In a recent study they have published on their official website, NASA claims Antarctica has gained ice on the Eastern region. The study, entitled “Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses” states that the thickening of the East Antarctica can make up for the losses that have been registered in the West Antarctica in the past decades.
Scientists have been warning us for decades of the threats that humanity is running considering that the ice sheet in Antarctica has become thinner and that sea levels are growing rapidly. A recent study confirms all previous research because NASA believes the ice shelf on the Eastern side of Antarctica is much thicker now than it used to be years ago.
Moreover, this ice gain as scientists have described it can make up for many of the losses that have occurred on the Western side. Jay Zwally, the glaciologist from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA has been in charge of the current investigations. Zwally and his team of investigators have calculated the mass gains in the period between 1992 and 2008.
Measurements have enabled them to notice that gains have remained steady for the entire period. It has been estimated that East Antarctica has gathered 200 billion tons of ice per year. Compared to the 65 billion tons of ice per year that were lost in the West Antarctica, it goes without saying that Antarctica is gaining ice on the Eastern side.
Unfortunately, the study has been severely criticized because there isn’t sufficient data for the current research to contradict all the past studies. Scientists think Zwally only considered the ice on the surface of Antarctica’s shelves, where growing rates are much faster than, say, the center of the ice shelf where ice gains are rarely visible.
All in all, it has been agreed that NASA’s new study is correct in claiming that there have been ice gains, as well, not just losses in Antarctica. The research is incorrect when presupposing that these gains can account for the large masses of ice that Antarctica has lost in the past decades.
There is yet another good news, according to lead author Zwally, namely the fact that Antarctica cannot be regarded as a culprit for the sea level rises. On the contrary, the region is taking 0.23 millimeters per year to add to its ice shelf, in Zwally’s opinion. The bad news is that scientists still have to find the source that is causing sea levels to rise by 0.27 millimeters per year.
Image source: www.pixabay.com