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Antartic Sea Ice Increasing Despite Global Warming; Sign That There Is Still Hope For The Earth?

By Adie Pieraz , Jul 07, 2016 04:50 AM EDT
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For years the world has heard warnings of climate change. In fact, many would attest to odd weather patterns and hotter-than-hot summers as of late.

However, a look at the Antarctic Sea over the past decade shows that the levels of sea ice have in fact risen. Logically, this would mean that the temperature in that area has lowered. However, scientists have debunked this thinking by explaining natural climate fluctuations.

Nature World News reports that a study has been published explaining this anomaly. The study itself touches on the phase change of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, which is the long-term fluctuation of the Pacific Ocean. According to the study, the change in phase of the IPO will likely cause a chain reaction of climate impact. This then affects the sea ice formation in the Antarctic region.

A negative phase in the IPO reflects temperatures that are cooler than average. The Antarctic region has experienced this since the change in phase back in 1999. And it is because of this negative phase that the level of sea ice has increased by almost five times the average amount.

According to the lead author of the study, Gerald Meehl, people need to look at the combination of naturally occurring variability as well as the planet's response to increasing greenhouse gases. "It's never all one or the other, but the combination that is important to understand."

Science Daily adds that the negative phase of the IPO, which has led the Pacific to be cooler than average, has changed tropical precipitation. As a result, there have been drastic changes in winds, which extend all the way to Antarctica.

The ultimate output is the Amudsen Sea Low, which is the deepening of a low-pressure system off the coast of Antarctica. Sea ice is blown north from the winds generated on the western side of the system. This ice that is blown north has resulted in the expansion of sea ice coverage.

Co-author of the study, Cecilia Bitz of the University of Washington summarizes the study as follows: "Global warming causes only weak Antarctic sea ice loss, which is why the IPO can have such a striking effect in the Antarctic. There is no comparable natural variability in the Arctic that competes with global warming.

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