Mass Balance of Antarctica and Sea Level Change,
WISCONSIN UNIV-MADISON GEOPHYSICAL AND POLAR RESEARCH CENTER
Pagination or Media Count:
The overall mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet has been estimated by comparison of the best available data on input in the form of snowfall with output in the form of ice flux through gates at or near the margin of the ice sheet. Surface melt is a negligible contributor to mass balance and has been ignored. Bottom melt under large ice shelves remains a major source of uncertainty. We conclude that there is probably an excess input of 2-25 of the total input, equivalent to a sea level lowering of 0.1-1.1 mm yr-l. Although errors remain, it becomes increasingly clear that an antarctic contribution to current sea level rise is unlikely. We attribute a reported iceberg flux that is larger than the mass input to a non-equilibrium breakback of the fronts of the ice shelves.
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost