NASA blows whistle on Antarctic Y2K (+5) meltdown
Continent swaps snow for ice
The summer of 2005 saw enough snow to cover the whole of California melt from the face of our coldest continent.
According to NASA, this was the first widespread Antarctic melting ever spotted with its QuikSat satellite.
Researchers checked through data for snow accumulation and melt starting in 1999, through to 2005 [looking for the much anticipated Y2K meltdown? - Ed]. They found evidence of melting as much as 560 miles inland, and at altitudes that melting had not been expected.
The satellite takes advantage of the fact that snow, when it melts, refreezes as ice. The satellite's scatterometer uses radar pulses to scan the surface of the ice sheet. It can pick out the particular signature of refrozen snow and map the pattern of melting.
The summer in question was exceptionally warm, with air temperatures reaching as high as 5°C, and staying above melting point for more than a week at a time. It was warm enough to create an extensive ice layer, but not so warm, or prolonged, that the melt water had a chance to run off into the sea. Nonetheless, the researchers argue that the findings are significant.
Konrad Steffen, director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado said that although warming in the far south has so far been confined to the Antarctic peninsula, the QuikSat data suggests this is changing.
He said: "Increases in snow-melt, such as this in 2005, definitely could have an impact on larger scale melting of Antarctica's ice sheets if they were severe or sustained over time.
"Water from melted snow can penetrate into ice sheets through cracks and narrow, tubular glacial shafts called moulins," he added. "If sufficient melt water is available, it may reach the bottom of the ice sheet. This water can lubricate the underside of the ice sheet at the bedrock, causing the ice mass to move toward the ocean faster, increasing sea level." ®
Which is exactly what the petrochem cos and governments want...
In order to distract from the obvious truths that the world is getting hotter and that we've caused it, petrochem cos and certain elements of certain governents elevate baseless 'experts' and their 'expert opinion' to levels that somehow equate with simple, provable mathematics and long term statistical analysis. No matter what FUD we're faced with, intelligent and thoughtful people must stand firm and debate these environmental issues as often and as thoughtfully as possible. The Petrochem conglomerates have more money and will make this debate go on as long as possible until there's no fossil fuels left. At that point, they will crucify their own and cry MEA CULPA. Our job is to prove them wrong with science fact before that happens.
Just like IDiots...
I mean, supporters of "intelligent" design.
"It doesn't get much warmer as we put more energy into the atmosphere."
With "well informed" people like that "contributing" to the debate, no wonder people who actually know what they are talking about run away screaming in desperation...
Re: More FUD
I just couldn't remember what FUD stood for, so hopped over to Wikipedia. It does give the correct meaning: "Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt", but it's the other meanings that worry me. They must be very confused in Scotland!