A new study utilizing satellite observations determines Antarctic-wide ice shelves gained 661 Gt of mass from 2009 to 2019. An approach relying on assumptions of an unrealistic “steady state” or fixed calving flux (instead of real-world time-variable observations) estimates a net Antarctic ice shelf loss of -20,028 Gt over this same 11-year period – a more than 30-fold distortion of observed ice loss.
New research (Andreasen et al., 2023) uses observational evidence from MODIS to assess net ice losses, gains for 34 ice shelves across Antarctica from 2009-2019. These observed data show the mass gains from East Antarctica and the Ross and Ronne-Filchner ice shelves were larger on net than the mass losses in West Antarctica and the Peninsula. Consequently, Antarctica as a whole has been gaining mass since 2009.
“Overall, the Antarctic ice shelf area has grown by 5,305 km² since 2009, with 18 ice shelves retreating and 16 larger shelves growing in area.”
Most studies utilize an alarmism-friendly “steady-state assumption” approach to estimate ice losses “in the absence of observations.” This allows the agenda-driven facilitators of ice loss estimates to “overestimate ice loss on ice shelves that are advancing.”
For example, using the “steady-state assumption” method, a net loss of -20,028 Gt could be alleged for Antarctic ice shelves from 2009-2019. Satellite observations, in contrast, assess a +661 Gt mass gain during this same period.
Thus, assumption-based ice losses are artificially inflated over 3,000% more than observations, flagrantly misrepresenting ice shelf behavior across Antarctica.
The practice of distorting the numbers to drive a narrative has infiltrated another aspect of climate science.