Warmer air may cause more sea ice cover

June 30, 2005

A new study says predicted increases in precipitation due to warmer air temperatures may actually increase sea ice volume in the Antarctic's Southern Ocean.

The findings on greenhouse effects point to asymmetry between the two poles and may be an indication that climate change processes may have varying impacts on different areas of the globe.

"Most people have heard of climate change and how rising air temperatures are melting glaciers and sea ice in the Arctic," said Dylan C. Powell, lead author of the study and a doctoral student at the University of Maryland.

"However, findings from our simulations suggest a counterintuitive phenomenon. Some of the melt in the Arctic may be balanced by increases in sea ice volume in the Antarctic."

The latest findings are published as a paper in this month's issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research (Oceans).

"We used computer-generated simulations to get this research result. I hope that in the future we'll be able to verify this result with real data through a long-term ice thickness measurement campaign," Powell said.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Research spotlights a previously unknown microbial 'drama' playing in the Southern Ocean

Related Stories

Five bizarre fossil discoveries that got scientists excited

July 20, 2015

From trilobites to tyrannosaurs, most fossils are of creatures with hard shells or bones. These materials don't easily biodegrade and sediment has time to build up around them and turn them into a record of the creature that ...

Cool summer of 2013 boosted Arctic sea ice

July 20, 2015

The volume of Arctic sea ice increased by a third after the summer of 2013 as the unusually cool air temperatures prevented the ice from melting, according to UCL and University of Leeds scientists. This suggests that the ...

Major greenhouse gases hit record highs in 2014: report

July 16, 2015

In 2014 the world's oceans swelled, major greenhouse gases that fuel global warming hit record highs and the planet's surface temperature reached its hottest point in 135 years, international researchers said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

Binary star system precisely timed with pulsar's gamma-rays

July 31, 2015

Pulsars are rapidly rotating compact remnants born in the explosions of massive stars. They can be observed through their lighthouse-like beams of radio waves and gamma-rays. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.