Antarctic Avery Ice Shelf “Prograding Considerably In Last 2 Decades”, Team Of Scientists Find

A newly released paper by Kumar et al looks at the changes and prediction of the Amery Ice Shelf (AIS) of East Antarctica using remote sensing data.

The scientists found that the ice shelf is prograding (expanding), and not breaking apart like some alarmist scientists feared earlier.

Image: cropped from Wikipedia

Hat-tip: Mary Brown

Wikipedia tells that in December 2006, “enormous cracks” had been forming for over a decade at a rate of three to five metres a day – possibly due to global warming – but researchers later said it was too early to attribute the phenomenon to global warming because of the “possibility of a natural 50-60 year cycle being responsible”.

Now the recent paper by Kumar et al reports findings that the Amery Ice Shelf (AIS) is not disintegrating, let alone shrinking, but rather is advancing!

“Prograding considerably”

Once readers get past the scientific gobbledygook of the paper’s abstract, (possibly intended to obscure the paper’s inconvenient results) it becomes clear the ice shelf there is growing. “Amery Ice Shelf extent is prograding considerably in the last two decades.”

The scientists reconstructed the past and made a prediction of the future-ice shelf extent using linear regression techniques. They found that changes in the ice shelf extent “are linked with ocean-atmosphere interaction”. That means natural factors are dominantly at work, and not the anthropogenic ones.

The AIS changes were studied using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) satellite data of the austral summer months (January–March) from 2001–2016. Using statistical techniques, the rate changes of the AIS extent were estimated.

14.5 km increase

According to the paper’s abstract: “The study reveals that the AIS extent has been prograded at the rate of 994 m/year with an average 14.5 km increase in the areal extents during 2001–2016, as compared to the year 2001, whereas, the maximum advancement in ice shelf extent was recorded during the 2006–2016 period.”

The study also found that the eastern part of Mackenzie Bay to Ingrid Christensen coast also “recorded advancement in ice shelf extents and mass” and that this was in part linked to “a decrease in the temperatures (air temperature and sea surface temperature).

7 responses to “Antarctic Avery Ice Shelf “Prograding Considerably In Last 2 Decades”, Team Of Scientists Find”

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  2. Shoki Kaneda

    It’s great that they were able to avoid offensive words, like “expanding” or “increasing”, when referencing ice mass trends.

  3. Stephen Richards

    WTF is prograding ? Is it even an English word ? What’s the matter with expanding ? My spell checker doesn’t recognise prograding . Is this another form of elitism ? ” My word is more esoteric than yours ” na na na na ”

    Pathetic .

    Shoki’s is spot on.

    1. Stewart Pid

      Easy to find …. usually used in Geology.

      pro·grade /ˈprōˌɡrād/ Learn to pronounce
      verbGEOLOGY present participle: prograding
      (of a coastline) advance toward the sea as a result of the accumulation of waterborne sediment.
      “these oolites were probably deposited as part of the coastal sand-barrier complex as it prograded basinwards”
      A second definition: seaward growth of a beach, delta, fan, etc., by progressive deposition of sediment by rivers or shoreline processes.

      You would have failed 1st year geology!

  4. ziane

    Very beautiful article in all respects. Thans for you

  5. drumphish


    Having a rotational or orbital movement that is the same as most bodies within a celestial system. In our solar system, prograde movement for both rotating and orbiting bodies is in a counterclockwise direction when viewed from a vantage point above the Earth’s north pole. Compare retrograde.

    The word as used doesn’t fit the definition.

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