Not all glaciers in Antarctica have been affected by climate change

August 8, 2017
The Ross Sea, Antarctica. Image courtesy NASA.

A new study by scientists at Portland State University and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder has found that the effects of climate change, which are apparent in other parts of the Antarctic continent, are not yet observed for glaciers in the western Ross Sea coast.

Published online ahead of print for the journal Geology, the study found that the pattern of glacier advance and retreat has not changed along the western Ross Sea coast, in contrast to the rapidly shrinking on the Antarctic Peninsula.

The western Ross Sea is a key region of Antarctica, home to a complex and diverse ocean ecosystem, and the location of several Antarctic research stations including the U.S. McMurdo Station, the largest on the continent.

The research team compiled historic maps and a variety of satellite images (such as https://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/2000/2066/seawifs_south_pole_ross_lrg.jpg) spanning the last half-century to examine glacier activity along more than 700 kilometers of coastline. The NASA-U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat series satellites were particularly useful, including the newest Landsat 8 instrument, launched in 2013.

The scientists examined 34 large glaciers for details of ice flow, extent, and calving events (formation of icebergs). Although each glacier showed advances and retreats, there was no overall pattern over time or with latitude.

The results suggest that changes in the drivers of glacier response to climate—air temperature, snowfall, and ocean temperatures—have been minimal over the past half century in this region.

The study was part of a National Science Foundation and U.S. Geological Survey study and was motivated by previous work documenting significant glacier retreat and ice shelf collapse along the coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula. The region's ongoing changes were highlighted recently with the cracking and separation of a large iceberg from the Larsen C Ice Shelf.

Earlier studies had documented little change in the western Ross coastline prior to 1995, and the new study both confirmed the earlier work and extended the analysis to the present time.

This work underscores the complexity of Antarctic climate change and glacier response.

Explore further: Ocean warming primary cause of Antarctic Peninsula glacier retreat

More information: Andrew G. Fountain et al. The changing extent of the glaciers along the western Ross Sea, Antarctica, Geology (2017). DOI: 10.1130/G39240.1

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Turgent
1.8 / 5 (10) Aug 08, 2017
This is heresy! Burn Martin Luther, burn. Give Phys.org an atta-boy for this balance.

The article states "This work underscores the complexity of Antarctic climate change and glacier response."

From the abstract -- "The stability of these glaciers over the past half century contrasts sharply with the rapidly shrinking glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula and suggests that no significant climate change, as manifest in glacier change, has reached this region of Antarctica."

From their data they make no extrapolation. Wisdom
Da Schneib
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 08, 2017
Do we actually have to watch anti-science clickbait get posted on the science site?

Of course "all glaciers" are not retreating anywhere. In some cases climate change makes things colder. This is duh ummm.

Most places are getting warmer. A few are getting colder. Get over it.
Shootist
1.8 / 5 (10) Aug 08, 2017
Today Greenland can't raise wheat, barley, and dairy cattle. Vikings did so for ~400 years during the Medieval Climate Optimum (when it was much warmer than today).
greenonions1
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 08, 2017
Hey Shootist - maybe take a look at a globe. Greenland would be near the top. Today's article is about the bottom.
Good article though - as usual - nice balance from my favorite site Physorg - and get a bit of a chuckle from the denier swarm that can't wait to copy and paste some more anti science opinions (not you Da Schneib).
Turgent
1 / 5 (8) Aug 08, 2017
Some history trivia -- about 1124 a bishop was appointed to Greenland. By about 1450 they were gone. Iceland had forests.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (5) Aug 08, 2017
Shootie doesn't get Mercator projections. It thinks Greenland is the size of South America because it doesn't know how to read maps.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (6) Aug 08, 2017
Turgent
Iceland had forests.
And this is relevant to today's article about Antarctica? Perhaps after Shootist has looked at the globe - you could borrow it. Is it part of your healthy skepticism - to drop random, irrelevant trivia - in the comments section. Seems like trolling to me.
rrrander
1 / 5 (3) Aug 09, 2017
The People's Directorate (Propaganda Division) has declared this article to be "Wrong-think" about global warming and it must be expunged from the record.
Parsec
5 / 5 (7) Aug 09, 2017
Can anyone here explain to me why we continue to see denialists posting their focus on greenland/iceland in the middle ages? I understand that they dimly expect some sort of connection with today's climate changes, but I am flabbergasted anyone would be so stupid to try and post such a cherry picked line of argumentation in a place where almost everyone recognizes it for the drivel it is.

