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Mountain glaciers and ice caps around Antarctica make a large sea-level rise contribution
University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
University of British Columbia.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2009 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 36, no L07501Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that the sum of all contributions to sea‐level rise for the period 1961–2004 was 1.1 ± 0.5 mm a−1, leaving 0.7 ± 0.7 of the 1.8 ± 0.5 mm a−1 observed sea‐level rise unexplained. Here, we compute the global surface mass balance of all mountain glaciers and ice caps (MG&IC), and find that part of this much‐discussed gap can be attributed to a larger contribution than previously assumed from mass loss of MG&IC, especially those around the Antarctic Peninsula. We estimate global surface mass loss of all MG&IC as 0.79 ± 0.34 mm a−1 sea‐level equivalent (SLE) compared to IPCC's 0.50 ± 0.18 mm a−1. The Antarctic MG&IC contributed 28% of the global estimate due to exceptional warming around the Antarctic Peninsula and high sensitivities to temperature similar to those we find in Iceland, Patagonia and Alaska.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 36, no L07501
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-26948DOI: 10.1029/2008GL037020ISI: 000264860400003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-26948DiVA: diva2:212059
Available from: 2009-04-21 Created: 2009-04-21 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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