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NASA MISSION TAKES STOCK OF EARTH'S MELTING LAND ICE
February 8, 2012
 

NASA MISSION TAKES STOCK OF EARTH'S MELTING LAND ICE



In the first comprehensive satellite study of its kind, a University of Colorado Boulder-led team used NASA data to calculate how much Earth's melting land ice is adding to global sea level rise. Using satellite measurements from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), the researchers measured ice loss in all of Earth's land ice between 2003 and 2010, with particular emphasis on glaciers and ice caps outside of Greenland and Antarctica. The total global ice mass lost from Greenland, Antarctica and all Earth's glaciers and ice caps over the period studied was about 4.3 trillion tons (1,000 cubic miles), adding about 12 millimeters (0.5 inches) to global sea level. That's enough ice to cover the United States 1.5 feet (0.5 meters) deep.

TRT:43
Center Contact – Alan Buis, 818-354-0474
HQ Contact – Steve Cole, 202-358-0918

For more information: http://www.csr.utexas.edu/grace/ and http://grace.jpl.nasa.gov/

Cut # 1 - Tom Wagner, Cryosphere Program Scientist NASA Headquarters, Washington

TRT - 00:17 - "This is a fascinating new result that tells us how ice around the world is melting and contributing to sea level rise. And what's so important about this result, is that it's a completely independent estimate of how we're losing snow and ice from the major glacier systems in Alaska, South America and the Himalayas."
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Cut #1 - Mike Watkins - GRACE Mission Project Scientist Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

TRT-00:26 - "What this new study provides is really the first comprehensive inventory of how glacial ice mass is changing over the whole world. So not just the polar ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica that we've been studying quite a bit for the last decade but these smaller regions. These small mountain glacier regions, Alaska and many other regions in a completely global and comprehensive and much more accurate way than we've had up until this time."
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