University Of Tasmania

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A reconciled estimate of ice-sheet mass balance

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 16:44 authored by Shepherd, A, Ivins, ER, Geruo, A, Barletta, VR, Bentley, MJ, Bettadpur, S, Briggs, KH, Bromwich, DH, Forsberg, R, Galin, N, Horwath, M, Jacobs, S, Joughin, I, Matt KingMatt King, Lenaerts, JTM, Li, J, Ligtenberg, SRM, Luckman, A, Luthcke, SB, McMillan, M, Meister, R, Milne, G, Mouginot, J, Muir, A, Nicolas, JP, Paden, J, Payne, AJ, Pritchard, H, Rignot, E, Rott, H, Sorensen, LS, Scambos, TA, Scheuchl, B, Schrama, EJO, Smith, B, Sundal, AV, Van Angelen, JH, Van De Berg, WJ, Van Den Broeke, MR, Vaughan, DG, Velicogna, I, Wahr, J, Whitehouse, PL, Wingham, DJ, Yi, D, Young, D, Zwally, HJ
We combined an ensemble of satellite altimetry, interferometry, and gravimetry data sets using common geographical regions, time intervals, and models of surface mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment to estimate the mass balance of Earth’s polar ice sheets. We find that there is good agreement between different satellite methods—especially in Greenland and West Antarctica—and that combining satellite data sets leads to greater certainty. Between 1992 and 2011, the ice sheets of Greenland, East Antarctica, West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula changed in mass by –142 ± 49, +14 ± 43, –65 ± 26, and –20 ± 14 gigatonnes year−1, respectively. Since 1992, the polar ice sheets have contributed, on average, 0.59 ± 0.20 millimeter year−1 to the rate of global sea-level rise.


Publication title











School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences


Amer Assoc Advancement Science

Place of publication

1200 New York Ave, Nw, Washington, USA, Dc, 20005

Rights statement

Copyright 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Atmospheric processes and dynamics