Antarctica lost much more ice to the sea than it gained from snowfall, resulting in an increase in sea level. Credit: NASA/SVS
The Greenland ice sheet gained more ice from snowfall at high altitudes than it lost from melting ice along its coast. Credit: NASA/SVS
In the most comprehensive survey ever undertaken of the massive ice sheets covering both Greenland and Antarctica, NASA scientists confirm climate warming is changing how much water remains locked in Earth’s largest storehouse of ice and snow.
Other recent studies have shown increasing losses of ice in parts of these sheets. This new survey is the first to inventory the losses of ice and the addition of new snow on both in a consistent and comprehensive way throughout an entire decade.
The survey shows that there was a net loss of ice from the combined polar ice sheets between 1992 and 2002 and a corresponding rise in sea level. The survey documents for the first time extensive thinning of the West Antarctic ice shelves and an increase in snowfall in the interior of Greenland, as well as thinning at the edges. All are signs of a warming climate predicted by computer models.
Steve Cole | EurekAlert!
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