Antarctic Ice Shelves NOT melting

Fimbul Ice Shelf: Image - DLR
Should we rely on computer models or examine real world data? Well, according to a study by a team from the Norwegian Polar Institute and released  by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and published in Geophysical Research Letters, the models have been shown to be (surprise, surprise!) wrong.

The Register reports:
Twenty-year-old models which have suggested serious ice loss in the eastern Antarctic have been compared with reality for the first time - and found to be wrong, so much so that it now appears that no ice is being lost at all.
From the AGU Press release:
From the “seal data”, the scientists accumulated enough knowledge concerning the area’s water circulation and how it changes over the seasons to construct the most complete picture of what and how the Fimbul Ice Shelf is melting from the bottom up.

It turns out that past studies, which were based on computer models without any direct data for comparison or guidance, overestimate the water temperatures and extent of melting beneath the Fimbul Ice Shelf. This has led to the misconception, Hattermann said, that the ice shelf is losing mass at a faster rate than it is gaining mass, leading to an overall loss of mass. The model results were in contrast to the available data from satellite observations, which are supported by the new measurements.

Received 27 March 2012; accepted 25 May 2012.
Citation: Hattermann, T., O. A. Nøst, J. M. Lilly, and L. H. Smedsrud (2012), Two years of oceanic observations below the Fimbul Ice Shelf, Antarctica, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2012GL051012, in press.