Greenland ice loss 40 trillion pounds bigger than thought

September 21, 2016 by Seth Borenstein
In this photo provided by Michael Bevis, The Ohio State University, the Greenland Global Positioning System (GPS) Network (GNET) in Greenland. Greenland is losing about 40 trillion pounds more ice a year than scientists had thought, according to a new study that uses GPS to help estimate how much is melting there. A team of scientists used all sorts of devices to measure how much the ground is uplifting under Greenland's melting ice sheet and found it is more than scientists had thought. (Michael Bevis, The Ohio State University via AP)

Greenland is losing about 40 trillion pounds more ice a year than scientists had thought, according to a new study that used GPS to help estimate how much is melting.

So instead of losing on average 550 trillion pounds of ice each year between 2003 and 2013, Greenland lost about 590 trillion pounds , said co-author Michael Bevis of Ohio State University in a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances . That's about a 7.6 percent difference.

The Empire State Building weighs 730 million pounds, so 40 trillion pounds a year is the equivalent to more than 50,000 Empire State Buildings.

"If you look at the last 15 years since we've been having these measurements, it's clearly getting worse, the ice loss," Bevis said. "It is pretty scary."

Overall, though, it is still "a small percentage. I don't think it changes the picture of what's going on," cautioned study co-author Beata Csatho at the University at Buffalo. The extra ice loss adds a tiny amount—one-sixtieth of an inch (0.4 mm) a decade—to global rise, Bevis said. Altogether, Greenland melt adds one fiftieth of an inch—0.54 mm— a decade, he said.

"Not good news certainly as the values are already larger than we'd had wished, but not a dramatic change in the overall already very alarming pattern we've been seeing over the past couple decades," said Duke University climate scientist Drew Shindell, who wasn't part of the study team.

Animation of rising Greenland bedrock as ice melts away and the surface load decreases. Note, the animation is strongly scaled. Credit: Ioana S. Muresan

Most measurements of ice sheet loss in Greenland and Antarctica use a satellite that measures changes in gravity and uses computer simulations to calculate the weight loss of ice. But the trouble is that as ice sheets melt, ground juts up to take its place, both instantly and slowly over centuries. The rocks that rise to replace the heavier ice are counted in the overall ice mass by the satellite and thus the satellites overstate how much ice there is, Bevis said.

The new measurements that use global positioning satellites and other sources compensate for that and are thus more accurate, Bevis said.

Erik Ivins, a senior research scientist at NASA's sea level and ice group who wasn't part of the team, called the study a significant breakthrough.

Huge calving event at Helheim glacier, southeast Greenland. Credit: Nicolaj Krog Larsen

Explore further: NASA: Global warming is now changing how Earth wobbles

More information: Geodetic measurements reveal similarities between post–Last Glacial Maximum and present-day mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet, Science Advances 21 Sep 2016: Vol. 2, no. 9, e1600931 , DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600931 , http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/9/e1600931

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Water_Prophet
1.6 / 5 (14) Sep 22, 2016
Hmmm. Lots of ice lost in the North, where 90% of fossil fuels are burnt.
No definitive change in the South, where the rest are burned.

CO2 is all over the Earth, but heat is transported from Equator to pole.
Temperature fluctuates. It fluctuates up and down with the Solar cycle and the combustion of fuel.

CO2 goes up - not down.
CO2 is 40x weaker than water as a GHG.

A 1% change in CO2 supposedly causes a feedback effect.
But a >>1% change in water vapor, occurs daily, and causes no such effect.

When will they figure it out?
Doesn't matter, the problem is solved. Wind, solar, super-conducting cables. Hurrah!
Mike_Massen
2.8 / 5 (9) Sep 22, 2016
I see you STILL havent learned Psychrometry Water_Prophet or how to assess distribution of heat or importance of Specific Heat or understood spectra re CO2 vs H2O & re altitude distribution - so you're at it again posting oddities not particularly quantitative & completely unlike anyone who has the university degrees you claimed.

