Antarctic Ice Shelf Grew by Over 5,000 Square Kilometers Over Last Decade


While scientists around the world mull the prospects of global warming and its potential effect on the climate, it appears that the amount of ice at the frozen continent of Antarctica has been increasing over the past several years.

Even though parts of the Antarctic ice shelves had indeed ended up collapsing and retreating over the past several decades, the overall volume of the ice shelves on the continent might have increased, a new study authored by researchers from the University of Leeds and published in The Cryosphere journal suggests.

The scientists used Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer satellite data to measure the “in-ice shelf calving front position and area on 34 ice shelves in Antarctica” during the period between 2009 and 2019.

Having analyzed this data, the scientists concluded that the reduction of the ice shelves in some parts of Antarctica had been compensated by the increase in size of ice shelves in other areas of the continent.

This satellite image provided by NASA shows Aqua MODIS 16 on March 2022, shows C-38 in one piece chasing the main piece of C-37 moving west on the coastal current - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.08.2022

Antarctic Ice Shelf Crumbling Twice as Fast as Previously Estimated, Study Finds

“Overall, the Antarctic ice shelf area has grown by 5305 square kilometers since 2009, with 18 ice shelves retreating and 16 larger shelves growing in area,” the study’s authors stated. “Our observations show that Antarctic ice shelves gained 661 Gt of ice mass over the past decade, whereas the steady-state approach would estimate substantial ice loss over the same period, demonstrating the importance of using time-variable calving flux observations to measure change.”

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