The research challenges the conclusion of other studies, including Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 2013 report which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

According to the analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tonnes of ice a year from 1992 to 2001.The net gain slowed to 82 billion tonnes of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

"We are essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica," explained Jay Zwally, glaciologist with NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica."Here, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas," he added. But it might take a few decades for Antarctica's growth to reverse, according to Zwally.

The study analysed changes in the surface height of the Antarctic ice sheet measured by radar altimeters on two European Space Agency satellites and by the laser altimeter on NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat).

"At the end of the last Ice Age, the air became warmer and carried more moisture across the continent, doubling the amount of snow dropped on the ice sheet," Zwally noted. The extra snowfall that began 10,000 years ago has been slowly accumulating on the ice sheet and compacting into solid ice over millennia.



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