Wednesday, 16 January 2008

ANTARCTIC - INCREASING OR DECREASING?

There has been some news recently about increased loss of ice in the Antarctic. It was alluded to in the revived News at Ten reports, and also in this report from the USA. However,as reported in Ice Cap, it is mid-summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Ice extent remains well (one million square kilometers) above the 28 year average and an impressive 3 million square kilometers above last year at this time!.

There is clearly a lot of year to year variability in the record but the demise of the Antartic icecap seems to be anything but imminent. Most of the warming and melt in recent years has been in the vicinity of the Antarctic Peninsula, a small portion of the Antarctic which reaches above the Antarctic Circle and is a choke-point for the circumpolar ocean currents, and is more susceptible to variations. There’s also an active subsea volcano in the area, perhaps leading to the warm water upwelling in the study.

Whatever is happening to the Antarctic, it is not caused by CO2 and there is nothing we can do about it.

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