Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
The uncertainty of science: New measurements of the Antarctic ice sheets using an unmanned underwater drone have found them to be much thicker than expected.
Risky robotic exploration of the vast expanse of sea ice around Antarctica has revealed it to be far thicker in many places than previously measured. “The conventional picture of Antarctic sea ice being a thin veneer over the ocean is probably only true for some portion of it,” says Ted Maksym, an ice researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts (WHOI). “We need to do a better job of surveying the overall ice cover.”
Previous observations of the thickness of Antarctic sea ice produced a mean draught — the depth between the waterline and the bottom of the ice sheet — of around 1 metre; the new work gives a mean draught of over 3 metres. And a previous maximum recorded ice-sheet thickness of 10 metres has now been increased to 16 metres.
Near the end of the article there is also this:
The more data scientists can gather about Antarctic sea ice, the more they can unpick why climate models struggle to accurately predict its extent. Although researchers have been generally successful at modelling the huge declines in Arctic sea ice, the extent of Antarctic sea ice has actually increased in recent years, contrary to the predictions of models.
Actually, the Antarctic sea ice has grown to record size in recent years, and the Arctic sea ice has significantly recovered in the past two years, all contrary to all climate models.
“But the science is settled,” whines a certain unnamed politician. “This can’t be true! Zimmerman must be a racist for writing it!”