Antarctic Explorers Logbooks Reveal Sea Ice Barely Changed In Size In 100 Years

Posted: Nov 24 2016, 3:33am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Antarctic Explorers Logbooks Reveal Sea Ice Barely Changed in Size in 100 Years
One of the first aerial photographs of the Antarctic, this picture was obtained from a balloon in 1901. It shows Erich von Drygalski's ship, the logbooks of which were used in the study. Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce
  • Ice in Antarctica didn’t Melt Down in a Century as Captain Scott’s Log Books Show

Ice in Antarctica didn’t melt down in a century as Captain Scott’s log books show even today.

It’s been a hundred odd years after their deaths. Yet Captain Scott and Sir Earnest continue to increase our knowledge of Antarctica via their log books which they have left behind.

These log books from their doomed missions have survived the test of time. Today, scientists say that only one body of water namely the Wendell Sea has seen a 14% reduction in sea ice. Scott died with four men in 1912 in an unsuccessful journey to reach the South Pole. It was a big tragedy.

As the team ventured nearer and nearer their goal, they saw that the Norwegian, Roald Amundsen had beaten them to the finish line. On the return journey, the entire team perished from the intense and frigid temperatures.

As for Sir Earnest, he had seen Antarctica along with Captain Scott about ten years earlier than this. He was rescued from a sinking ship and died in 1922. Log books from both expeditions were retrieved and they record the details of Antarctica with fidelity and consistency.

The log books helped scientists know a lot regarding the recent past of the frigid continent. Even satellites which are being used today and are on the cutting edge of science can have their records beefed up thanks to the information written down in these log books.

While the expeditions of both Scott and Earnest were ultimately failures, their log books still serve as a shining example of the fact that every loser wins.

The ups and downs of Antarctic sea ice could be gauged from these log books. They are proof if any is needed that within the past 30 years, Antarctica’s sea ice has in fact increased.

Scientists have been puzzled by this phenomenon which is occurring despite global warming being at its peak. What the log books show is that the trend is not a new one.

Some say that the Antarctic ice has not retreated since the ozone hole has caused strong surface winds to sweep majestically over the continent. Also storms are occurring in rapid succession in the region.

The log books though give clues as to the fact that all this was extant way back then too. It appears to be the case that Antarctica is much less subject to the ravages of climate change than the Arctic.

The Southern Ocean is pretty much a vast unknown area just waiting to be fully explored to get to the bottom of this anomaly in weather patterns.

The study got published in the European Geosciences Union journal The Cryosphere.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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