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Trends in Antarctic Ice Sheet Elevation and Mass

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Andrew Shepherd
  • Lin Gilbert
  • Alan Muir
  • Hannes Konrad
  • Mal McMillan
  • Thomas Slater
  • Kate Briggs
  • Aud V. Sundal
  • Anna E. Hogg
  • Marcus Engdahl
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>28/07/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Geophysical Research Letters
Issue number14
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)8174-8183
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date16/05/19
<mark>Original language</mark>English


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.