‘More than 7tn tonnes of ice has been lost in 30 years’

Ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland is to blame for a quarter of the world’s sea level rises, scientists have found

Big Zero Report 2023

Since 1992, more than 7.5 trillion tonnes of frozen mass has been lost at the world’s poles.

That’s according to the latest research by the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Intercomparison Exercise (IMBIE), claiming that ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland is to blame for a quarter of the world’s sea level rises.

This represents a five-fold increase from three decades ago, utilising satellite data to back up measurements.

The melting frozen mass since 1992 has led to a 21mm rise in sea levels, the scientists have found.

Form the last 30 years, the worsts year for melting was 2019, due to a heatwave – with 612 billion tonnes of ice sheets lost.

IMBIE Founder Professor Andrew Shepherd from Northumbria University said: “Accelerating ice sheet losses mean we’re looking in the next decade at a marked rise in the rate of sea level rise.

“In past decades, it’s been about 3mm a year. Soon, we will see 4mm, 5mm, 6mm per year – and this will be a big psychological change from what we’ve been used to.”

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