Home Database Indicators Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets

Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets


  • The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are the largest bodies of ice in the world and play an important role in the global climate system. Both ice sheets have been losing large amounts of ice at an increasing rate since 1992.
  • The cumulative ice loss from Greenland from 1992 to 2015 was 3 600 Gt and contributed to global sea level rise by approximately 10 mm; the corresponding figure for Antarctica is 1 500 Gt, which corresponds to approximately a 5 mm global sea level rise since 1992.
  • Model projections suggest further declines of the polar ice sheets in the future, but the uncertainties are large. The melting of the polar ice sheets is estimated to contribute up to 50 cm of global sea level rise during the 21st century. Very long-term projections (until the year 3000) suggest potential sea level rise of several metres with continued melting of the ice sheets.

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Published in Climate-ADAPT Jun 07 2016   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT May 21 2021

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