It appears to me that a political forum, where few people understand how profoundly stupid these arguments really are, would be a far better target.
hanterp
5 / 5 (3) Aug 09, 2017
Some people are in denial about global warming.
See it as fear...
barakn
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 09, 2017
Today Greenland can't raise wheat, barley, and dairy cattle. Vikings did so for ~400 years during the Medieval Climate Optimum (when it was much warmer than today). -shootist

No evidence for wheat growing there at all. Zip, zilch, nada. The evidence for barley consists of a few scorched grains in a single layer at the bottom of one trash heap.
barakn
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 09, 2017
"The find also substantiates a well-known text from about 1250, 'King's mirror (Konungs skuggsjá)', which mentions in passing that the Vikings attempted to grow grain on Greenland. It is the only report about cultivating barley that we have from that time and says: "As to whether any sort of grain can grow there, my belief is that the country draws but little profit from that source. And yet there are men among those who are counted the wealthiest and most prominent who have tried to sow grain as an experiment; but the great majority in that country do not know what bread is, having never seen it."" https://ancientfo...eenland/
Turgent
1 / 5 (4) Aug 09, 2017
Believe it or nut. Their actually are 2 hay fields or some other grain growing in Narsaq. Which is on the west side not east of Greenland, where the Vikings settled. I believe that's it for Greenland agriculture. It's right next to my future rare earths mine.
Turgent
1 / 5 (5) Aug 09, 2017
Greenonions1

Lighten up, don't pick at the minutia, carry a petty grudge, and find issues of real merit to explore.

1. Sorry you can't appreciate contribution as relevant because of box you operate in.

2. Threads may follow a very convoluted path.

3. So what if this should digress, is this topic so religious that there can be not levity .

4. You might review the filters of your own perception. You and your crowd's knee jerk reaction are to brand others as trolls and deniers. Where has there been any GW denying? There does exist institutionalized Junk Science porn and propaganda.

5. Don't be nasty if you don't agree.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (4) Aug 09, 2017
Turgent
Lighten up, don't pick at the minutia, carry a petty grudge, and find issues of real merit to explore
I think climate change is an issue of real merit. I also think that trolling is an issue of real merit. Almost every article that has the word climate in it - is followed by a comment by Shootist - pushing the same lies over and over. It does not matter how many times others present the facts - Shootist ignores the facts - and continues on with the trolling. As a result of a culture of trolling and lies - we have ended up with a liar in chief in the U.S. - who claims that climate change was made up by the Chinese, and millions of followers who think he is god. He has just pulled us out of the Paris accord. You and I disagree - I think 2 or more degrees of warming is very serious. I am sick of the lies. Don't tell me to lighten up - it won't work. I will throw my 2 cents in with the others on this board who are interested in science - and hate trolling.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (3) Aug 09, 2017
@turdTROLL
Lighten up, don't pick at the minutia, carry a petty grudge,
really?

science is all about the minutia, for starters
it is important to at least attempt to get it right as specifically as possible

more to the point, you're demonstrating a petty grudge by posting "Stumpy no need to spew and parrot" on various threads
... you're pissed because i proved you were a parroting lying denier here
https://phys.org/...hot.html]https://phys.org/...hot.html[/url]

or here:https://phys.org/...hot.html]https://phys.org/...hot.html[/url]

& https://phys.org/...ate.html

above and in those links, you just demonstrated "such an absence of fundamental scientific knowledge that there is an inability to understand" with regard to climate science

but now you want to say that those that tried to help you are just being parrots? or petty? and they should lighten up?

wow

just wow

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