No Change in Antarctic Snowfall
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No Change in Antarctic Snowfall

July 28, 2010
Scientists say the mean snowfall in Antarctica hasn't changed during the past 50 years, despite evidence of global warming. Most snow fell near the coasts (red), while the inland regions received the least (blue).

According to researchers, the year-to-year and decadal variability of the snowfall is so large that it makes it nearly impossible to distinguish trends that might be related to climate change from even a 50-year record. In addition, there were no statistically significant trends in snowfall accumulation over the past five decades, including recent years for which global mean temperatures have been warmest. The findings also suggest thickening of Antarctica's massive ice sheets haven't reduced the slow-but-steady rise in global sea levels, as some climate-change critics have argued.

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