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article imageIPCC underestimated Antarctic sea ice increase by 50%

By Andrew Moran     Feb 17, 2010 in Environment
New errors have been found in the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Chage such as the Himalayan glaciers and a significant increase in sea ice around Antarctica.
As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change publishes reports indicating that sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctica is vastly decreasing due to global warming, new errors show that decrease in sea ice may not be the case.
According to the World Climate Report, several errors have been found in the fourth assessment Report (AR4) of the IPCC, which include setbacks with African agriculture, Himalayan glaciers, attribution of damages from extreme weather events and the significant increase in sea ice. Majority of the errors come from the non peer-reviewed sources.
Most of the press focuses its attention on the decline in Arctic sea ice, which has been questioned by some, however, virtually none of the mainstream media outlets have focused on the increase in Antarctic ice, claims the WCR.
Peer-reviewed literature shows that there has been an increase in the sea ice around Antarctica since the late 1970s when the first satellite observations were published, reports Climate Research News. However, the AR4 established the evidence and concluded the increase was only half the rate established in peer-reviewed studies and that it was, statistically speaking, insignificant as well. Therefore, the rise in sea ice in Antarctica was ignored in order to highlight the decline in sea ice in the Arctic, states the WCR.
In 2001, the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) was released and in the executive summary it stated, “Satellite data indicate that after a possible initial decrease in the mid-1970s, Antarctic sea-ice extent has stayed almost stable or even increased since 1978.”
Another point from Zwally et al. 2002, which is not cited in the AR4, states, “The derived 20 year trend in sea ice extent from the monthly deviations is 11.18 ± 4.19 x 103 km2yr-1 or 0.98 ± 0.37% (decade)-1 for the entire Antarctic sea ice cover, which is significantly positive. Also, a recent analysis of Antarctic sea ice trends for 1978–1996 by Watkins and Simmonds [2000] found significant increases in both Antarctic sea ice extent and ice area, similar to the results in this paper.”
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