sheet. The latest GRACE data analyses measurements from April 2002 to January 2009. Another method to determine mass balance is to combine snowfall estimates with InSAR satellites. These use radar waves to measure the speed of ice sheets as they calve into the ocean…

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 November 2009 at 12:22 pm

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