Sea ice cover around Antarctica is rising: NASA-led study

A new NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)-led study has found that sea ice cover surrounding Antarctica has been increasing slightly.

This study shows sharp contrast to the drastic loss of sea ice occurring in the Arctic Ocean to global temperature rise.

The research study was based on data collected from satellite radar, ocean depth, temperature at sea surface and also consisted land form to study.

Key findings

  • The inverse phenomenon for this rise of the sea ice cover was observed due to geology of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.
  • Two persistent geological factors for the rise were the topography of Antarctica and the depth of the ocean surrounding it.
  • These two geological factors are influencing ocean currents and winds to drive the formation and evolution of Antarctica’s sea ice cover and help sustain it.
  • In this inverse phenomenon, sea ice forms and builds up early in the sea ice growth season
  • This ice later due to winds gets pushed offshore and northward forming a protective shield of thicker, older ice that circulates around the continent.
  • The persistent winds flowing down slope off the continent plays important role in piling of ice up against the massive ice shield, enhancing its thickness.
  • The thickness of band of this ice varies in width from roughly 100 to 1,000 km. It protects and encapsulates younger, thinner ice from being reduced by winds and waves.
  • This ice drifts away from the continent as the sea ice cover expands creating ice factories conducive to rapid sea ice growth.

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Categories: Environment Current Affairs 2017Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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