Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tale about the icy lands: Ice sheet loss at north pole and south pole increasing



An international team of experts supported by NASA and the European
Space Agency 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.

The combined rate of melting for the ice sheets covering Greenland and
Antarctica increased during the last 20 years. Together, these ice
sheets are losing more than three times as much ice each year as they
were in the 1990s. About two-thirds of the loss is coming from
Greenland, with the rest from Antarctica.

The study announced in November was produced by an international
collaboration -- the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise
-- that combined observations from 10 satellite missions to develop
the first consistent measurement of polar ice sheet changes.
Satellite data from NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite
(ICESat) and the NASA/German Aerospace Center's Gravity Recovery and
Climate Experiment (GRACE) missions were included in the study.

This activity was a major challenge involving cutting-edge, difficult
research to produce the most rigorous and detailed estimates of ice
loss from Greenland and Antarctica to date.

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