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Partitioning Recent Greenland Mass Loss

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Science  13 Nov 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5955, pp. 984-986
DOI: 10.1126/science.1178176

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GRACE and Movement Together

Recent measurements of the rate of mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet vary approximately by a factor of three. Resolving these discrepancies is essential for determining the current mass balance of the ice sheet and to project sea level rise in the future. Van den Broeke et al. (p. 984) obtained consistent estimates from two independent methods, one based on observations of ice movement combined with model calculations and the other on remote gravity measurements made by the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellites. The combination of these approaches also resolves the separate contributions of surface processes and of ice dynamics, the two major routes of ice mass loss.

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