Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss has increased

14.06.2018

An international study involving scientists from TU Dresden delivers comprehensive facts

Mass losses of the Antarctic Ice Sheet have increased global sea level by 7.6 mm since 1992, with 40% of this rise (3.0 mm) coming in the last five years alone. In West Antarctica, mass losses today amount to about 160 billion tons per year.


Dronning Maud Land

L. Schröder


Ostantarktika

S. Popov

The findings are from a major climate assessment known as the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE), and are published on 14 June in Nature. It is the most complete picture of Antarctic ice sheet change to date - 84 scientists from 44 institutions combined 24 satellite surveys to produce the assessment.

Martin Horwath, professor for Geodetic Earth System Research at TU Dresden, and two members of his working group, Ludwig Schröder and Andreas Groh, contributed significantly to this study.

Ludwig Schröder explained: "Altimeter satellites measure the surface elevation of the ice sheet. We analyzed data from five consecutive satellite missions in order to derive changes over the full 25-year period from 1992 to 2017." Schröder was one of just two contributors to deliver such a comprehensive dataset.

Andreas Groh added: "Analyzing tiny changes of Earth's gravitational attraction is another method to infer ice mass changes. We analyzed data from the GRACE satellite mission. GRACE stands for Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment. The results, together with thorough uncertainty assessments, have been accessible through an open data portal for a while. They were now incorporated into the study." The portal is available under data1.geo.tu-dresden.de.

One of the two lead authors of the study, Dr. Erik Ivins at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, currently being at a research stay at Prof. Horwath's institute at TU Dresden, commented the study: “The added duration of the observing period, the larger pool of participants, various refinements in our observing capability and an improved ability to assess both inherent and interpretive uncertainties, each contribute to making this the most robust study of ice mass balance of Antarctica to date.”

West Antarctica experienced the largest change with ice losses rising from 53 billion tonnes per year in the 1990ies to 159 billion tonnes per year since 2012. Most of this came from the acceleration of the huge Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers.

At the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula glacier acceleration following ice shelf collapse caused an increase in ice mass loss from seven billion tonnes per year in the 1990ies to 33 billion tonnes per year in the 2010s.

For East Antarctica the results are subject to larger uncertainties but indicate a state close to balance over the last 25 years.

A mass of one billion tonnes corresponds to a cubic kilometer of water. If continental ice sheets lose 100 billion tonnes of mass mean sea level will rise by 0.28 mm.

Publication:
The paper ‘Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet from 1992 to 2017’ by The IMBIE Team is published in Nature on 14 June, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0179-y.

Media inquiries:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Horwath
TU Dresden
Institute of Planetary Geodesy
Geodetic Earth System Research
01062 Dresden
Tel.: +49 (0) 351 463-37582
E-Mail: Martin.Horwath@tu-dresden.de
Web: https://tu-dresden.de/geo/ipg/gef

Kim-Astrid Magister | Technische Universität Dresden
Further information:
http://www.tu-dresden.de

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drought hits rivers first and more strongly than agriculture
06.09.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

nachricht Landslides triggered by human activity on the rise
23.08.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

Im Focus: Finding Nemo's genes

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Astrophysicists measure precise rotation pattern of sun-like stars for the first time

21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Brought to light – chromobodies reveal changes in endogenous protein concentration in living cells

21.09.2018 | Life Sciences

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>