A recent article by Ben Smith and others in Science uses satellite laser altimetry to show the extent of ice sheet mass loss since 2003. With Earth's ice sheets melting and sea levels rising, it is important to understand better which climate processes are responsible for how much of the mass loss. Smith and others estimated grounded and floating ice mass change for the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets from 2003 to 2019 using satellite laser altimetry data from NASA's ICESat and ICESat-2 satellites. They show how changing ice flow, melting, and precipitation affect different regions of ice and estimate that grounded-ice loss averaged close to 320 gigatons per year over that period and contributed 14 millimeters to sea-level rise.

Read more: Science, 12 Jun 2020: Vol. 368, Issue 6496, pp. 1239-1242. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz5845

Greenland Antarctica Mass Loss Smith 2020