A study of past warming events shows that snowfall over Antarctica will likely increase with global warming, according to a release from Oregon State University. The extra snow will offset sea level rise, but not by a much as previously thought.
A team of climatologists studied ice cores from 10,000 years to 21,000 years ago during the warming period that ended the last ice age. They found that for every one degree Celsius that the climate warmed, snowfall in Antarctica increased by 5 percent.
Additional water bound up as snow on land is thought to have a limiting effect on sea level rise, but the study suggests the effect may not be as pronounced as previously suspected. Since the weight of the snow will push additional ice out to see, the snow’s dampening effect on sea level rise may only be about 20 percent as strong as once thought.
Top image: Antarctica will likely see an increase in snowfall as temperatures rise.