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Review: Ice sheet mass balance and sea level


Allison, I and Alley, RB and Fricker, HA and Thomas, RH and Warner, RC, Review: Ice sheet mass balance and sea level, Antarctic Science, 21, (5) pp. 413-426. ISSN 0954-1020 (2009) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2009 Antarctic Science Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0954102009990137


Determining the mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets (GIS and AIS) has long been a major challenge for polar science. But until recent advances in measurement technology, the uncertainty in ice sheet mass balance estimates was greater than any net contribution to sea level change. The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (AR4) was able, for the first time, to conclude that, taken together, the GIS and AIS have probably been contributing to sea level rise over the period 19932003 at an average rate estimated at 0.4mm yr-1. Since the cut-off date for work included in AR4, a number of further studies of the mass balance of GIS and AIS have been made using satellite altimetry, satellite gravity measurements and estimates of mass influx and discharge using a variety of techniques. Overall, these studies reinforce the conclusion that the ice sheets are contributing to present sea level rise, and suggest that the rate of loss from GIS has recently increased. The largest unknown in the projections of sea level rise over the next century is the potential for rapid dynamic collapse of ice sheets.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctic ice sheet, sea level rise, mass balance
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Glaciology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Understanding climate change not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Allison, I (Dr Ian Allison)
UTAS Author:Warner, RC (Dr Roland Warner)
ID Code:100644
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:60
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2015-05-22
Last Modified:2015-09-08

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