Steady Antarctic ice growth 'limits confidence in climate predictions'

Boffins from NASA and the British Antarctic Survey have teamed up to investigate one of the great mysteries of climate science: why it is that the extent of sea ice around the south pole has actually increased steadily over the years.

As the scientists note in their new paper, while the increase is not as big as the decreases seen in Arctic sea ice, current climate models - the ones which predict dangerous levels of global warming this century if carbon emissions aren't drastically reined in - say it shouldn't be happening. This causes people to suspect that the models might be wrong, or as Paul Holland of the BAS and Ron Kwok of NASA put it, the Antarctic ice spread has the effect of "limiting confidence in [the models'] predictions".

Thus it is that the two men have looked into the matter, in particular by probing the movement of sea ice around the coasts of Antarctica using satellite recordings.