A new study published by University of Colorado at Boulder scientists has utilized NASA satellite data to accurately estimate sea level rise due to land ice melt.
Using NASA’s GRACE satellite data, researchers estimate that between 2003 and 2010 melting land ice has contributed 0.5 inches to sea level rise globally. While this may not seem like much, the 4.3 trillion tons of ice that was melted would be enough to cover the United States in 1.5 feet of ice. This is about 1,000 cubic miles of ice!
In order to measure the small changes in land ice, NASA’s GRACE satellites record minute changes in Earth’s gravitational pull caused by the movement of water.
Improved estimates of land ice melt are a crucial piece to the sea level rise puzzle and improve our understanding of the complex interactions between the atmosphere, ice, and ocean.
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