Articles | Volume 15, issue 1
Review article
 | Highlight paper
25 Jan 2021
Review article | Highlight paper |  | 25 Jan 2021

Review article: Earth's ice imbalance

Thomas Slater, Isobel R. Lawrence, Inès N. Otosaka, Andrew Shepherd, Noel Gourmelen, Livia Jakob, Paul Tepes, Lin Gilbert, and Peter Nienow

Data sets

Global and regional glacier mass changes from 1961 to 2016 (Version 1.0.0) M. Zemp, M. Huss, E. Thibert, N. Eckert, R. McNabb, J. Huber, and J. G. Cogley

Annual glacier elevation change rate raster dataset, South American Andes 2000 and 2011-2015 M. H. Braun, P. Malz, C. Sommer, D. Farías-Barahona, T. Sauter, G. Casassa, A. Soruco, P. Skvarca, and T. Seehaus

South American Andes elevation changes from 2000 to 2018, links to GeoTIFFs I. Dussaillant, E. Berthier, F. Brun, M. Masiokas, R. Hugonnet, V. Favier, A. Rabatel, P. Pitte, and L. Ruiz

Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017 ( The IMBIE Team

Mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2018 ( The IMBIE Team

Data from: Interannual variations in meltwater input to the Southern Ocean from Antarctic ice shelves S. Adusumilli, H. A. Fricker, B. C. Medley, L. Padman, and M. R. Siegfried

Antarctic Digital Database, Version 7.2 SCAR


The requested paper has a corresponding corrigendum published. Please read the corrigendum first before downloading the article.

Short summary
Satellite observations are the best method for tracking ice loss, because the cryosphere is vast and remote. Using these, and some numerical models, we show that Earth has lost 28 trillion tonnes (Tt) of ice since 1994 from Arctic sea ice (7.6 Tt), ice shelves (6.5 Tt), mountain glaciers (6.1 Tt), the Greenland (3.8 Tt) and Antarctic ice sheets (2.5 Tt), and Antarctic sea ice (0.9 Tt). It has taken just 3.2 % of the excess energy Earth has absorbed due to climate warming to cause this ice loss.