West Antarctic Ice Sheet warming faster than previously thought - Tucson News Now

West Antarctic Ice Sheet warming faster than previously thought

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Source: Ohio State University Source: Ohio State University

Portions of this article are from the National Science Foundation.

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is warming and that means more melting at this South Pole continent.  

According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience concludes "The temperature record from Byrd Station, an unmanned scientific outpost in the center of the ice sheet, demonstrates a marked increase of 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit (2.4 degrees Celsius) in average annual temperature since 1958. That is three times faster than the average temperature rise around the globe."

David Bromwich, professor of geography at Ohio State University and senior research scientist at the Byrd Polar Research Center, says "This temperature increase is nearly double what previous research has suggested."

The warming is especially prominent during the Southern Hemisphere summer months of December, January, and February.  

Bromwich says this could lead to an "even bigger contribution to sea-level rise than it already does."

This new study used satellite data to fill in the gaps from ground temperature data. The data on the ground was often incomplete because of power outages at an automated station and a manned station that was often unoccupied.  

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