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Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet from 1992 to 2017.

Shepherd, A. and Ivins, E. and Rignot, E. and Smith, B. and van den Broeke, M. and Velicogna, I. and Whitehouse, P. and Briggs, K. and Joughin, I. and Krinner, G. and Nowicki, S. and Payne, T. and Scambos, T. and Schlegel, N. and Geruo, A. and Agosta, C. and Ahlstrøm, A. and Babonis, G. and Barletta, V. and Blazquez, A. and Bonin, J. and Csatho, B. and Cullather, R. and Felikson, D. and Fettweis, X. and Forsberg, R. and Gallee, H. and Gardner, A. and Gilbert, L. and Groh, A. and Gunter, B. and Hanna, E. and Harig, C. and Helm, V. and Horvath, A. and Horwath, M. and Khan, S. and Kjeldsen, K. and Konrad, H. and Langen, P. and Lecavalier, B. and Loomis, B. and Luthcke, S. and McMillan, M. and Melini, D. and Mernild, S. and Mohajerani, Y. and Moore, P. and Mouginot, J. and Moyano, G. and Muir, A. and Nagler, T. and Nield, G. and Nilsson, J. and Noel, B. and Otosaka, I. and Pattle, M.P. and Peltier, W.R. and Nadege, P. and Rietbroek, R. and Rott, H. and Sandberg-Sørensen, L. and Sasgen, I. and Save, H. and Schrama, E. and Schröder, L. and Seo, K-W. and Simonsen, S. and Slater, T. and Spada, G. and Sutterley, T. and Talpe, M. and Tarasov, L. and van de Berg, W.J. and van der Wal, W. and van Wessem, M. and Vishwakarma, B.D. and Wiese, D. and Wouters, B. (2018) 'Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet from 1992 to 2017.', Nature., 558 (7709). pp. 219-222.


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.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Date accepted:24 April 2018
Date deposited:14 May 2018
Date of first online publication:13 June 2018
Date first made open access:13 December 2018

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