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.
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.