M. Zemp, M. Huss, E. Thibert, N. Eckert, R. McNabb, J. Huber, M. Barandun, H. Machguth, S. U. Nussbaumer, I. Gärtner-Roer, L. Thomson, F. Paul, F. Maussion, S. Kutuzov, J. G. Cogley


Published date April 18, 2019

Global glacier mass changes and their contributions to sea-level rise from 1961 to 2016

  • States that estimates of changes in glacier mass have been based on the multiplication of averaged or interpolated results from available observations of a few hundred glaciers by defined regional glacier areas
  • Uses an extrapolation of glaciological and geodetic observations to show that glaciers contributed 27±22 millimetres to global mean sea-level rise from 1961 to 2016
  • Finds that regional-specific-mass-change rates for 2006–2016 range from −0.1 metres to −1.2 metres of water equivalent per year, resulting in a global sea-level contribution of 335±144 gigatonnes, or 0.92±0.39 millimetres, per year
  • States that the present glacier mass loss is equivalent to the sea-level contribution of the Greenland Ice Sheet, clearly exceeds the loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet, and accounts for 25 to 30 percent of the total observed sea-level rise
  • Concludes that present mass-loss rates indicate that glaciers could almost disappear in some mountain ranges in this century, while heavily glacierized regions will continue to contribute to sea-level rise beyond 2100