It's true that the phenomenon is a confusing one — but it's no proof that climate change isn't happening. In fact, scientists believe that climate change is actually responsible for the strange events down in the Antarctic. Walt Meier, a scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, explains how this is possible in a new video from Science@NASA. The first thing to note is that sea ice and land ice are two completely different things. Sea ice is simply frozen ocean water, which forms a layer of ice on top of the sea. Land ice originates on land, forming from compacted snow to form glaciers and ice sheets. Land ice melting into the oceans is what causes sea levels to rise. While sea ice has been steadily growing in the Antarctic, land ice has actually been shrinking. In fact, a new NASA report shows that the melting rate of land ice in West Antarctica, the fastest-melting region on the continent, has tripled during the last 10 years. Researchers found that between 1992 and 2013, the region lost an average of 83 gigatons of ice every year. Meier believes all this melting land ice might actually be causing the increase in sea ice. As glaciers melt, they pour cold freshwater into the ocean. Freshwater is easier to freeze than salty seawater, so the influx from the melting glaciers could be adding to Antarctica's sea ice. via Business Insider.
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