New study reveals increased snowfall in Antarctica over last two centuries

April 9, 2018, British Antarctic Survey
Dr Liz Thomas, lead author, measuring ice cores in the field. The study analysed 79 ice cores collected from across Antarctica revealing a 10% increase in snowfall over the last 200 years. Credit: British Antarctic Survey.

The first comprehensive study of snowfall across Antarctica provides vital information in the study of future sea-level rise.

Presenting this week (Monday 9 April 2018) at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) meeting in Vienna, an international team, led by British Antarctic Survey, describes how analysis of 79 ice cores collected from across Antarctica reveals a 10% increase in over the last 200 years.  This is equivalent to 272 giga tonnes of water – double the volume of the Dead Sea.

Lead author and ice core scientist Dr Liz Thomas from British Antarctic Survey explains:

"There is an urgent need to understand the contribution of Antarctic ice to and we use a number of techniques to determine the balance between snowfall and ice loss.  When ice loss is not replenished by snowfall then sea level rises. Satellite observations give us a picture going back around 20 years.  Analysis of the ice core records allows us to reconstruct snowfall over several hundred years.

"Our new results show a significant change in the surface mass balance (from snowfall) during the twentieth century. The largest contribution is from the Antarctic Peninsula, where the annual average snowfall during the first decade of the 21st century is 10% higher than at the same period in the 19th century."

The increases in snowfall do not contradict observations of glacial retreat and in regions of West Antarctica such as Pine Island and Thwaites Glacier, which are collectively contributing around 14% of global sea-level rise.

Dr Thomas continues:

"There is an international effort to create computer simulations of future sea-level rise in a warming world.  It is complex and challenging for scientists to fully understand and interpret changes in the ice that we see happening today.  We know that the two major influencers affecting change – the mass gain (from snowfall) and the mass loss (from melt) – are acting differently from one another. Our new findings take us a step towards improving our knowledge and understanding."

Explore further: More ice loss through snowfall on Antarctica

More information: Elizabeth R. Thomas et al. Regional Antarctic snow accumulation over the past 1000 years, Climate of the Past (2017). DOI: 10.5194/cp-13-1491-2017

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1 / 5 (5) Apr 09, 2018
That seems in line with common sense that rising temperatures create more cloud cover and snow which ups earth albedo in two ways and in doing so forms a natural feedback to lower the temperature keeping the system in balance.
It's a shame that the increase in snowfall wasn't measured before especially because the above common sense (its the first thing you look at) and the climate police (ipcc) claiming they already knew everything about the earth climate system and had perfect models to simulate the future (doom) of it.
It's time the ipcc recognizes black carbon which generates between halve to almost all of the measured marginal warming of the planet. Maybe this can put an end to car companies and governments promoting diesel because it emits a little less CO2 (a very beneficial and harmless gas) while killing millions of people emitting black soot containing cancerous particles.
5 / 5 (4) Apr 09, 2018
What evidence do you have that your "negative feedback loop" overpowers all human forces and the natural positive feedback loops? Besides your hunch?

Also, do you have proof that the entire global climate science community is in on a conspiracy that only you have seen through? Because that's a pretty big claim to just subtly imply.
4.5 / 5 (2) Apr 09, 2018
"Also, do you have proof that the entire global climate science community is in on a conspiracy that only you have seen through? Because that's a pretty big claim to just subtly imply." I agree with your rhetorical question, except perhaps for the part about the implication being subtle.
1 / 5 (4) Apr 09, 2018
This site used to be cool, but then the powers-that-be hung their proverbial hat on the whole global warming thing. This article is a prime example of that. Even though the premise of the article suggests that it flies in the face of "global warming", the author went out of their way to proclaim that it does no such thing. Laughable.
4 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2018
Tseug, same question. Provide any compelling proof of your conspiracy theory: prove that global warming isn't happening, and prove that there is a conspiracy. The burden of proof falls on you.
not rated yet Apr 10, 2018
I'm not selling any conspiracy theories. I just think it's quite anti-science to go hard-down on global warming, ignore data that suggests otherwise, and then remind us that said contradiction by no means changes anything.
1 / 5 (2) Apr 10, 2018
I'm not selling any conspiracy theories.

I think Tseug19 has a point. It is not up to him to prove anything, it is up to the writer to prove his theory to us. (Being an inside buddy with all the other back-slapping scientists proves nothing except to show how peer pressure can manipulate good science.) Every time there is evidence that the Global Warming theory has issues, one of these scientists comes up with a plausible (but unproven) reason it should be ignored. (sounds like a conspiracy theory to me!)

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