Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Science of Global Warming -- Antarctica ice gets thicker?

Link: Science -- This Week in Science {24 June 2005; 308 (5730)}.

Research by Davis, et. al., published in Science on Friday indicates that snow added to Antarctica's ice sheets by changing climate patterns may mitigate sea level rise accompanying global warming.  In the same issue, David Vaughan cautions that the mass balance or balance of thickening and thinning areas in Antartica is unclear -- and thus the contribution of the Antartica ice sheets to global sea level remains uncertain.

Research by Bassett et al. (published online Science Express 23 Jun 2005) suggests historically that Antartica's contribution to global sea level is larger than thought.  Sea level simulations   The study modeled the influence of Earth and ice processes on sea level. Previous attempts to simulate the sea level rise due to the melting of ice sheets 14,000 to 9,000 years ago failed to explain sea-level changes in some places. This study shows that a model combining a stiff lower mantle and rapid melting of Antarctic ice sheets better explains data on historic global sea changes.  These results provide another line of evidence that Antarctic ice may be responsible for more of the deglacial sea level rise than previously thought.

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