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Shrinking polar ice caused one-fifth of sea level rise

Comprehensive analysis quantifies ice sheet loss in Greenland and Antarctica

Scientists now have one polar ice study to rule them all. An international team of researchers has compiled 20 years of data from 10 satellite missions to create the most comprehensive assessment to date of Greenland’s and Antarctica’s shrinking ice sheets.

And the verdict: Between 1992 and 2011, the Greenland ice sheet lost 2,940 billion metric tons of ice while the Antarctic ice sheet shed 1,320 billion metric tons. All that water raised the sea level by an average of 11.1 millimeters, accounting for one-fifth of sea level rise over that period, the team reports in the Nov. 30 Science.

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