EVIDENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE – ICE SHEETS & SEA LEVEL
Antarctica is losing ice mass (melting) at an average rate of about 150 billion tons per year, and Greenlandis losing about 270 billion tons per year, adding to sea level rise.Data from NASA’s GRACE and GRACE Follow-On satellites show that the land ice sheets in both Antarctica (upper chart) and Greenland (lower chart) have been losing mass since 2002.
The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica store about two-thirds of all the fresh water on Earth. They are losing ice due to the ongoing warming of Earth’s surface and ocean. Meltwater coming from these ice sheets is responsible for about one-third of the global average rise in sea level since 1993.
Sea level rise is caused primarily by two factors related to global warming: the added water from melting ice sheets and glaciers, and the expansion of seawater as it warms. Sea levels are rising as a result of human-caused global warming, with recent rates being unprecedented over the past 2,500-plus years.