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Glaciers lose 9 trillion tonnes of ice in half a century


Glaciers around the world have lost well over 9000 gigatonnes (nine trillion tonnes) of ice since 1961, raising sea level by 27 mm according to an international team led by the University of Zurich in Switzerland and members of the Glaciers_cci project. 

The team used classical glaciological field observations combined with a wealth of information from various satellite missions to painstakingly calculate how much ice has been lost or gained by 19 different glacierised regions around the world.

The largest regional losses were in Alaska, followed by glaciers around the edge of the Greenland ice sheet and from glaciers in the southern Andes. Significant amounts of ice were also lost from glaciers in the Canadian and Russian Arctic, as well as from Svalbard.

Reference: Zemp, M et al. (2019). Global glacier mass changes and their contributions to sea-level rise from 1961 to 2016. Nature.