Trends in Antarctic Ice Sheet Elevation and Mass

Shepherd, Andrew and Gilbert, Lin and Muir, Alan and Konrad, Hannes and McMillan, Mal and Slater, Thomas and Briggs, Kate and Sundal, Aud V. and Hogg, Anna E. and Engdahl, Marcus (2019) Trends in Antarctic Ice Sheet Elevation and Mass. Geophysical Research Letters, 46 (14). pp. 8174-8183. ISSN 0094-8276

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Official URL: 10.1029/2019GL082182


Fluctuations in Antarctic Ice Sheet elevation and mass occur over a variety of timescales, owing to changes in snowfall and ice flow. Here, we disentangle these signals by combining 25 years of satellite radar altimeter observations and a regional climate model. From these measurements, patterns of change that are strongly associated with glaciological events emerge. While the majority of the ice sheet has remained stable, 24% of West Antarctica is now in a state of dynamical imbalance. Thinning of the Pine Island and Thwaites glacier basins reaches 122 m in places, and their rates of ice loss are now five times greater than at the start of our survey. By partitioning elevation changes into areas of snow and ice variability, we estimate that East and West Antarctica have contributed ‐1.1±0.4 and +5.7±0.8 mm to global sea level between 1992 and 2017.

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Journal Article
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Geophysical Research Letters
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17 Jul 2019 13:25
Last Modified:
21 May 2024 23:18