How many was it Water_Prophet, 4 degrees & one not technical ?

Where did you do Math or do you want me to pull up your old completely wrong Math of last years proving you are a waste of time here ?

OR

Did you actually ever go to university since last year & get another degree eg applied Math ?

When you blurt implied inconsistencies like this today
CO2 is all over the Earth, but heat is transported from Equator to pole
It goes squarely to show you haven't learned a damn thing
about heat flow and especially in conjunction with Insolation :/

Heard of sine & cos Water_Prophet/greg - you know incident angle re Sol's light upon poles ?
antigoracle
1.7 / 5 (12) Sep 22, 2016
Such an interesting question. Tens of thousands of scientists - over generations of science - studying the system - all come to the same conclusion - that ghg are causing the system to warm - and the ice sheets are melting. But Water Prophet knows better.
---onionTard
Yes...yes...very interesting. The onion jackass, boasts about his recent 2 day, 1200 mile, CO2 spewing jaunt, in which he emits over a tenth of the annual US average, yet he can come here and bray like the jackass at the heretics. Interesting indeed, that this jackass claims he is saving the world, imagine what he would do if he didn't believe the scientists.
NoStrings
5 / 5 (3) Sep 22, 2016
Phys1, exactly what I was wondering. Also, would be interesting how many milligrams it is. And how many drops, based on different definitions of a drop. LOL.
leetennant
5 / 5 (11) Sep 22, 2016
Hmmm. Lots of ice lost in the North, where 90% of fossil fuels are burnt.
No definitive change in the South, where the rest are burned.


GHG are most known for their homeopathic properties. That is, they remember where they were burned and ensure their distribution is always directly proportionate to their point of origin. It's just one of the many things that is so fascinating about climate science. That and the unicorn rainbow farts.

A 1% change in CO2 supposedly causes a feedback effect.
But a >>1% change in water vapor, occurs daily, and causes no such effect.


Actually it does. I think you're forgetting to consider the time that water vapour stays as an amplifier in the system vs CO2. Sorry I couldn't think of a snarky witty way to say that. Yes, water vapour is a more powerful GHG than CO2. But CO2 lasts in the system much longer.
rrrander
1 / 5 (9) Sep 23, 2016
Hmmmm. Hundreds of thousands of people die each winter due to the cold. A few pitiful little islands and coastlines may get flooded out but the benefits of a warmer climate are enormous. Due to population growth, more crops will be needed and year-round growing seasons will be a boon.
Mike_Massen
4.2 / 5 (10) Sep 23, 2016
rrrander claims
.. Hundreds of thousands of people die each winter due to the cold
Evidence please ?

AND
Compare with number dying in; Africa, Indian sub-continent, south america etc from dehydration/heat stroke etc ?

Otherwise as you fail in "Comparative Analysis" you come across as biased & that means stupid in that you ignore the full set of consequences especially food production !

rrrander without empathy shows ignorance of population in coastal regions
A few pitiful little islands and coastlines may get flooded out but the benefits of a warmer climate are enormous
What are the specific benefits when traditional crop growing regions suffer drop in rainfall or have their topsoil washed away in floods ?

Other "benefits" please rrrander ?

rrrander claims
Due to population growth, more crops will be needed and year-round growing seasons will be a boon
Evidence - otherwise your unsupportable claims make you look stupid or paid or worse - both ?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (12) Sep 23, 2016
few pitiful little islands and coastlines may get flooded out but the benefits of a warmer climate are enormous.

I don't think you understand the concept of a 'coastline'. Much less how many people live along them whose livelyhood gets destroyed (and who will then try to move to other countries - like yours - seeking a new life).
Much less that many major cities are located on them that will have to be moved (and how exactly is that going to work?)

