A recently published study has produced the first ever global assessment of glacier mass loss using satellite radar altimetry, in particular ESA’s CryoSat-2 satellite and a breakthrough way of using its data.
The results show that between 2010 and 2020, glaciers lost a total of 272 ± 11 gigatonnes of ice, which is equivalent to a loss of 2% of their total volume during the 10-year study period. The study also provides a global picture of the drivers of glacier ice loss, revealing that 89% of all the loss in ice is due to interaction with the atmosphere, while the ocean drives 10% of the loss. However, in regions where the ocean is changing rapidly, such as the Barents and Kara Seas or around Antarctica, ocean interaction is responsible for the majority of the ice loss.
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