A startling new report by Nasa scientists suggests that the Antarctic ice sheet may actually be expanding, growing every year, despite a warming globe!
This is in direct conflict to the prevailing notions, which suggested that the ice was melting fast as global warming and climate change was hitting the globe in significant ways. The Nasa study challenges the oft-repeated findings of the United Nation's panel on climate change, the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that forecast a grim future for the melting ice sheets of the Antarctic.
This comes close on the heels of the much-awaited high- octane climate change meeting to be held in Paris later this month where global leaders are expected to come to agreement on limiting carbon emissions.
Has the IPCC erred again and slipped on ice? In 2007, the IPCC in it's forth assessment report had grossly gone wrong when it said that the Himalayan glaciers would melt away and disappear by 2035. This was finally 'accepted' as a mistake and the IPCC offered its only 'regret' till date on the faulty and exaggerated melt rate prognosis it had made on the glaciers of the Himalayas. It seems this global panel of over 2,500 top-notch experts may be tripping once again on 'thin ice'.
In its high profile report called the 'Assessment Report 5' released in 2013 and prepared under the leadership of RK Pachauri who was then chairman of the IPCC it had claimed that the "Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass likely at a larger rate".
Jairam Ramesh, India's former environment minister is very alarmed and says "could this be another Himalayan glacier-type moment for IPCC? I am afraid it might well be. Climate science is one thing but climate evangelism quite another". Grim prognosis from Jairam who worked steadfastly with Indian glaciologists in 2009 to expose the IPCC's misdeeds on Himalayan glaciers.
The controversial NASA study has been published this week in the highly respected 'Journal of Glaciology' and it finds that the 'Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001'. This means that instead of steadily melting due to global warming the cold icy continent of Antarctica actually accumulated about 1,000 billion tonnes of ice in the nine-year period of the study.
Another separate research published this week finds that the annual snow accumulation on West Antarctica's coastal ice sheet increased dramatically during the 20th century, according to a paper published in the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research Letters.