August 30, 2022
For anyone who is mystified by the continued controversy over the Antarctic ice loss/gain estimates, then this one image provides some key insight.
THIS - is the uncertainty in the (Glacial Isostatic Adjustment) model used to estimate the behaviour of the earth's crust underneath all that ice.
The uncertainty range is enormous. This is more than the rate at which scientists estimate that ice is being lost or gained.
If the crust is rising, then the ice must be vanishing. If the crust is falling then the ice must be stacking up on top of it.
Depending on which value we choose we can make anything we wish for become a reality.
Now that I have seen this, I totally get why scientists are having a food fight in the cafeteria over the issue:
[ The uncertainty of GIA models in Antarctica in mm yrâ€“1 of equivalent water height (EWH) ]
(From: https://academic.oup.com/gji/article/231/1/426/6522180 )
They also have an irritating tendency to confuse sea and land ice. Sea ice will do nothing to change the isostatic balance. Land ice will. Antarctica is gaining ice in the East but the WAIS is a floating body of ice in water. So it's losing ice; so what? But they keep telling us "Antarctica is losing ice" when what they mean is the floating ice in the sea is diminishing. It's not at all the same thing.
There are multiple reasons why WAIS might lose ice, and a slight atmospheric warming isn't one of them. Antarctica remains well below freezing year round, and the ocean is blocked by the Antarcitc Circumpolar Current, which is wide and deep and cold. But we know there is considerable undersea volcanism there, which can explain the melting sea ice. So they simply wish the whole difference away.
It's like the government banning five gallon toilets in America because California experienced a drought; it has absolutely nothing to do with us here in Missouri, who usually have too much water. Continents are vast. But they treat it all as one because it serves their purposes.
Oh, and land rising can well be a function of more ice in another place. If EAIS is gaining mass, wouldn't it make sense that the West would see some land rise?
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