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How Climate Change is Causing Antarctic Sea-ice to Expand

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#1


As rising temperatures continue to shrink the extent of Arctic summer sea-ice, there has been much speculation as to why the ice cover on the opposite side of the planet has expanded slightly in recent years. Now British scientists have found the explanation–and it’s related to climate change.

Using data gathered by U.S. military satellite-tracking of the motion of the Frozen Continent’s icepack between 1992 and 2010, the researchers have found a link between Antarctic winds and the growth of sea-ice in the Weddell, Cooperation and Ross seas.

The analysis, “Wind-driven Trends in Antarctic Sea-ice Drift,” was published online yesterday in the science journal Nature Geoscience.

“Sea-ice is constantly on the move; around Antarctica the ice is blown away from the continent by strong northward winds. Since 1992 this ice drift has changed. In some areas the export of ice away from Antarctica has doubled, while in others it has decreased significantly,” said lead author Paul Holland , of the British Antarctic Survey, in a news statement about the research.

“Until now these changes in ice drift were only speculated upon, using computer models of Antarctic winds,” Holland said. “This study of direct satellite observations shows the complexity of climate change. The total Antarctic sea-ice cover is increasing slowly, but individual regions are actually experiencing much larger gains and losses that are almost offsetting each other overall. We now know that these regional changes are caused by changes in the winds, which in turn affect the ice cover through changes in both ice drift and air temperature.”

The changes in ice drift also suggest large changes in the ocean surrounding Antarctica, which is very sensitive to the cold and salty water produced by sea-ice growth, Holland added.



The new research also helps explain why observed changes in the amount of sea-ice cover are so different in the two polar regions, BAS said in its statement. “The Arctic has experienced dramatic ice losses in recent decades while the overall ice extent in the Antarctic has increased slightly. However, this small Antarctic increase is actually the result of much larger regional increases and decreases, which are now shown to be caused by wind-driven changes.”

Co-author Ron Kwok, of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, said: “The Antarctic sea ice cover interacts with the global climate system very differently than that of the Arctic, and these results highlight the sensitivity of the Antarctic ice coverage to changes in the strength of the winds around the continent.”

There has been contrasting climate change observed across the Antarctic in recent decades, British Antarctic Survey said in its statement. “The Antarctic Peninsula has warmed as much as anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere, while East Antarctica has shown little change or even a small cooling around the coast. The new research improves understanding of present and future climate change. It is important to distinguish between the Antarctic Ice Sheet — glacial ice — which is losing volume, and Antarctic sea ice — frozen seawater — which is expanding.”

The research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/11/12/how-climate-change-is-causing-antarctic-sea-ice-to-expand/
 
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#2
[It is important to distinguish between the Antarctic Ice Sheet — glacial ice — which is losing volume, and Antarctic sea ice — frozen seawater — which is expanding.”
Before the oil burning right wingers jump on top of this, the important thing to note is the retreat of the glacial ice. Ice sheets dropping off into the sea is still happening faster.
 
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#3
Now I finally understand what that "growing ice" rumour comes from. Thanks researchers and thanks micropage7 to point it out. The paradox has been solved.
 
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#4
I can 100% guarantee its going to change
 
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#5
Before the oil burning right wingers jump on top of this, the important thing to note is the retreat of the glacial ice. Ice sheets dropping off into the sea is still happening faster.
Taxing people is not gonna fix anything. The problem is nations like Brazil who have been cutting down the rainforests to plant sugar cane to become oil independent. What good is being oil independent if there are no trees to filter the air. I'm no right winger but I don't accept carbon taxes will save our planet and the people who use scare tactics to get them I have a hard time believing.
 
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#6
I can 100% guarantee its going to change
What is going to change? The climate? We all know global warming is real. No need to point that out. What I meant with the "paradox" is the seemingly contradicting "growth" of ice (due to drift-ice packing together, as we know now) and melting of ice. That is all.

Taxing people is not gonna fix anything. The problem is nations like Brazil who have been cutting down the rainforests to plant sugar cane to become oil independent. What good is being oil independent if there are no trees to filter the air. I'm no right winger but I don't accept carbon taxes will save our planet and the people who use scare tactics to get them I have a hard time believing.
I know it is not going to fix anything, but people still tend to think relying on governments is the solution to everything. Science might yet solve it nonetheless.
 

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#7
Taxing people is not gonna fix anything. The problem is nations like Brazil who have been cutting down the rainforests to plant sugar cane to become oil independent. What good is being oil independent if there are no trees to filter the air. I'm no right winger but I don't accept carbon taxes will save our planet and the people who use scare tactics to get them I have a hard time believing.
I agree, you should see the percentage of tax on petrol and diesel in the UK... taxing the population is not a sensible course of action, because they'll hate the damn tax, but they'll pay it anyway, so they will use just as much. And what will that tax be spent on? Not a resolution, I'll tell you that much.
 
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#8
^ Exactly.
 
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#9
I agree, you should see the percentage of tax on petrol and diesel in the UK... taxing the population is not a sensible course of action, because they'll hate the damn tax, but they'll pay it anyway, so they will use just as much. And what will that tax be spent on? Not a resolution, I'll tell you that much.
This is my issue with a lot of these studies. People have an angle to work. Taxes which don't fix anything except for governments insatiable need to control everything. If there was a REAL plan of action and a REAL goal I could see my taxes going to I MIGHT believe the random scare statistic they produce. OMG THE WORLD IS ENDING, QUICK TAX PEOPLE?! Only government comes up with such failed policies.
 
