About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Global Warming Turns Bizarre as Antarctic Icecaps Grow in Size

by Tanya Thomas on September 13, 2008 at 4:15 PM
Font : A-A+

Global Warming Turns Bizarre as Antarctic Icecaps Grow in Size

Here's something about global warming that has left the world's top scientists baffled. In a bizarre and unexpected twist to the global warming story, the amount of Antarctic ice has actually been increasing while the ice near the Arctic is melting!

According to a report in New Scientist, in the southern hemisphere winter, when emperor penguins huddle together against the biting cold, ice on the sea around Antarctica has been increasing since the late 1970s, perhaps because climate change means shifts in winds, sea currents or snowfall.

Advertisement

At the other end of the planet, Arctic sea ice is now close to matching a September 2007 record low at the tail end of the northern summer, in a threat to the hunting lifestyles of indigenous peoples and creatures such as polar bears.

"The Antarctic wintertime ice extent increased at a rate of 0.6 per cent per decade from 1979 to 2006," said Donald Cavalieri, a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.
Advertisement

At 19 million square kilometers, it is still slightly below records from the early 1970s of 20 million. Since 1979 however, the average year-round ice extent has risen too.

Some climate skeptics point to the differing trends at the poles as a sign that worries about climate change are exaggerated, but experts say they can explain the development.

"What's happening is not unexpected. Climate modelers predicted a long time ago that the Arctic would warm fastest and the Antarctic would be stable for a long time," said Ted Maksym, a sea ice specialist at the British Antarctic Survey.

The UN Climate Panel says it is at least 90 per cent sure that people are stoking global warming - mainly by burning fossil fuels. But it says each region will react differently.

A key difference is that Arctic ice floats on an ocean and is warmed by shifting currents and winds from the south. By contrast, Antarctica is an isolated continent bigger than the US that creates its own deep freeze.

"The air temperature in Antarctica has increased very little compared to the Arctic," said Ola Johannessen, director of the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center in Bergen, Norway. "The reason is you have a huge ocean surrounding the land," he added.

According to Cavalieri, some computer models indicate a reduction in the amount of heat coming up from the ocean around Antarctica as one possible explanation for growing ice.

Another theory was that warmer air absorbs more moisture and means more snow and rainfall.

That could mean more fresh water at the sea surface around Antarctica - fresh water freezes at a higher temperature than salt water.

In some places, stronger winds might blow ice out to sea to areas where ice would not naturally form.

Source: ANI
TAN
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Health Effects of Global Warming Global Warming 

Recommended Reading
Do Not Underestimate the World's Ponds in Trapping Carbon
A new insight has shown that the world's ponds are capable of absorbing the same amount of carbon .....
How We Personally Contribute to Climate Change With the Aerosols We Create
A group of scientists affiliated with the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) have .....
Health Effects of Global Warming
Greenhouse effect causes excessive heat to build up in the earth’s atmosphere causing global warming...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use