November 29, 2012 — An international team of 47 researchers from 26 laboratories have teamed up to study ice sheet loss at the poles. Researchers are calling their findings 'extraordinary', with a nearly five-fold increase in sheet loss over the past two decades.
According to an international team of researchers, the combined rate of melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica has increased substantially, losing three times more ice today than twenty years ago.
The study involved the use of detailed algorithms and satellite data.
NASA says the findings are more than twice as accurate than previous attempts to quantify ice sheet loss at both poles.
The melt has contributed to a 0.95 mm rise in sea level, with about two-thirds of the loss coming from Greenland.
"Without these efforts, we would not be in a position to tell people with confidence how Earth's ice sheets have changed, and to end the uncertainty that has existed for many years," said professor Andrew Shepherd of the University of Leeds, who helped coordinate the study.
The findings have been published in the latest issue of the journal Science.