Trillions of tonnes of Ice Loss and Sea level


There is a new study. Titled “Global sea-level contribution from Arctic land ice: 1971–2017” and published 21st Dec, it lays out the data for the amount of ice loss and sea level rise since 1971.

The publication of this study motivated one of the authors to tweet as follows …

Quick Summary

The study itself is open access.

  • This new estimate represents the most accurate Arctic land ice mass balance assessment so far available before the 1992 start of satellite altimetry
  • They estimate that the 1971–2017 sea-level contribution from land ice north of ~55 °N to be 23mm.
  • In all regions, the cumulative sea-level rise curves exhibit an acceleration, starting especially after 1988
  • Greenland is the source of 46% of the Arctic sea-level rise contribution


Raw data can be hard to grasp, and so illustrating that data graphically is often a powerful way of relaying the story …

Within the above you can see  the cumulative sea-level rise contribution (in mm) from land ice in seven regions of the Arctic between 1971 and 2017. Analogous estimates from satellite gravimetry (GRACE) between 2003 and 2015 shown with open symbols.

There is also a YouTube clip

The following YouTube clip was edited, voiced over, and published by the lead author Jason Box to explain this new study. In essence, it is a video abstract …

Further Reading

One of the authors has also blogged the details here …. “Eight trillion tonnes of Arctic ice lost since 1971“.


You should also read the following full thread by Science journalist Chris Mooney …

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