Search form

Media

These news clips on global space news are provided by the Coalition for Space Exploration for distribution by the Space Foundation to our constituents. You can also subscribe to receive a daily email version.

U.S., European Scientists Lend New Accuracy to Greenland, Antarctic Ice Losses

An international alliance of scientists, using a wide array of data gathered by satellites as well as airborne sensors, confirms a 20 year record of ice melt from Antarctica as well as Greenland, findings that suggest significant losses related to global warming that  will be passed to the United Nations in its campaign to address environmental concerns.

The research effort was sponsored by NASA and the European Space Agency.

And it found that there has been increased melting on  both fronts — three times as much as there was in the 1990s.  Previously, the data over whether Antarctica was experiencing an ice gain or loss was in question.

“What is unique about this effort is that it brought together the key scientists and all of the different methods to estimate ice loss,” said Tom Wagner, NASA’s cryosphere program manager in Washington, of the landmark study, published this week in the journal Science.  ”It’s a major challenge they undertook, involving cutting-edge, difficult research to produce the most rigorous and detailed estimates of ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica to date. The results of this study will be invaluable in informing the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel’s Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Key findings concluded that losses from Greenland combined with those from the  Antarctic account for three times as much ice melting as evident from the 1990s. Greenland, in the northern hemisphere, accounted for 66 percent of the loss, which in total accounted for 0.04 inches of global sea level rise.

Previous efforts to pinpoint the sources of the loss were inclusive as far as Antarctica’s contributions.

The new studies, which claim twice the accuracy of previous efforts, suggest melting in both hemispheres is responsible for the seeming small rise in ocean waters. The remainder is caused by the thermal expansion of the warming ocean, melting of mountain glaciers and small Arctic ice caps, and groundwater mining, according to the consolidated research effort.

“What is unique about this effort is that it brought together the key scientists and all of the different methods to estimate ice loss,” said Tom Wagner, NASA’s cryosphere program manager in Washington. “It’s a major challenge they undertook, involving cutting-edge, difficult research to produce the most rigorous and detailed estimates of ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica to date. The results of this study will be invaluable in informing the IPCC as it completes the writing of its Fifth Assessment Report over the next year.”

In all, 47 lead scientists from 26 science global laboratories participated.

 

 

 

Live Sun Image
 
X

Share This Page

Share this page with friends and bookmark for future reference.

Facebook Share on Facebook Twitter Tweet This LinkedIn Share on LinkedIn

Additional networks and bookmarking websites:

X

Give Us Feedback

We want to hear from you! Feel free to send us your comments about this page. General feedback for the Space Foundation is also welcome.