A new study published March 18 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters by the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), shows that unusually high temperatures in 2019 cause huge loss of ice sheets in the Antarctic and Arctic.
The GRACE satellite is a NASA and German Aerospace Center project to observe changes in the Earth’s gravitational field. By changing the gravitational field, scientists can speculate on changes in groundwater. The spacecraft has proved particularly effective in monitoring the Earth’s water reserves, including polar ice, global sea level and groundwater.
Satellite scientists have discovered that Greenland lost 600 billion tons of ice due to unusually high temperatures in the Arctic summer of 2019, enough to raise global sea levels by 2.2 millimeters in two months. At the other end of the Antarctic, Antarctica’s ice in the Amundsen Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula is also continuing to decline, but the increase in snowfall in QueenMaud in the eastern part of the Antarctic continent has eased the situation.
Isabella Velicogna, a professor of earth systems science at uci and senior scientist at JPL, said: “We know that last summer Greenland was particularly warm, with every corner of the ice sheet melting and in large numbers. “
From 2002 to 2019, Greenland lost 455 billion tons of ice, an average of 268 billion tons a year, and 600 billion tons of ice in 2019, the researchers said. Los Angeles County residents consume only 1 billion tons of water a year.
Professor Viliconia says the ice sheet in the western part of antarctica is still melting on a massive scale. However, we have also observed that the mass of the ice sheet in the eastern part of the Antarctic continent is also increasing, which has helped to mitigate the significant losses we have seen in other parts of the continent over the past 20 years.