CryoSat reveals recent Greenland ice loss

July 12, 2016, European Space Agency
ESA’s Earth Explorer CryoSat mission is dedicated to precise monitoring of changes in the thickness of marine ice floating in the polar oceans and variations in the thickness of the vast ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica. Credit: ESA/AOES Medialab

In the most detailed picture to date, information from ESA's CryoSat satellite reveals how melting ice in Greenland has recently contributed twice as much to sea-level rise as the prior two decades.

Between 2011 and 2014, Greenland lost around one trillion tonnes of . This corresponds to a 0.75 mm contribution to global sea-level rise each year – about twice the average of the preceding two decades.

The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters today, combines data from the CryoSat mission with a regional climate model to map changes in Greenland ice-sheet mass. It is the most detailed recent picture of ice loss from Greenland.

CryoSat carries a radar altimeter that can measure the surface height variation of ice in fine detail, allowing scientists to record changes in its volume with unprecedented accuracy.

The study demonstrates how the satellite has allowed researchers to map the complex regional pattern of imbalance.

"CryoSat's radar really brings into focus our view of the ice sheet, revealing which glaciers are exhibiting the greatest signs of change," explained lead author Dr Mal McMillan from the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds.

"This helps us to study Greenland's individual outlet glaciers, which in turn allows us to better understand the contribution they have made to global sea-level rise."

Between 2011 and 2014, Greenland lost around one trillion tonnes of ice. This corresponds to a 0.75 mm contribution to global sea-level rise each year – about twice the average of the preceding two decades. These results from the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at the University of Leeds combine data from the CryoSat mission with a regional climate model to map changes in Greenland ice-sheet mass. Credit: Planetary Visions/CPOM/ESA

The study also shows large variations in the amount of ice loss from year to year, with the highest losses occurring in 2012 when summer temperatures hit record highs. This demonstrates Greenland's sensitivity to sudden changes in the surrounding environment.

"These significant results clearly demonstrate CryoSat's unique capability of recording cryospheric changes, and it is essential that it is maintained in future," said CryoSat Mission Manager Tommaso Parrinello. 

CryoSat's measurement of Greenland ice losses are in close agreement with those computed from NASA's GRACE mission, which carries sensors that are specially designed to weigh changes at the scale of the entire .

Explore further: Greenland's ice sheet from 40,000 feet

More information: Malcolm McMillan et al. A high-resolution record of Greenland mass balance, Geophysical Research Letters (2016). DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069666

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7 comments

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gkam
2 / 5 (10) Jul 12, 2016
It will be a long time until we can end the warming, and possibly reverse it, but it is unknown. Our greed and short-sightedness has done this, aided by our inability to admit error and possibly threaten the income of the rich.

They use fear, selfishness, and political prejudice to incite their followers, screaming all scientists are liars.

But we can see who did what to whom. Now, what to do do about those who lied us into AGW?
Shootist
1.1 / 5 (10) Jul 12, 2016
did the satellites photograph the wheat and dairy farms?

No. It is still too cold for wheat and dairy (but it wasn't 800-1200 years ago).

Any commercial vineyards in Scotland? Not today, it's too cold. But 800 years ago it was just right for wine the French lusted for.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (12) Jul 12, 2016
Gee, evidence.

Nothing like evidence.
SteveS
5 / 5 (17) Jul 13, 2016
No. It is still too cold for wheat and dairy (but it wasn't 800-1200 years ago).

Any commercial vineyards in Scotland? Not today, it's too cold. But 800 years ago .....


"When the Norwegian merchant, Anders Olsen, retired from his position at the Royal Greenland Trade in 1782, ........The settlers built houses of stones that were removed from the medieval bishop's courtyard and reintroduced cattle- and sheep-breeding."
http://www.kultur...-arctic/
The vikings tried to grow wheat in Greenland, but it was too unreliable as a staple crop.
http://www.archiv...djvu.txt
"but the great majority in that country do not know what bread is, having never seen it."

There is no record of, or evidence for, 800 year old Scottish vineyards.

Your failure to support these constantly repeated erroneous statements is making you look foolish
HeloMenelo
5 / 5 (8) Jul 13, 2016
did the satellites photograph the wheat and dairy farms?

No. It is still too cold for wheat and dairy (but it wasn't 800-1200 years ago).

Any commercial vineyards in Scotland? Not today, it's too cold. But 800 years ago it was just right for wine the French lusted for.


but why are your 2 braincells then overheating antigoracle monkey sock ?
imfromcanada
4.7 / 5 (12) Jul 14, 2016
did the satellites photograph the wheat and dairy farms?

No. It is still too cold for wheat and dairy (but it wasn't 800-1200 years ago).

Any commercial vineyards in Scotland? Not today, it's too cold. But 800 years ago it was just right for wine the French lusted for.


Mate... Considering my 10 second google search for Scottish vineyards turned up news about the bottling of the first Scottish wine all the way back in the ancient history of 2014, one might suggest you need to find new material yo
gkam
1.1 / 5 (7) Jul 14, 2016
You shut them down, Canada.

They will try something else.

"Yeah, but, . . . . "

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