Partitioning recent Greenland mass loss

Michiel van den Broeke, Jonathan Bamber, Janneke Ettema, Eric Rignot, Ernst Schrama, Willem Jan van de Berg, Erik van Meijgaard, Isabella Velicogna, Bert Wouters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

573 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mass budget calculations, validated with satellite gravity observations [from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites], enable us to quantify the individual components of recent Greenland mass loss. The total 2000–2008 mass loss of ~1500 gigatons, equivalent to 0.46 millimeters per year of global sea level rise, is equally split between surface processes (runoff and precipitation) and ice dynamics. Without the moderating effects of increased snowfall and refreezing, post-1996 Greenland ice sheet mass losses would have been 100% higher. Since 2006, high summer melt rates have increased Greenland ice sheet mass loss to 273 gigatons per year (0.75 millimeters per year of equivalent sea level rise). The seasonal cycle in surface mass balance fully accounts for detrended GRACE mass variations, confirming insignificant subannual variation in ice sheet discharge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)984-986
JournalScience
Volume326
Issue number5955
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ADLIB-ART-2866
  • ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE

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