Research and Application News
Glaciers lose nine trillion tonnes of ice in half a century
08 April 2019
When we think of climate change, one of the first things to come to mind is melting polar ice. However, ice loss isn't just restricted to the polar regions. According to research published today, glaciers around the world have lost well over 9000 gigatonnes (nine trillion tonnes) of ice since 1961, raising sea level by 27 mm.
An international team led by the University of Zurich in Switzerland used classical glaciological field observations combined with a wealth of information from various satellite missions to painstakingly calculate how much ice has been lost or gained by 19 different glacierised regions around the world.
Image credit: ESA, adapted from Zemp et al. (2019) Nature, and data courtesy of World Glacier Monitoring Service - Global glacier mass loss 1961–2016