Is there anything global warming can't do?
Via The Daily Mail:
Earlier this year, global warming was blamed for the ‘irreversible retreat’ of west Antarctic glaciers.
But now scientists claim that warming of the planet is in fact behind a paradoxical growth in South Pole sea ice.
The comments come as Antarctica’s sea ice set a record this week, reaching 815,448 square miles (1,312,000 square km) of ice above its normal range.
Scientists believe the shift is caused by water melting from beneath the Antarctic ice shelves and re-freezing back on the surface.
‘The primary reason for this is the nature of the circulation of the Southern Ocean — water heated in high southern latitudes is carried equatorward, to be replaced by colder waters upwelling from below, which inhibits ice loss,’ Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, told Harold Ambler at Talking About the Weather.
However, as reported in a separate blog post by Mr Ambler, Nasa scientist Walt Meier said that growing Antarctic sea ice coverage is less significant a measure than declining Arctic sea ice coverage when assessing climate change.
Last year, a team from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute found that the fresh water melting from the Antarctic ice sheets had a relatively low density compared to the denser salty seawater.
This means that the water accumulates and freezes in the top layer of the ocean during the summer months.
Surrounded by North America, Greenland and Eurasia, the Arctic ice cap floats on the ocean, not land. It has lost a large amount of its older, thicker sea ice over the last 30 years, making it more vulnerable to the warming trend.