Antarctic Ice Melt Lowest Ever Measured.

Where’s the headline? Where’s the television camera? Anyone out there?

It’s right there in the September 24 issue of the refereed journal Geophysical Research Letters. The senior author is Marc Tedesco of City College of New York, not exactly off the mainstream media’s beaten path. The work was sponsored by NASA.

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Every summer (our winter), the edges of Antarctica warm up just enough for some snow to melt. Obviously, a little warming will create quite a bit more melting, which is a factor in dreaded sea-level rise from global warming.

Satellites have been monitoring this activity in both the North and South polar regions since 1980. What Tedesco wrote was this: “A 30-year minimum Antarctic snowmelt record occurred during austral summer 2008-09” (emphasis added).

Here’s a graph of his snowmelt data. It was obscured in a very busy chart in the original paper, so I’ve taken the liberty of stripping it out to stand alone.

Summer Melt in Antarctica Appears to be Declining, not Increasing.

It’s obvious that it’s not just this year that is of interest. The last three years are clearly those with the lowest aggregate melt on record. You might even see a downward trend since the beginning of the record in 1980.

It’s a reasonable surmise that there was no press coverage because there was no press release. NASA is keeping this thing hushed up. (We wouldn’t expect environmental journalists to occasionally glance at the scientific literature, such as Geophysical Research Letters, right?).

The Agency is also highly selective about the global warming science it chooses to trumpet. For example, Tedesco has also published on melting in Greenland, and NASA wrote press releases on those papers, which were not nearly as newsworthy as the thirty-year decline in Antarctic melt. Examples:

May 29, 2007: NASA Researcher Finds Days of Snow Melting on the Rise in Greenland. “In 2006, Greenland experienced more days of melting snow and at higher altitudes than average over the past 18 years.” Stop the presses! The last we heard each and every year has a fifty-fifty chance of being above (or below) average.

Patrick J. Michaels

Pat Michaels is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know.

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