Predicted increases in precipitation due to warmer air temperatures from greenhouse gas emissions may actually increase sea ice volume in the Antarctics Southern Ocean. This finding from a new study adds evidence of potential asymmetry between the two poles and may be an indication that climate change processes may have varying impacts on different areas of the globe.
"Most people have heard of climate change and how rising air temperatures are melting glaciers and sea ice in the Arctic," said Dylan C. Powell, lead author of the paper and a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. "However, findings from our simulations suggest a counterintuitive phenomenon. Some of the melt in the Arctic may be balanced by increases in sea ice volume in the Antarctic."
For the first time, the authors of the paper, published this month in the Journal of Geophysical Research (Oceans), used satellite observations from NASAs Special Sensor Microwave/Imager to assess snow depth on sea ice and assimilated the satellite observations into their model to improve prediction of precipitation rates. By incorporating satellite observations into this new method, the researchers say they achieved more stable and realistic precipitation data, to counter the great variability in precipitation data sets typically found in the polar regions.
Harvey Leifert | EurekAlert!
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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