NASA’s Controversial Claim

Pic courtesy: Business Insider

Pic courtesy: Business Insider

For the past decade or so, many of the published scientific studies reflected on the instability of Antarctic ice sheets. The scientists have warned about rapid melting of Western Antarctic ice sheets, made possible by man-made climate changes and other factors. But, a recent study, published by group of NASA researchers in the ‘Journal of Glaciology’ have claimed that the gigantic, frozen continent is gaining more ice than losing it. The researchers have studied satellite data (from ICEsat – Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite) to note that the eastern Antarctic ice sheet has gained a lot of ice (due to increased snowfall), which is said to be enough to offset the sea-level rise impacts from the ice melting in Western Antarctica.

Those who think climate change is a communist agenda or as other conspiracy theory had a field day, adding the NASA study to their argument that the previous studies, made by UN or armies of polar scientists, were all just misleading claims. A number of climate change researchers expressed skepticism on NASA’s research and raised questions on what makes the sea-levels to rise at the rate of 3.32 millimeters per years (360 gigatons of ice is required to raise 1 mm level of sea). Many media outlets called it a mordant reversal of the previous stands from NASA researchers, who also relied on satellite data to comment that Antarctica is losing at a increasing rate.


NASA’s earlier research published at the start of 2015 claimed Antarctic ice gains, but clearly remarked that the ice gains wouldn’t make up for the accelerated ice loss in Western Antarctica or in the Arctic sea ice. However, now the climate scientists proclaim that the mass gains are much greater than losses due to global ice depression. Climate scientists disputing NASA’s recent research note that ice gains in eastern Antarctica doesn’t mean that global warming narrative is a sham. They cite the flaw in the legacy of climate modeling. Even with many precision instruments, scientists don’t have perfect models to predict weather. Climate change experts’ mention the need to understand the distinction between weather, which is short-time trend and climate, a long-time trend.


NASA’s recent research is thought to be spot-on, but is reflected that it doesn’t mean climate isn’t warming, owing to human CO2 emissions. NASA is already in the mature phase of launching a successor to ICEsat (in 2018) and the disputes about Antarctic ice loss would continue, despite the claims of accurate measurements. Comprehensive records kept from 1880s already indicate that 2015 was the hottest year and the atmospheric CO2 is at the highest level. The new NASA findings shouldn’t be misconstrued as an excuse to continue polluting the planet and to negate the alarming rise of sea-levels.


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