Warmer climate doesn't mean uniformly better weather. It means more variability (i.e. more droughts) that will offset - by the destroyed crops - any 'added crops' you're fantasizing about
Crops are not only dependent on temperature but on availability of fresh water (which decreases with warmer climate) and arable land (which is basically all in use and which will only decrease due to rising seas). AND on harsh winters to keep pest populations down.

No...warmer climates will not be 'good times'. Not by a long shot.
antigoracle
Sep 23, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
gkam
2.6 / 5 (9) Sep 23, 2016
goricle, please go away.

I suggest unanimous reporting of these recurring nasty comments.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (8) Sep 23, 2016
gkam - I just never look at his/her comments. Total ignore - with no peeking. Leaves your energy free for important stuff.
-- onion retard.
The consummate jackass brays. If only he would take a peek at his own hypocrisy. This is the jackass who boasted about his recent 2 day, 1200 mile, CO2 spewing jaunt, in which he emitted over a tenth of the US annual average. Yet, he has the audacity to come here and preach...er...excuse me...bray at the heretics. That's what he calls, important stuff.
barakn
4.3 / 5 (6) Sep 23, 2016
A 1% change in CO2 supposedly causes a feedback effect.
But a >>1% change in water vapor, occurs daily, and causes no such effect.

Actually it does. I think you're forgetting to consider the time that water vapour stays as an amplifier in the system vs CO2. ... Yes, water vapour is a more powerful GHG than CO2. But CO2 lasts in the system much longer. -leetennant
Even you have forgotten something. At higher concentrations, H2O, unlike most other GHGs, can change phase and form a solid or liquid, and in these forms can have a net anti-greenhouse effect by reflecting shortwave radiation into outer space. We call this stuff 'clouds.' The enthalpy of fusion and vaporization as water vapor turns to liquid/ice also releases enough energy to drive large quantities of warm surface air up higher where it can radiate longwave radiation directly to outer space. We call these 'thunderstorms.'
barakn
4.3 / 5 (6) Sep 23, 2016
Excessive water vapor can eventually be deposited on the ground in solid form as the high-albedo substances 'snow' and 'ice.' Whenever a denier tries to make the argument that water is a better greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, ask them why they've forgotten ice, snow, clouds, and thunderstorms, and point out that global climate models have not forgotten them.
Mike_Massen
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 24, 2016
barakn noted
Even you have forgotten something
That clouds have a bottom ?

barakn adds
At higher concentrations, H2O, unlike most other GHGs, can change phase and form a solid or liquid, and in these forms can have a net anti-greenhouse effect by reflecting shortwave radiation into outer space. We call this stuff 'clouds.'
Really ? Hmm, you forgotten the Whole dynamic ?

You seem to imply "anti-" is a some (close to) 100% counter to GHG {regionally}, show us how you consider details of

1. The % visible radiation (VR) reflected up vs % absorbed
2. Re 1 Scattering & re-absorption & VR to IR
3. Energy transfer VR to IR
4. Reflection/absorption/emission IR the clouds offer down

barakn with tech terms
.. enthalpy of fusion and vaporization as water vapor turns to liquid/ice also releases enough energy... We call these 'thunderstorms.'
Hrrmm, what really yah mean by "enough", comparatively "..water vapour turns.." where yah think it radiates heat to ?
Mike_Massen
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 24, 2016
barakn continued
Excessive water vapor can eventually be deposited on the ground in solid form as the high-albedo substances 'snow' and 'ice.'
Sure but, tiny periods & not useful where Insolation angle close to 90 deg ie equatorial regions is negligible (so hot there) whilst regions closer to pole angle less than 90 progressively ?

barakn offered
Whenever a denier tries to make the argument that water is a better greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, ask them why they've forgotten ice, snow, clouds, and thunderstorms, and point out that global climate models have not forgotten them
Indeed & quite true but, as you point out in a sense that overall its Enthalpy is most important because as climate changes (can be chaotic) its the increasing heat load we have to deal with & for some considered >60yrs etc...

