Scientists studying climate change have long believed that while most of the rest of the globe has been getting steadily warmer, a large part of Antarctica - the East Antarctic Ice Sheet - has actually been getting colder.
© NASAThis illustration depicts the warming that scientists have determined has occurred in West Antarctica during the last 50 years, with the dark red showing the area that has warmed the most.
But new research shows that for the last 50 years, much of Antarctica has been warming at a rate comparable to the rest of the world. In fact, the warming in West Antarctica is greater than the cooling in East Antarctica, meaning that on average the continent has gotten warmer, said Eric Steig, a University of Washington professor of Earth and space sciences and director of the Quaternary Research Center at the UW.
"West Antarctica is a very different place than East Antarctica, and there is a physical barrier, the Transantarctic Mountains, that separates the two," said Steig, lead author of a paper documenting the warming published in the Jan. 22 edition of Nature
For years it was believed that a relatively small area known as the Antarctic Peninsula was getting warmer, but that the rest of the continent - including West Antarctica, the ice sheet most susceptible to potential future collapse - was cooling.
There is more behind this story than meets the eye.
The Steig paper has been found to have some data errors and is raising other concerns about the agenda of the global warming advocates behind it.
Read about the data errors here
Read how this paper was promoted by big media with robust disdain for critical thinking here