Articles | Volume 15, issue 1
The Cryosphere, 15, 233–246, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-233-2021
The Cryosphere, 15, 233–246, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-233-2021

Review article 25 Jan 2021

Review article | 25 Jan 2021

Review article: Earth's ice imbalance

Thomas Slater et al.

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 https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1492141

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 https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.893612

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 https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.903618

Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017 (http://imbie.org/data-downloads/) The IMBIE Team https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0179-y

Mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2018 (http://imbie.org/data-downloads/) The IMBIE Team https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1855-2

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 https://doi.org/10.6075/J04Q7SHT

Antarctic Digital Database, Version 7.2 SCAR https://www.add.scar.org/

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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.