Satellite Data Confirms Accelerating Greenland Ice Sheet Loss

Nature, August 20
The Greenland Ice Sheet lost a record-breaking 532 (± 58 Gt) of ice in 2019, up around 200 Gt in the early 2000s, when it first became clear that the ice sheet was losing mass. The two GRACE satellite missions also provided new insights on the sensitivity of the Greenland Ice Sheet to climate-related changes in weather patterns, offering a near-total record of mass changes from 2002 to 2019. The Greenland ice sheet was one of the largest contributors to sea-level rise between 2003-2016, losing an average 255 Gt of ice per year and accelerating substantially after the century’s first decade. The study showed mass loss continued but was lower in 2017 and 2018 due to a low-pressure anomaly pushing cold air into the region. The 2019 record melt rate confirmed this trajectory of increasing mass loss and a soaring contribution to sea-level rise in response to Arctic warming.

Compiled by Amy Imdieke