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back to article Melting glaciers race for Antarctic shores

A picture of a glacier They are not noted for their speed; quite the reverse. But over the last decade the glaciers in Antarctica, clearly upset by their reputations as laggards, have been accelerating. The boffins at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) say that on average the white continent's glaciers were heading for the …

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Don't Panic

A bit misleading, this article.

These aren't "the glaciers in Antarctica" so much as they are TIDEWATER glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula -- an area which extends outside the Antarctic Circle, and is not representative of the continent as a whole. The peninsula has been warming, unlike the rest of the continent, for example.

In an earlier paper ("Cryospheric impacts of climate change on the Antarctic Peninsula"), D. G. Vaughn of the BAS writes, "An estimate of the net imbalance of the northern Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet, suggests that it is now contributing around 0.16 ± 0.06 mm to global sea-level". This is a sizable fraction of the total contribution assigned to Antarctica by the IPCC (0.21 mm).

The WAIS and EAIS, where most all the ice is, are comparatively stable.

It's too early to panic, folks.

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Do Plan

So do nothing, until we panic? Why wait for a doomsday scenario when you can plan to avoid one?

I'm no scientist, but even a scientist will tell you that their tests only provide predictions. When it comes to the planet we live on, I'd prefer to be hyper-concerned, if not panicked. I'd rather act than react.

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Anonymous Coward

Short term studies

Yet again, "previously unstudied" bit of data spread over an incredibly short period of time, leading to wild conclusions.

So it's sped up over a 10 year period. What about the 10 before 1993, or the 100, 1000, 100,000?

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Re: Don't Panic

Mr Mannering?

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Actually, the antarctic ice sheet is INCREASING

http://64.119.172.31/awpf.pdf

"Liu, et al (2004) report that total Antarctic sea ice (the area covered by at least 15% ice concentration) has increased significantly since 1979, by about 13,295 sq. km. per year. Regionally, there has been a large increase in the central Pacific sector and a smaller decrease in the Weddell Sea. Although ENSO and the Antarctic Oscillation appear to influence sea ice trends, they cannot explain them. There may be “less understood largescale processes at work” influencing sea ice."

The sea ice is melting is some areas, but increasing in most areas. It the small areas that are melting that Al Gore and other alarmists focus on, conveniently ignoring the whole antarctic.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Mr Mannering?

That's CAPTAIN Mainwaring, if you please!

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Anonymous Coward

Antartica Increasing

No its not. It has in the recent past, its not today.

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the writing's on the wall

Put your heads collectively in the ice long enough and a bevy of seals might surprise you all by biting you on your rumps. Wake up...stop dreaming, to quote Wang Chung. ;)

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