Greenland & Antarctica are losing ice SIX TIMES FASTER

The kilometres-thick ice sheets atop land masses at the planet's extremities sloughed off more than 6.4 trillion tonnes of mass from 1992 to 2017

The kilometres-thick ice sheets atop land masses at the planet's extremities sloughed off more than 6.4 trillion tonnes of mass from 1992 to 2017

While less visible than climate-enhanced hurricanes, sea level rise may ultimately prove the most devastating of global warming impacts.

In the panel's 2014 assessment, its mid-range simulations (RCP4.5) suggested global sea-levels might rise by 53cm by 2100.

It is an global collaboration of polar scientists, providing improved estimates of the ice sheet contribution to sea-level rise. Team carried 26 in-depth surveys to calculate the losses in the mass of Greenland's ice sheets. Data from 11 different satellite missions was used, including measurements of the ice sheets' changing volume, flow and gravity.

Greenland and Antarctica are shedding six times more ice than during the 1990s, driving sea level rise that could see annual flooding by 2100 in regions home today to some 400 million people, scientists have warned. Researchers found that Antarctica and Greenland lost 6.4 trillion tones of ice between 1992-2017, increasing sea levels by 0.7 inches (17.8 mm). This means that polar ice sheets are now responsible for a third of all sea level rise. But, the recent tracking of the ice sheets reveals that climate change and Global Warming has increased the melting of the ice from Greenland.

"That's not a good news story", said Professor Andrew Shepherd from the University of Leeds.

Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice at a rate that is on track to meet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) worst-case scenario prediction for sea-level rise.

Nearly all the ice shedding from Antarctica, as well as half of that from Greenland, have been caused by warming ocean water accelerating the movement of glaciers toward the sea. The remainder of Greenland's ice losses are due to rising air temperature, which has melted the ice sheet at its surface.

It is expected that the Arctic heatwave experienced previous year will be worse that than of 2011 which saw 552 billion tonnes of ice lost from the polar ice sheets, setting a world record.

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Earth's great ice layers, Greenland and Antarctica, are now losing mass.

"The satellite measurements provide prima facie, rather irrefutable, evidence", he said.

"Our project is a great example of the importance of worldwide collaboration to tackle problems that are global in scale".

IMBIE Antarctica submits the report with journal Nature. Their satellite observations show that both melting and ice discharge from Greenland have increased since observations started. The data created a detailed picture of how much mass each region's glaciers have lost over the last 30 years, and showed how quickly the remaining ice is flowing into the sea.

"It is very important to keep monitoring the big ice sheets to know how much they raise sea level every year".

IMBIE is supported by ESA's EO Science for Society programme and ESA's Climate Change Initiative, which generates accurate and long-term satellite-derived datasets for 21 Essential Climate Variables to characterise the evolution of the Earth system. Note: material may have been edited for length and content.

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