How much ice has melted during the last 50 years?

  1. By and large, it has been retreating glaciers, ice shelves and a general reduction in the thickness of ice masses over the last century, and more particularly, the last 25 years, that has alerted the world to the global warming. Is it known by how much, approximately, the worlds store of ice has been reduced during the last half century?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. According to this study global ice mass loss is ~749 km3 per year from 2002 - 2007
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  4. Figure TS.15 on Page 47 of the following list the amount of heat energy that has gone into various parts of the earth between 1961 to 2003:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-ts.pdf

    Heat energy in 10^22 joules:

    Oceans 14.2
    Glaciers 0.22
    Greenland 0.02
    Antarctic 0.06
    Continents 0.76
    Atmosphere 0.5
    Artic Sea Ice 0.15
    Total 15.91

    Percentage wise, it looks like this:

    Oceans 89%
    Glaciers 1%
    Greenland 0.1%
    Antarctic 0.4%
    Continents 5%
    Atmosphere 3%
    Artic Sea Ice 1%

    Notice that "ice" is broken up into 4 components.
    Total ice melt is 4.5 10^21 joules or about 3% of total global warming between 1961 to 2003.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thead via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?