Jul 25 2016

Antartica is Still Growing, Despite Rising Temperatures

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One of the popular arguments for the proof of global climate change is the melting of Earth’s ice and the rise of sea level. In a fairly recent study by NASA, researchers concluded the Antarctic Ice Sheet is growing in size instead of shrinking, which challenges several studies regarding ice loss on the continent. Obviously, this means that Global Warming is a hoax. Or at least, that’s what a quick glance at the article will tell you. However, the situation on the continent is not that simple.

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Credits: NASA

The article specifically states that the mass gains of the ice sheet are greater than losses. This means that not the entire sheet is growing, just certain areas. This growth is due to the large amount of snowfall left over from the last ice age, 10,000 years ago (Viñas, 2015). The ice sheet is still losing mass, and at a frightening pace.”If the losses of the Antarctic Peninsula and parts of West Antartica continue to increase at the same rate they’ve been increasing for the last two decades,” says Jay Zwally, the leading glaciologist of the study, “the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antartica in 20 or 30 years”(Viñas, 2015). For now, the 0.7 inches of snowfall is just enough to keep the ice sheet where it is, if not a little larger. However, this will not be the case in the next few years if ice loss is not reversed.

Admittedly, the title can be misleading, so much so that my climate change denying aunt shared this with me in hopes of changing my mind. An article like this one will most likely be used as ammunition for climate change’s opposition, if it has not already. The ability for deniers to point out one specific instance in the world where the effects of climate change are not being felt yet is really all they need to make an argument. In reality, the proof for deniers is not any proof at all and instead has to do with proving the evidence wrong. In this day and age, it has become much easier to deny science and facts in favor of a general consensus by the public, regardless of the actual merit of these ideas. With any luck, enough lawmakers can be convinced to look at the evidence within the next few years to make the necessary changes to ensure the safety of our planet.

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