• The Earth & I Editorial Team

318 Gigatons of Ice Melts Annually from Greenland and Antarctica Ice Sheets

NASA knows a thing or two about sea level changes. They’ve been measuring ocean heights via satellite since 1992. Here’s what they have learned:

  • The global sea level rises about 0.13 inches (3.3 millimeters) a year. That’s 30% more than when NASA began measuring ocean heights in 1992.

  • Around two-thirds of global sea level rise is due to meltwater from glaciers and ice sheets that cover Antarctica and Greenland.

  • Ice sheet melt contributed about 1.2 millimeters to annual sea-level rise between 2002 to 2017.

  • 318 gigatons of ice has melted per year from the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

  • Just 1 gigaton is enough to cover New York City’s Central Park in 1,000 feet of ice. The top 2,300 feet (700 meters) of the ocean has been warming since the 1970s.

  • NASA’s GRACE and GRACE-FO satellites have tracked changes in Earth’s gravity field for 18 years to measure the total mass lost from land ice.

  • Satellite altimeters have measured the height of the world's oceans and seas since 1993.

  • These altimeters show that sea levels have risen globally by about 4 inches (93 millimeters) to as much as 6 inches (150 millimeters) in some places.

Source: NASA


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