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TitleGlobal sea-level contribution from Arctic land ice: 1971-2017
AuthorBox, J E; Colgan, W T; Wouters, B; Burgess, D OORCID logo; O'Neel, S; Thomson, L I; Mernild, S H
SourceEnvironmental Research Letters vol. 13, no. 12, 125012, 2018 p. 1-11, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20180345
PublisherIOP Publishing
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
ProvinceCanada; Nunavut; Northwest Territories; British Columbia; Newfoundland and Labrador
NTS13; 14; 15; 16; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69; 73; 74; 75; 76; 77; 78; 79; 83; 84; 85; 86; 87; 88; 89; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97; 98; 99; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; 114O; 114P; 115; 116; 117; 120; 340; 560
AreaArctic; Alaska; Canada; Denmark; Greenland; Iceland; Norway; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Russian Federation; United States of America
Lat/Long WENS-180.0000 180.0000 90.0000 55.0000
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -50.0000 90.0000 41.7500
Subjectsenvironmental geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; hydrogeology; geophysics; Nature and Environment; sea level changes; glaciers; ice; hydrologic environment; climate; satellite geodesy; gravimetric analyses; modelling; statistical analyses; Ice caps; Climate change; monitoring
Illustrationslocation maps; histograms; time series; tables
ProgramGSC Atlantic Division
Released2018 12 21
AbstractThe Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP2017) report identifies the Arctic as the largest regional source of land ice to global sea-level rise in the 2003-2014 period. Yet, this contextualization ignores the longer perspective from in situ records of glacier mass balance. Here, using 17 (>55 °N latitude) glacier and ice cap mass balance series in the 1971-2017 period, we develop a semi-empirical estimate of annual sea-level contribution from seven Arctic regions by scaling the in situ records to GRACE averages. We contend that our estimate represents the most accurate Arctic land ice mass balance assessment so far available before the 1992 start of satellite altimetry. We estimate the 1971-2017 eustatic sea-level contribution from land ice north of ~55 °N to be 23.0±12.3mm sea-level equivalent (SLE). In all regions, the cumulative sea-level rise curves exhibit an acceleration, starting especially after 1988. Greenland is the source of 46% of the Arctic sea-level rise contribution (10.6±7.3mm), followed by Alaska (5.7±2.2mm), Arctic Canada (3.2±0.7mm) and the Russian High Arctic (1.5±0.4mm). Our annual results exhibit co-variability over a 43 year overlap (1971-2013) with the alternative dataset of Marzeion et al (2015 Cryosphere 9:2399-2404) (M15). However, we find a 1.36 × lower sea-level contribution, in agreement with satellite gravimetry. The IPCC Fifth Assessment report identified constraining the pre-satellite era sea-level budget as a topic of low scientific understanding that we address and specify sea-level contributions coinciding with IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) 'present day' (2005-2015) and 'recent past' (1986-2005) reference periods. We assess an Arctic land ice loss of 8.3mm SLE during the recent past and 12.4mm SLE during the present day. The seven regional sea-level rise contribution time series of this study are available from
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Contributions to global sea-level rise from glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets in the Northern hemisphere have been poorly quantified due to the absence of adequate satellite technology to measure broad scale changes in mass across the Earths surface prior to 2002. In this study, we use correlate field measurements of glacier change to post-2002 broad scale measurements of glacier change performed by GRACE ¿ ¿Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment¿, and extrapolate the measurements of mass change to the full 1971 ¿ 2015 time period based on variations (anomalies) in the field measurement data. Expanding the time series of total mass change of glaciers and ice caps in the northern hemisphere over this period helps improve our knowledge of factors affecting global sea level change and the impacts of climate change on regional ice masses in the northern hemisphere over the past 40+ years.

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