Antarctica ice sheet mass balance

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The mass balance of the Antarctica ice sheet is one of the sources of uncertainty about the sea-level rise. However it is not easy to determine the mass balance due to a lack of knowledge of the physical processes affecting both the ice dynamics and the polar climate. Other limitations are the long time lag between a perturbation and its effect, but also the lack of reliable data, the size of the continent and finally the huge range of variability involved. This article examines the results given by three different ways of estimating mass balance, first by measuring the difference between mass input and output, second by monitoring the changing geometry of the continent and third by modelling both the dynamic and climatic evolution of the continent. The concluding synthesis suggests that the East Antarctica ice sheet is more or less in balance, except for a slight signature of Holocene warming, which is still active at the current time. On the contrary, the West Antarctica ice sheet seems to be more sensitive to current warming. To cite this article: F. Rémy, M. Frezzotti, C. R. Geoscience 338 (2006). © 2006 Académie des sciences.




Rémy, F., & Frezzotti, M. (2006). Antarctica ice sheet mass balance. Comptes Rendus - Geoscience, 338(14–15), 1084–1097.

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