By JR on Thursday, December 03, 2015
NASA says Antarctic has been COOLING for past SIX years
This adds to the Zwally findings of a month ago to similar effect. Much to amuse here, though. The NASA report is very cagey, as you would expect. For a start, they put a very boring headline on it: "NASA’s Operation IceBridge Completes Twin Polar Campaigns", then they flood their report with no doubt worthy technical details and even hark back to a 2012 study in an endeavour to blunt the impact of their findings. So it seems that only the Daily Express writer excerpted below read the report carefully enough to sift the wheat from the chaff. All subsequent media reports of the matter go back to the DE article.
ANTARCTIC temperatures have cooled over the past six years, according to US space agency NASA.
An intensive scientific study of both Earth's poles has found that from 2009 to 2016 overall temperature has dropped in the southern polar region.
NASA’s Operation IceBridge is an airborne survey of polar ice and has finalised two overlapping research campaigns at both the poles.
In the last few weeks NASA has revealed the overall amount of ice has increased at the Antarctic and the amount of sea ice has also extended.
Coupled with the latest announcement of slight cooling in the area, it has fuelled claims from climate change deniers that human industrialisation is not having the huge impact on global temperature as often is claimed.
Christopher Shuman, a University of Maryland, Baltimore County glaciologist working at Goddard, said: "Field data suggests that there’s been a modest cooling in the area over the 2009–2015 time period, and images collected during that time by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on the Terra and Aqua satellites show more persistent fast ice (sea ice that is attached to the shore) in the Larsen A and Larsen B embayments”
However, Mr Shuman warned that in some areas of the Antarctic, glaciers continued to melt at significant levels, despite the slight temperature drop.
During one flight in the Peninsula that mapped the drainage area of several glaciers, a drop of more than 490 feet (150 meters) in the height of two glaciers since IceBridge last plotted them, in 2009, was measured.
Both glaciers, called Green and Hektoria, were tributaries to the Larsen B ice shelf, which disintegrated in 2002.
After the ice shelf collapsed, it stopped buttressing the glaciers that fed it, and glacier elevations have fallen dramatically since then.
A study published in 2012 showed average elevation losses of up to 82 feet (25 meters) per year for the lower Green and Hektoria glaciers from 2006 to 2011.
A NASA spokesman said: "So IceBridge’s discovery that both are still losing ice fast many years after the loss of the adjacent ice shelf is “not all that surprising given what we have observed with other sensors,” said Mr Shuman.