Monday, April 20, 2009

Ice cover 'increasing in east Antarctica'

ABC News Online, Mon Apr 20, 2009

New research has found that despite climate change concerns, the amount of ice may actually be increasing across much of Antarctica.

Ian Allison, head of the Australian Antarctic Division's ice, ocean, atmosphere and climate program, says outside of western Antarctica, ice levels are remaining steady or possibly increasing.

"Over most of Antarctica the surface temperatures are very well below the freezing point," he said.

"So it requires more than a slight warming before you start getting significant melt.

"In east Antarctica there may be a slight increase due to increased snow fall."

But Dr Allison says overall, ice levels are still falling.

"In west Antarctica, the smaller bit that hangs off the tail going up towards the Antarctic peninsula, some of the very large glaciers have increased their speed and are discharging more ice into the atmosphere," he said.

"On average, west Antarctica is losing more ice than the east is gaining."

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