Ice sheets & sea levels

Earth observation techniques have revolutionised studies of ice sheet mass balance: recent studies suggest that the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are contributing anything between +1.9 and -0.2 mm to sea levels each year.  This video uses 20 years of satellite data to demonstrate how much – and how fast – the ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica are melting, and their contribution to sea-level rise.

We are continually improving our long-term estimates of ice sheet mass balance using satellite altimetry, as well as InSAR and satellite gravimetry where altimetry data is sparse.  CPOM is, for example, leading ESA’s Antarctic Climate Change Initiative (CCI), which is producing long term and reliable satellite data records of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, and assessing its contribution to sea level rise; as well as the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE), a community effort to reconcile satellite measurements of ice sheet mass balance.