From John Ray's shorter notes
Heavy snow in the Antarctic
Zwally's findings took East Antarctica away from the Warmists and now even West Antarctica is letting them down. In the last few years there has been some melting of ice in coastal West Antarctica, probably due to known subsurface vulcanism.
This has warmed Warmist hearts. The Green/Left is good at ignoring things so they had no trouble ignoring those volcanoes and attributing the melting to "climate change". Why the ice wasn't melting in other parts of Antarctica was hard to explain but too bad about that.
Now we see that the climate was not at fault at all. In fact, snowfall on the West Antarctic has been unusually heavy in recent years. A long-term picture of West Antarctic snowfall has now been derived from ice cores and they show a huge INCREASE in snowfall. So if W. Antarctica is melting despite all that extra snow falling on it, it must be really toasty underneath it all
Excerpt from the latest GRL article below:
Twentieth century increase in snowfall in coastal West Antarctica
E. R. Thomas et al
The Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet has been losing mass in recent decades; however, long records of snow accumulation are needed to place the recent changes in context. Here we present 300 year records of snow accumulation from two ice cores drilled in Ellsworth Land, West Antarctica. The records show a dramatic increase in snow accumulation during the twentieth century, linked to a deepening of the Amundsen Sea Low (ASL), tropical sea surface temperatures, and large-scale atmospheric circulation. The observed increase in snow accumulation and interannual variability during the late twentieth century is unprecedented in the context of the past 300 years and evidence that the recent deepening of the ASL is part of a longer trend.
3 Results and Discussion
3.1 Twentieth Century Trends
Prior to 1900 the annual average snow accumulation at Ferrigno and Bryan Coast remained fairly constant at 33 cm yr−1 and 40 cm yr−1, while after 1900 the snow accumulation increased at a rate of 0.13 cm yr−1 and 0.15 cm yr−1, respectively. Snow accumulation during the most recent decade (2000–2009) is 27% higher at Ferrigno and 31% higher at Bryan coast than the baseline values determined from 1712 to 1899. This twentieth century increase is consistent with the Gomez ice core record from the southwestern Antarctic Peninsula (Figure 1a (black)) which revealed a doubling of snow accumulation since 1854 with an increasing trend that began in the ~1930s and accelerated in the mid-1970s [Thomas et al., 2008]. Determining the onset of the trend is heavily dependent on the statistical approach used; however, the Ellsworth Land ice cores appear to corroborate the onset of this snow accumulation increase. There is significant correlation between the two Ellsworth Land records and the Gomez record from the southern Antarctic Peninsula (r2 > 0.75, decadal), suggesting that these records are capturing local and regional (>350 km longitudinally) accumulation variability. Spatially averaging the records together reduces the amount of small-scale noise, resulting from local wind redistribution and sublimation. Thus, a combined Ellsworth Land record was produced by averaging the normalized Ferrigno and Bryan Coast records (1712–2010), and a regional Ellsworth Land record was produced in the same way but includes the Gomez record (1854–2006). Using the combined Ellsworth Land record and selecting the period 1712–1899 as the baseline, we observe that after 1919 the running decadal mean exceeds the baseline average (Figure 2a) and remains above it for the remainder of the twentieth century. The increase in snow accumulation accelerates in recent decades with the running decadal mean since 1995 consistently exceeding two standard deviations (2?) above the baseline average. [Two SDs is a LOT]
Geophysical Research Letters. 3 NOV 2015. DOI: 10.1002/2015GL065750
Go to John Ray's Main academic menu
Go to Menu of longer writings
Go to John Ray's basic home page
Go to John Ray's pictorial Home Page
Go to Selected pictures from John Ray's blogs