Mass Gains of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Exceed Losses

As reported on WUWT, the  Antarctic Ice Sheet is gaining mass.

SCAR ISMASS Workshop, July 14, 2012
Mass Gains of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Exceed Losses
Jay Zwally

During 2003 to 2008, the mass gain of the Antarctic ice sheet from snow accumulation exceeded the mass loss from ice discharge by 49 Gtlyr (2.5% of input), as derived from ICESat laser measurements of elevation change.

When I pointed out a couple of years ago the the University of Texas GRACE interpretations were nonsensical, John Cook wrote three of his dumbest articles “debunking” me and claiming that ice really does rapidly disappear at -30 degrees.

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33 Responses to Mass Gains of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Exceed Losses

  1. Brian G Valentine says:

    The Antarctic has been gaining about a 1% net ice mass per year average for a long time, but this information means nothing to members of the Klimate Kooks Klub

  2. Michael D Smith says:

    The data has not been “corrected” yet. You’ll see…

  3. Sundance says:

    Connecting the dots, Zwally presented a peer reviewed paper last year in which he indicates that initial GRACE assessment was incorrect and that Antarctic showed no recent significant mass balance loss.

    More importantly IMO is a new AGU publication which provides direct physical evidence for how Antarctic Glaciers actually behave and that there has been a mass balance loss of zero, which confirms Zwally’s GRACE findings of no mass balance loss.

    “A team of scientists have drilled holes through an Antarctic ice shelf, the Fimbul Ice Shelf, to gather the first direct measurements regarding melting of the shelf’s underside. A group of elephant seals, outfitted with sensors that measure salinity, temperature, and depth sensors added fundamental information to the scientists’ data set, which led the researchers to conclude that parts of eastern Antarctica are melting at significantly lower rates than current models predict.

    “It has been unclear, until now, how much warm deep water rises below the Fimbul Ice shelf, and previous ocean models, focusing on the circulation below the Fimbul Ice Shelf, have predicted temperatures and melt rates that are too high, suggesting a significant mass loss in this region that is actually not taking place as fast as previously thought,” said lead author of the study and PhD student at the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI), Tore Hattermann.”

    • Interesting paper I had not yet read… So based on which measurements you choose, MB is either gaining at up to +28 gt/year or experiencing losses of -246 gt/year. (Although the estimates of high loss appear to be outliers inconsistent with other measurements.)

      I suppose that about sums up the state of a lot of climate science right now. Not even sure about the direction of the change…

  4. omnologos says:

    Based on Zwalli’s past performances, these findings spell DOOM for the Antarctica.

  5. NikFromNYC says:

    A 1% increase in a continent that makes up 90% of existing ice would compensate for a 10% loss elsewhere. No wonder sea levels are falling: mild warming evaporates more ocean water which then joins the subfreezing sink, down below.

  6. Andy OZ says:

    Continental rebound will be another excuse for sat measurements “false signal.”
    Climate “scientists” think they know geology too.

  7. Brian G Valentine says:

    For a while there I thought we we going to have the Emperor Penguin as the mascot of Team Climate Moron instead of the Polar Bear

  8. Rosco says:

    C’mon – you can easily find more than 3 of John Cook’s dumbest articles.

  9. gator69 says:

    So the ice in the Arctic is not melting, it’s just migrating. 😉

    • Eric Simpson says:

      Tom Nelson noted a Seattle PI story that says Shell’s Arctic drilling operation is being hampered by ice:
      “As a precautionary measure and in accordance with our approved Chukchi Sea Ice Management Plan, Shell has made the decision to temporarily move off the Burger-A well to avoid potentially encroaching sea ice” [a spokesmen] said.
      Is this related to the supposedly record Arctic ice minimum, as the ice has just moved from here to there?

  10. Jean Croton says:

    Look in the dictionary on “terminally stupid” and you’ll find a picture of John Cook.

    When you are a leader in the Eco Fruits & Nutters Brigade, you have to do whatever’s it takes to keep the scam going, keep the grift alive, keep the R&D Gravy & Fame Train rolling down the scam tracks.

    History will not be kind to the promoters of the The Great Global Warming Con Job. Reputations will be savaged and careers ruined and terminated.

  11. It’s worth remembering that IPCC AR4 made the claim that due to increases in atmospheric water vapour there would be a global increase in precipitation. Some of this increase would land on Antarctica and therefore increase the surface mass balance, resulting in sea level decline/offset. Then GRACE came out and claimed the opposite was happening. (Well sort of.) This claim was seen as a major vindication for the AGW movement. Given the fact that loss of MB and gain of MB are both vindications of AGW theory, it’s a little hard to take this research field too seriously. 😉

    • chris y says:

      It is also difficult to take the hand-wringing alarmists seriously when the Antarctic mass balance is put into context, in parts per million.
      Antarctic ice sheet total mass is about 30 million km^3, or 27 million Gigatons. This is estimated to within about +/-5%.

      Annual changes of +28 gt/year or -246 gt/year are equivalent to:

      +1 ppm to -9 ppm per year, with the positive value being the most detailed estimate so far.

      We know the total amount ice to within +/- 50,000 ppm.

      This is another area of climate science where Rorschach seers have run amok.

    • Sundance says:

      Will the latest NASA data on water vapor obtained by the most advanced satellite designed specifically for water vapor measurement is showing no net atmospheric increase in water vapor. Mother Nature and physical based science continues to defy man’s modeled expectations. 🙂

  12. Shooter says:

    Alarmists really abuse that word, “debunk”. Too bad their little theory, AGW, has been debunked. It’s just that they don’t want to leave their only source of security.

  13. Shooter says:

    John Cook has been debunked himself. His own userbase constantly tries to correct him, and what does he do? DELETE FUCKING EVERYTHING. I think he needs a visit to ED and see the “Butthurt” article.

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