2012-11-29. Ice Sheet Loss at Both Poles Increasing, Major Study Finds

posted Nov 30, 2012, 9:34 AM by Alan Gould   [ updated Nov 30, 2012, 12:18 PM ]
| NASA release 12-409. Relevant to Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: …An international team of 47 researchers from 26 laboratories, Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE) supported by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) has combined data from multiple satellites and aircraft to produce the most comprehensive and accurate assessment to date of ice sheet losses in Greenland and Antarctica and their contributions to sea level rise, published … in the journal Science. … the combined rate of melting for the ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica has increased during the last 20 years…losing more than three times as much ice each year (equivalent to sea level rise of 0.04 inches or 0.95 millimeters) as they were in the 1990s (equivalent to 0.01 inches or 0.27 millimeters). About two-thirds of the loss is coming from Greenland, with the rest from Antarctica. …Combined, melting of these ice sheets contributed 0.44 inches (11.1 millimeters) to global sea levels since 1992. This accounts for one-fifth of all sea level rise over the 20-year survey period. The remainder is caused by the thermal expansion of the warming ocean, melting of mountain glaciers and small Arctic ice caps, and groundwater mining. "Both ice sheets appear to be losing more ice now than 20 years ago, but the pace of ice loss from Greenland is extraordinary, with nearly a five-fold increase since the mid-1990s," Erik Ivins of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said. "In contrast, the overall loss of ice in Antarctica has remained fairly constant with the data suggesting a 50-percent increase in Antarctic ice loss during the last decade." …. Read the full article: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/nov/HQ_12-409_Ice_Sheet_Sea_level.html
See also A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance - Science 30 November 2012: Vol. 338 no. 6111 pp. 1183-1189 DOI: 10.1126/science.1228102
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