EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Trends and projections in ice sheet mass balance

Andrew Shepherd1 and the The IMBIE Team*
Andrew Shepherd and the The IMBIE Team
  • 1University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment, Leeds, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

In recent decades, the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets have been major contributors to global sea-level rise and are expected to be so in the future. Although increases in glacier flow and surface melting have been driven by oceanic and atmospheric warming, the degree and trajectory of today’s imbalance remain uncertain. Here we compare and combine 26 individual satellite records of changes in polar ice sheet volume, flow and gravitational potential to produce a reconciled estimate of their mass balance. Since the early 1990’s, ice losses from Antarctica and Greenland have caused global sea-levels to rise by 18.4 millimetres, on average, and there has been a sixfold increase in the volume of ice loss over time. Of this total, 41 % (7.6 millimetres) originates from Antarctica and 59 % (10.8 millimetres) is from Greenland. In this presentation, we compare our reconciled estimates of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheet mass change to IPCC projection of sea level rise to assess the model skill in predicting changes in ice dynamics and surface mass balance.  Cumulative ice losses from both ice sheets have been close to the IPCC’s predicted rates for their high-end climate warming scenario, which forecast an additional 170 millimetres of global sea-level rise by 2100 when compared to their central estimate.

The IMBIE Team:

Andrew Shepherd1*, Erik Ivins2, Eric Rignot2,3, Ben Smith4, Michiel van den Broeke5, Isabella 386 Velicogna2,3, Pippa Whitehouse6, Kate Briggs1, Ian Joughin4, Gerhard Krinner7, Sophie Nowicki8, Tony 387 Payne9, Ted Scambos10, Nicole Schlegel2, Geruo A3, Cécile Agosta11, Andreas Ahlstrøm12, Greg 388 Babonis13, Valentina R. Barletta14, Anders A. Bjørk15, Alejandro Blazquez16, Jennifer Bonin17, William 389 Colgan12, Beata Csatho13, Richard Cullather18, Marcus E. Engdahl19, Denis Felikson8, Xavier Fettweis11, 390 Rene Forsberg14, Anna E. Hogg1, Hubert Gallee7, Alex Gardner2, Lin Gilbert20, Noel Gourmelen21, 391 Andreas Groh22, Brian Gunter23, Edward Hanna24, Christopher Harig25, Veit Helm26, Alexander 392 Horvath27, Martin Horwath22, Shfaqat Khan14, Kristian K. Kjeldsen12,28, Hannes Konrad29, Peter L. 393 Langen30, Benoit Lecavalier31, Bryant Loomis8, Scott Luthcke8, Malcolm McMillan32, Daniele Melini33, 394 Sebastian Mernild34,35,36,37, Yara Mohajerani3, Philip Moore38, Ruth Mottram30, Jeremie Mouginot3,7, 395 Gorka Moyano39, Alan Muir20, Thomas Nagler40, Grace Nield6, Johan Nilsson2, Brice Noël5, Ines 396 Otosaka1, Mark E. Pattle39, W. Richard Peltier41, Nadège Pie42, Roelof Rietbroek43, Helmut Rott40, Louise 397 Sandberg Sørensen14, Ingo Sasgen26, Himanshu Save42, Bernd Scheuchl3, Ernst Schrama44, Ludwig 398 Schröder22,26, Ki-Weon Seo45, Sebastian B. Simonsen14, Thomas Slater1, Giorgio Spada46, Tyler 399 Sutterley3, Matthieu Talpe2, Lev Tarasov31, Willem Jan van de Berg5, Wouter van der Wal44, 47, Melchior 400 van Wessem5, Bramha Dutt Vishwakarma48, David Wiese2, David Wilton49, Thomas Wagner50, Bert 401 Wouters5,47 & Jan Wuite40

How to cite: Shepherd, A. and the The IMBIE Team: Trends and projections in ice sheet mass balance, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20660,, 2020


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