UPDATED: NZ Antarctic research "debunks sceptics", claims 1.5m sea level rise

It will be interesting to see what the sceptic community makes of this:

New Zealand scientists say massive ice shelves are protecting Antarctica from experiencing the same rapid decline in sea ice as the Arctic.

The research team says the discovery further debunks the claims of sceptics who have pointed to the continent’s growth as evidence against global warming.

The team was led by Otago University physics researcher Andrew Mahoney, who said the eight-month study focused on a topic scientists understood little about.

Dr Mahoney said findings would help climate scientists make predictions about the future.

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research oceanographer Mike Williams said the research explained why Antarctic sea ice was not decreasing at a similar rate to that of the Arctic.

Figures from America’s National Snow and Ice Data Center show that Arctic sea ice shrank by about 4 per cent of 500,000 square kilometres each decade during the past 30 years. By contrast, Antarctic sea ice was not believed to have changed much in size and may have increased slightly.

However, Antarctic Research Centre director Tim Naish, who was not part of the research team, said the latest data issued in a report by Nasa indicated that the amount of Antarctic sea ice lost since 2003 could have doubled.


  • Massive ice shelves make up half the Antarctic coastline
  • Cold water melts from these ice shelves
  • The melted water protects the ice sheets from the warming effects of climate change
  • This causes ice sheets to grow in winter, although they still melt in summer
  • This is why Antarctic sea ice has not declined as quickly as Arctic sea ice in response to global warming

Read it here.

UPDATE: Tim Naish is also in the news for predicting dramatic sea level rises:

Sea levels may rise an average of as much as 1.5m by 2100, the latest figures show.

The range indicated by several new studies is between 50cm and 150cm, said Dr Tim Naish, director of the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

A glaciologist who was chief scientist on a major Antarctic drill-core project, Naish said the latest “range of plausible sea level rise” was based on observations to calculate how much water would come from polar ice sheets.

Read it here.

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