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#10
This whole thing is scary as hell and I don't even have kids to worry about. And, regardless of the causes and whether or not it's primarily due to human activity, you can't deny the weather is more extreme and threatening these days. Especially to those near bodies of water.
 
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#11
This whole thing is scary as hell and I don't even have kids to worry about. And, regardless of the causes and whether or not it's primarily due to human activity, you can't deny the weather is more extreme and threatening these days. Especially to those near bodies of water.
Not really. Historically speaking its been pretty normal.
 
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#12
This whole thing is scary as hell and I don't even have kids to worry about. And, regardless of the causes and whether or not it's primarily due to human activity, you can't deny the weather is more extreme and threatening these days. Especially to those near bodies of water.
Weather is more of an ebb-and-flow kind of thing. There are just as many valid arguments against global warming as there are for it. Historical evidence shows that the earth goes through periods that are very much like the global warming we see today.

I don't know what to think of it all myself, however I can say that we have been abusing natural resources a bit too much without replenishing them. Going green is more than just 'saving the planet', it is just the logical step forward.
 
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#13
things are changing and we have to adapt. regardless of whether we are the cause, or whether we are so insignificant as to make that thought ludicrous - either way we need to change the way we live if we hope to continue life on this planet.
earth will be just fine - it's humans that are in for a rude awakening.

What's scary as hell is FEMA.
yeah - people are much better off left to themselves after disaster strikes. death, riots & looting be damned ;)
 
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#14
What's scary as hell is FEMA.
 

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#15
remember when scientists predicted massive global cooling in the 70s?
 
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#16
things are changing and we have to adapt. regardless of whether we are the cause, or whether we are so insignificant as to make that thought ludicrous - either way we need to change the way we live if we hope to continue life on this planet.

earth will be just fine - it's humans that are in for a rude awakening.
Man will survive just fine. Two ice ages were survived without electricity. I think we will be fine. :laugh:

yeah - people are much better off left to themselves after disaster strikes. death, riots & looting be damned ;)
I did just fine without them. Seen them work first hand. Waste of time and money they are.
 
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#17
An excellent solution to the CO2 problem is thorium reactors and the real problem is why we haven't begun spending more time using and developing them.

Man will survive just fine. Two ice ages were survived without electricity. I think we will be fine. :laugh:
Oh humans will no doubt survive, but we will likely just suffer and experience more frequent deaths unless we adapt successfully or mitigate the problem.
 
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#18
Man will survive just fine. Two ice ages were survived without electricity. I think we will be fine. :laugh:
but at what cost? I don't debate that some people and so the human race will survive - but how many of us could actually reproduce the science and technology we have today? I do think that's important unless we want to just advance and retreat with planetary weather systems.

eventually we need to get out into space if we have any hope of survival long term. that's all i really want to point out as I think it's an important goal.

I did just fine without them. Seen them work first hand. Waste of time and money they are.
yeah but you're special - you're the mailman. not everyone is as self-sufficient as you. if you are arguing survival of the fittest i can see the argument - but i don't entirely agree with it.
 
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#19
An excellent solution to the CO2 problem is thorium reactors and the real problem is why we haven't begun spending more time using and developing them.

Oh humans will no doubt survive, but we will likely just suffer and experience more frequent deaths.
Small correction: City folk will be screwed.

but at what cost? I don't debate that some people and so the human race will survive - but how many of us could actually reproduce the science and technology we have today? I do think that's important unless we want to just advance and retreat with planetary weather systems.

eventually we need to get out into space if we have any hope of survival long term. that's all i really want to point out as I think it's an important goal.
Great idea! Problem is they cut funding for NASA and gave it to the failing "Green Industry".
 
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#20
Small correction: City folk will be screwed.
Naw, it wouldn't be limited to just city folk. Climate Change is on a global scale, besides city fok have always been screwed lol.
 
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#21
Great idea! Problem is they cut funding for NASA and gave it to the failing "Green Industry".
yeah - because that's where all the funding has gone in the last 10 years - green energy. I seem to remember a gigantic military machine taking the majority of our dollars. maybe i'm just confused though ;) that happens....
 
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#23
yeah - because that's where all the funding has gone in the last 10 years - green energy. I seem to remember a gigantic military machine taking the majority of our dollars. maybe i'm just confused though ;) that happens....
The amount dumped into the green industry could have taken us to Mars and back. Pass the buck all you want but that's a fact. At least bombs yield results. lol

yeah but you're special - you're the mailman. not everyone is as self-sufficient as you. if you are arguing survival of the fittest i can see the argument - but i don't entirely agree with it.
It wasn't just me man. I've SEEN how they work. They are a waste of time.
 
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#24
The amount dumped into the green industry could have taken us to Mars and back. Pass the buck all you want but that's a fact.
and the amount spent on war could have us living in space.

pass the buck all you want - green energy is a much more worthwhile money sink than war is. i'd rather it be NASA, but i'd much rather it be green energy than war. so you're saying because it hasn't worked as well as hoped we should have never tried? i disagree. and i know it's just a quip - that at least bombs yield results - but it's true. what kind of results do we really want though? more death and destruction or creation? i'd opt for creation personally. at least to attempt it.
 
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#25
and the amount spent on war could have us living in space.

pass the buck all you want - green energy is a much more worthwhile money sink than war is. i'd rather it be NASA, but i'd much rather it be green energy than war. so you're saying because it hasn't worked as well as hoped we should have never tried? i disagree.
NASA has never failed in a mission. Just setback. Government investing in Green Industry has......MANY TIMES. NASA win. Government investing fail.

Also I aint gonna argue we spend way to much on bombs. But the government investing in the private sector has ALWAYS failed!