Estimated changes of the ice mass in Greenland 1992-2006

Figure Created 12 Nov 2009 Published 12 Nov 2009 Last modified 29 Nov 2012
Note: The rectangles depict the time period of the observations (horizontal) and the upper and lower estimates of mass balance for that period (vertical), calculated by different techniques as marked with colour codes


Additional information

The uncertainty in assessing the trend is largest in periods when the vertical parts of rectangles from different estimates do not overlap. The main factors determining whether the Greenland ice sheet gains or loses ice (mass balance) are: (1) Surface mass balance = the difference between net snow accumulation and loss from melting (meltwater runoff and evaporation) and (2) Dynamic ice loss from the movements of glaciers, leading to ice berg calving.

Geographical coverage note: Greenland

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