barakn, I get impression you'r want to offer a sort of balanced view but, sadly deniers may exploit your tone/lexicon as if you're a 5th columnist :/
Mike_Massen
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 24, 2016
gkam observed
goricle, please go away.
I suggest unanimous reporting of these recurring nasty comments
As a strategically inspired poster I ask again why you even want that rubbish cluttering your views ie Ignore, greenonions points out there's value in ignoring & especially re antigoracles blurts - he lost it long ago & has nil understanding of comparative leverage. Attacking someone for driving a car isnt particularly smart, most do it & the singular value is tiny in comparison with canvassing powers that be we need this issue addressed seriously..

I'm a bit like you I don't have that much time left in realist practical terms & need to consider strategy re leverage in commerce, legacy re projects far ahead of comments on, what has turned out to be a narrow forum - Eg departure (more or less) of the more educated who are actually in the business so to speak (eg runrig/thermodynamics) vs the arrival of newbies who betray political anti-AGW "feelings" - ugh :/
Mike_Massen
1.8 / 5 (5) Sep 24, 2016
BartV demonstrates unequivocally
.. Do the math. It comes out to about 18 cubic kilometers.
When you put this in perspective, it doesn't sound big at all.
Given that Greenlands ice sheet has a volume of over 4 MILLION cubic kilometers
Proves he's no knowledge re "Rate of Change" in conjunction with Specific Heat !

ie BartV cannot connect dots that sustained temperature change upwards equates to Massive energy addition moderated by ocean Specific heat !

ie. Did BartV get education anywhere other than idle bible claims - prophesied was it ?

BartV please get a Grip of Physics, you know the stuff only learned recently when people dumped to emotional unsupportable claims of bibles to "Have no thought for the Morrow" - get it ?

Tell us BartV Why jesus' dad Never taught him to write ?

Do yah think islam would have reigned now as major religion if jesus could write & better than others ?

BartV cannot discriminate idle claim from scientific Evidence - so sad :/
philstacy9
1 / 5 (10) Sep 24, 2016
What can be done about those volcanoes melting the Greenland ice?
antigoracle
1.5 / 5 (8) Sep 25, 2016
What can be done about those volcanoes melting the Greenland ice?
Phil pulls out card # 27 from the deniers deck of already debunked nonsense. Guess those volcanoes have always been there phil - so wonder why the ice did not melt 200 years ago....
--onion retard
The braying jackass is at it again. We all know where he pulled that one out from.
You can't expect a braying jackass to know that volcanoes are NOT always active.
Mike_Massen
3.3 / 5 (7) Sep 25, 2016
BartV stated
So sad that professed scientists take to personal insults, jabs, and name-calling. In my humble opinion, they have already lost the debate
Which scientists please ?

The IPCC & those firmly educated in Physics & focused on Physics as it progress under Discipline of the Scientific Method ?

What debate do you imagine any scientists have lost ?

You adon't communicate particularly precisely, just like all claimed gods, vague & indistinct & without clarification of assumptions ?

BartV you don't realise how lucky you are to live in a time where; communication, linguistics & psychology is so much better than old primitive times when all it took was a burning bush to impress the uneducated & illiterate ?

Why is it we humans are so VERY much better communicators than ANY god that was ever claimed ?

ie. We have science, physics, the internet while your claimed god couldn't even cross oceans :-(

BartV why can't you be far more precise & articulate ?
Water_Prophet
1 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2016
Excessive water vapor can eventually be deposited on the ground in solid form as the high-albedo substances 'snow' and 'ice.' Whenever a denier tries to make the argument that water is a better greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, ask them why they've forgotten ice, snow, clouds, and thunderstorms, and point out that global climate models have not forgotten them.

Or ask them why water vapor is in the air when you can't see it. In fact 20x more prevalent in intermediate latitudes and up to 80x more prevalent in the tropics. The day to night fluctuations in water vapor should have more impact than CO2.

Further, let me tell you something about climate scientists: They aren't nearly as certain as you morons are.
How 'bout that?
Maggnus
5 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2016
Or ask them why water vapor is in the air when you can't see it. In fact 20x more prevalent in intermediate latitudes and up to 80x more prevalent in the tropics. The day to night fluctuations in water vapor should have more impact than CO2.

Further, let me tell you something about climate scientists: They aren't nearly as certain as you morons are.
How 'bout that?
Water pfffttt!! Welcome back! I'm fine, thanks for asking, you still smoking that evil weed?

The day and night fluctuations from water DO have more impact than that of Co2. That's why scientists take it into account when they are making their models. Ira told me that!

Sad that you have come back after all this time and still do not understand the difference in residence time between Co2 vrs H2o. Not surprising, you never were willing to examine your cherished beliefs, just sad.

So Water Pfffttt you, going to be adding more dumb comments like you were so fond of doing last time?
Water_Prophet
1 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2016
Ah, but Maggie, all I say is demonstrable. Your only answers are juvenile insults. Oh well. I wish I could do my work by publishing insults. If everyone could do that, we'd be back to the Dark Ages in moments!

How have you been? Have you learned anything recently that enforces or deflates your beliefs? What is it?
antigoracle
1 / 5 (4) Sep 25, 2016
No comment needed.
-- onion retard
The braying jackass is at it again.
No comment indeed, just as you have done concerning your recent 2 day, 1200 mile, CO2 spewing jaunt, in which you emitted over a tenth of the US annual average. Not even a second thought as to what would happen if everyone in the US did as you. So, bray on jackass....bray on.
leetennant
5 / 5 (7) Sep 25, 2016
That is an invalid criterium to decide scientific questions.


No, it is not. When "scientists" or "science-commentators" have to resort to all kinds of personal assults, and ignore to indulge in true scientific debate, they have already degenerated into the moral abyss, and their thinking has become warped.



Give me one example
TrollBane
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2016
@philstacy "What can be done about those volcanoes melting the Greenland ice?"
Next you'll be telling us Greenland's losing so much mass so fast just by eating right and being active.
Bongstar420
2 / 5 (4) Sep 25, 2016
Looks like Europe's in for a chill. Hope this melt passes soon which I doubt. They will be double whammied by the change in ocean current combining with low sunspot output and increasing volcanic activity.

I believe its traditionally thought that the melt from Greenland pools over the currant forming are of the Atlantic. It is said to disrupt the saline portion of the theromhaline current. Usually, warmer salter currents give up their heat to the atmosphere which then moves over Europe in the winter. These cooled, saltier waters are significantly denser than the ice sheet melts but not necessarily colder. They sink and get swept past Africa and around again.

So, the sun activity will decrease fairly substantially over the next 30years. There will also be a increase in volcanic activity. These will cool the average temperature. This will combine with the ice melt pattern and give Europe some cold weather, even if its hotter elsewhere...which it won't be as hot as expected
leetennant
5 / 5 (4) Sep 25, 2016
Of a climate scientist resorting to personal attacks instead of evidence? where? Only asked for one
tscati
5 / 5 (1) Sep 26, 2016
40 trillion pounds, how many cubic furlongs is that?


No, no, no - cubic furrowlongs is a measure of volume. Weight you should always measure in elephants.
Mike_Massen
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 26, 2016
philstacy9 asked
What can be done about those volcanoes melting the Greenland ice?
Please get a grip, one line questions without a reference doesnt wrk in your favour - it doesnt engender dialectic & it doesnt lay the groundwork for a mature discourse.

Tell us about the No. of volcanos & their combined heat output, can you do that ?

ie. Offer references, Eg thermographs, how it relate to altitude

Whilst at it be a bit more complete than ordinary unintelligent deniers & find a paper, study or other publication which shows delta altitude of the ice whether near ocean or inland, can you do that ?

My understanding, & its based on general info is the last 200yrs or so haven't seen significant volcanic active re widespread heat sources, they have only been local to within +- 100Kms or so,
now I might be wrong so find the data & prove me wrong, can you do that ?

Please be smart & compare Radiative forcing of ~ 1.5Wm^2 with ALL geothermal - can you do that ?
Mike_Massen
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 26, 2016
BartV raised a point
Even with your numbers, that means Greenland has 5.7 Quintillion (Yes, 18 zeros....) pounds of ice. What the article is talking is a very tiny tiny fraction of that
Good

So factor in all 3 forms of heat transfer with thermographs for the ice, can you do that ?

This, I expect will show, that the ice that hasn't melted (yet) over largest area which can be measured either by satellite survey or local tests suggests a sizable amount of this 5.7 Quintillion has raised its temperature so THAT more runoff ie melting has occurred, can you find that data

Because involves all 3 heat transfer modes

1. Conductive, ie ice compressed under ice shares heat by conduction
2. Convective, eg fissures carrying water obviously above zero or if (just) below under high pressure
3. Radiative, re infra red light of warmer regions absorbed by colder - which raises their temperature.

Enthalpy !

Conclusion: Massive heat to warm 5.7 Quintillion !

Capisce' ?
Mike_Massen
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 26, 2016
Bongstar420 claims
So, the sun activity will decrease fairly substantially over the next 30years
On what basis can you make such outrageous claim - as its already declined & due to reverse ?

Bongstar420 further claims
There will also be a increase in volcanic activity
Why, what causal or even historical pattern suggests this ?

Is it some faith based thing as some religious zealots claimed "god won't let it happen so we won't destroy what he made" ?

Strange as the god (if omniscient) could predict the future & then bring out an update to educate ?

Bongstar420 misses the point
These will cool the average temperature
Of what, the air of the ocean or both, haven't you learned about comparative specific heat yet - didnt I mention it before, didn't you read ?

ie Physics !

Bongstar420 wrote
.. the ice melt pattern and give Europe some cold weather, even if its hotter elsewhere...which it won't be as hot as expected
Beg Pardon seen last 16 months ?
Mike_Massen
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 26, 2016
Water_Prophet asks
... why water vapor is in the air when you can't see it
Its called physics - ie Spectra, yah know that stuff you learned in your claimed 4 degrees ?

Water_Prophet failed in Physics
In fact 20x more prevalent in intermediate latitudes and up to 80x more prevalent in the tropics
Learn Physics or appear completely dumb, been through this with you BEFORE
https://en.wikipe...ometrics

Water_Prophet claims
The day to night fluctuations in water vapor should have more impact than CO2
By how much, factor in visible to IR surface transfer - did you ?

Water_Prophet betrays his immense lack of education AND immaturity with
Further, let me tell you something about climate scientists: They aren't nearly as certain as you morons are. How 'bout that?
They know the Physics, they are concerned with 2 things, increased heat retention by way of radiative forcing AND changes to thermal flow patterns

Your only concern your ego !
Mike_Massen
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 26, 2016
Water_Prophet states
Ah, but Maggie, all I say is demonstrable
You seem to be claiming that water is *not* held up by a separate heat source and that it manages to traverse the atmosphere Despite large changes in energy/temperature Despite the proven knowledge of Psychrometry ?

How is it possible Water_Prophet, you have anything to refute Psychrometry or fail to understand it ?

Water_Prophet wrong again
Have you learned anything recently that enforces or deflates your beliefs? What is it?
Its *not* about belief, about education in Physics & the Scientific Method according to the "Balance of Probabilities"...

Water_Prophet unfortunately shows evidence he's nil education in ALL of the above !

I got my academic history/qualifications from Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia; EE 1976-1982, Ba Sci 2010, Food Science with Microbiology 2010. My student number 7602128, here is their web site check
http://www.curtin.edu.au

Your 4 degrees please ?

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