Five-fold Increase in Polar Ice Melting

Recently, a study was published in the journal Earth System Science Data. It included 50 satellite surveys of Antarctica and Greenland taken between 1992 and 2020.

  • The researchers found that Earth’s polar ice sheets lost 7,560 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2020, which is equivalent to an ice cube that would be 20 km in height.
  • The seven worst years for polar ice sheet melting and loss of ice have occurred during the past decade, with 2019 being the worst year on record.
  • The melting ice sheets now account for a quarter of all sea level rise, a fivefold increase since the 1990s.
  • Melting of the polar ice sheets has caused a 21 millimetres (mm) rise in global sea level since 1992.
  • Almost two thirds, or 13.5 mm, of the sea level rise originating from Greenland and one third, or 7.4 mm, from Antarctica.