Melting of Ice Shelves and the Mass Balance of Antarctica

Publication Status is "Submitted" Or "In Press: 
LDEO Publication: 
Publication Type: 
Year of Publication: 
1992
Editor: 
Journal Title: 
Journal of Glaciology
Journal Date: 
Place Published: 
Tertiary Title: 
Volume: 
38
Issue: 
130
Pages: 
375-387
Section / Start page: 
Publisher: 
ISBN Number: 
0022-1430
ISSN Number: 
Edition: 
Short Title: 
Accession Number: 
ISI:A1992KB57800006
LDEO Publication Number: 
Call Number: 
Abstract: 

We calculate the present ice budget for Antarctica from measurements of accumulation minus iceberg calving, run-off and in situ melting beneath the floating ice shelves. The resulting negative mass balance of 469 Gt year-1 differs substantially from other recent estimates but some components are subject to high temporal variability and budget uncertainties of 20-50%. Annual accumulation from an earlier review is adjusted to include the Antarctic Peninsula for a total of 2144 Gt year-1. An iceberg production rate of 2016 Gt year-1 is obtained from the volume of large icebergs calculated from satellite images since 1978, and from the results of an international iceberg census project. Ice-shelf melting of 544 Gt year-1 is derived from physical and geochemical observations of meltwater outflow, glaciological field studies and modeling of the sub-ice ocean circulation. The highest melt rates occur near ice fronts and deep within sub-ice cavities. Run-off from the ice-sheet surface and from beneath the grounded ice is taken to be 53 Gt year-1. Less than half of the negative mass balance need come from the grounded ice to account for the unattributed 0.45 mm year-1 in the IPCC "best estimate" of the recent global sea-level rise.

Notes: 

Kb578Times Cited:122Cited References Count:124

DOI: