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Thirty Years of Antarctic Snow and Ice Melt
Tedesco, M. and Monaghan, A.J. 2010. Climate and melting variability in Antarctica. EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union 91: 1-2.

What was done
The two U.S. researchers reviewed what has been learned about the melting of snow and ice over all of Antarctica since 1979, when the phenomenon was first begun to be routinely measured via space-borne passive microwave radiometers.

What was learned
Over the course of the past three decades, Tedesco and Monaghan report that the continent-wide snow and ice melting trend was, in a word, "negligible." And they say that during the 2008-2009 austral summer, scientists from the City University of New York and the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research observed that snow and ice melt was, in a few more words, "a record low for the 30-year period between 1979 and 2009," or as they alternatively describe it, they say it was "a new historical minimum." In addition, they note that "December 2008 temperature anomalies were cooler than normal around most of the Antarctic margin, and the overall sea ice extent for the same month was more extensive than usual."

What it means
Tedesco and Monaghan write that "efforts to understand the relative roles of the natural and anthropogenic mechanisms that influence Antarctic climate variability will be crucial for projecting future melt in Antarctica and subsequent impacts on ice sheet mass balance and sea level," and for all of the climate alarmists who contend that we are already deep into a climate crisis, which will lead to catastrophic sea level rise as a result of anthropogenic CO2-induced melting of earth's polar ice sheets, this finding of the two researchers would be expected to be embarrassing, because there is not the slightest hint of trouble, in this regard, with respect to the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

However, in what could be interpreted to provide an excuse for such folks, the two researchers say "the extremely low Antarctic snowmelt in 2008-2009 is likely related to coincident strong positive phases of both the SAM [Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode] and the SOI [Southern Oscillation Index] during the austral spring and summer 2008-2009." But they then turn around and pretty much debunk that idea, when they say "it is noteworthy that both indices had large negative anomalies during several of the highest melt years."

Clearly, there is no way of getting around the matter; the snow and ice melt over all of Antarctica has shown no net upward trend over the entire 30-year period of its historical observation, during which time the air's CO2 concentration rose by approximately 50 ppm (that's 15%), and the world's climate alarmists claim the earth warmed at a faster rate and to a higher temperature than what had previously been experienced over the past two millennia, which should surely have jump-started the massive melting of ice and snow they claim such warming should produce. But it hasn't! Thus, there can be no doubt about it; the climate-alarmist view of the world -- which is the James Hansen, Al Gore, IPPC, United States EPA, and Cap and Trade view -- is totally out of touch with reality.

Reviewed 3 March 2010