Much is said about the effect that climate change has been having on our planet and its consequences on the more temperate zones.Despite all this, according to a new NASA study, Antarctica is gaining more ice than it is losing.
A team of NASA scientists examined the altitude of the ice sheet through satellite images and concluded that the increase is favorable. The methods used to reach this conclusion are worthy of recognition, but this finding generated conflicts between investigations of more than a decade.
Antarctica is thus the same size as the United States and Mexico combined, but the changes in ice level are not uniform. As a result, some places raise their ice level and others decrease.
Some scientists claim that melting ice is increasing on the Western Antarctic Peninsula. While in the eastern and lower parts of the continent the ice is increasing.As a result, scientists clarify that the net increase is greater than the loss in the rest of the Antarctic Region.
This net increase in ice means that Antarctica does not contribute to sea level rise, it could also be of great help to compensate for the loss of ice in Greenland and in various glaciers on the planet.
Researchers believe that increased snowfall, which started more than 10,000 years ago, may be the reason for the increase in ice in Antarctica. Over the years, the snow accumulated and compacted in large quantities, to finally form ice sheets.
From 1992 to 2001, snowfall increased by 101 billion metric tons of ice per year, but this number decreased to 74 billion from 2003 to 2008.
On the other hand, the researchers mentioned that the increase in the loss of ice in Western Antarctica and the peninsula decreases the gains and there would be large net losses in the next 20 years.
Today it is believed that the loss of ice in Antarctica contributes almost 8% to the rise in the level of the oceans. Finally, this level of increase is very noticeable in the tides of coastal cities.
If the results of this new study are correct, Antarctica does not contribute to the rise of the sea. This means that scientists underestimate the impact of other causes of rising levels, such as melting in Greenland and warming oceans.
The world’s largest iceberg broke
The fragment that came off several days ago is about 175 square kilometers and 19 kilometers long. For Professor Adrian Luckman this could be the beginning of the end of the A-68A ice mass that broke off the Antarctic continent in June 2017.Heading for the South Atlantic Ocean it is the world’s largest iceberg.
Currently the ice mass is moving to the north of the Antarctic peninsula and it is expected that having entered into rougher and warmer waters, the currents will carry them towards the Atlantic.
Adrian Luckman, professor at the University of Swansea (United Kingdom), who has been following the progress of the A-68A, that gigantic 5,100 square kilometer block that separated from the continent in July 2017, assures that he suspects that the final rupture is beginning, but emphasizes that “the later fragments are probably with us for years.”
According to Luckman there was never any indication that this corner was going to come off. “Not that I have seen it, I have been monitoring progress, but mainly it has been the wear of small pieces everywhere,”said the researcher, who recalled that when the A-68-A was released it had about 6,000 kilometers of surface and an average thickness of 190 meters approximately. In all aspects of life on Earth there must be a balance, so in the same way, neither the decrease nor the increase of ice in Antarctica, nor the thaw is convenient for humanity. Balance is key to preserving the global climate.