Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017

Andrew Shepherd*, Erik Ivins, Eric Rignot, Ben Smith , Michiel van den Broeke, Isabella Velicogna, Pippa L Whitehouse, Kate Briggs, Ian Joughin, Gerhard Krinner, Sophie Nowicki, Tony Payne, Ted Scambos, Nicole Schlegel, Geruo A, Cécile Agosta, Andreas Ahlstrøm, Greg Babonis, Valentina Barletta, Alejandro BlazquezJennifer Bonin, Beata Csatho, Richard Cullather, Denis Felikson, Xavier Fettweis, René Forsberg, Hubert Gallee, Alex Gardner, Lin Gilbert, Andreas Groh, Brian Gunter, Edward Hanna, Christopher Harig, Veit Helm, Alexander Horvath, Martin Horwath, Shfaqat Khan, Kristian K. Kjeldsen, Hannes Konrad, Peter Langen, Benoit Lecavalier, Bryant Loomis, Scott Luthcke, Malcolm McMillan, Daniele Melini, Sebastian Mernild, Yara Mohajerani, Philip Moore, Jeremie Mouginot, Gorka Moyano, Alan Muir, Thomas Nagler, Grace Nield, Johan Nilsson, Brice Noel, Ines Otosaka, Mark E. Pattle, W. Richard Peltier, Nadege Pie, Roelof Rietbroek, Helmut Rott, Louise Sandberg-Sørensen, Ingo Sasgen, Himanshu Save, Bernd Scheuchl, Ernst Schrama, Ludwig Schröder, Ki-Weon Seo, Sebastian Simonsen, Tom Slater, Giorgio Spada, Tyler Sutterley, Matthieu Talpe, Lev Tarasov, Willem Jan van de Berg, Wouter van der Wal, Melchior van Wessem, Bramha Dutt Vishwakarma, David Wiese, Bert Wouters

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The Antarctic Ice Sheet is an important indicator of climate change and driver of sea-level rise. Here we combine satellite observations of its changing volume, flow and gravitational attraction with modelling of its surface mass balance to show that it lost 2,720 ± 1,390 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017, which corresponds to an increase in mean sea level of 7.6 ± 3.9 millimetres (errors are one standard deviation). Over this period, ocean-driven melting has caused rates of ice loss from West Antarctica to increase from 53 ± 29 billion to 159 ± 26 billion tonnes per year; ice-shelf collapse has increased the rate of ice loss from the Antarctic Peninsula from 7 ± 13 billion to 33 ± 16 billion tonnes per year. We find large variations in and among model estimates of surface mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment for East Antarctica, with its average rate of mass gain over the period 1992–2017 (5 ± 46 billion tonnes per year) being the least certain.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature
Volume558
Issue number7709
Pages (from-to)219-222
ISSN1476-4687
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this

Shepherd, A., Ivins, E., Rignot, E., Smith , B., van den Broeke, M., Velicogna, I., Whitehouse, P. L., Briggs, K., Joughin, I., Krinner, G., Nowicki, S., Payne, T., Scambos, T., Schlegel, N., A, G., Agosta, C., Ahlstrøm, A., Babonis, G., Barletta, V., ... Wouters, B. (2018). Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017. Nature, 558(7709), 219-222. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0179-y