International collaboration of polar scientists


The IMBIE2 project combines ice sheet mass balance data to improve estimates of how changes in ice-sheets are contributing to rising sea levels.

IMBIE (Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise) is an international collaboration of polar scientists studying ice sheets, which are an important indicator of climate change and driver of sea-level rise. Different scientific groups are processing data using different Earth Observation techniques to compute time series and rates of ice sheet mass change. IMBIE unites the contribution of more than 90 scientists over 50 international organisations.

In 2018, IMBIE published in Nature the results of a study on the mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017 that combined 24 satellite surveys and that showed that ice losses from Antarctica have increased global sea levels by 7.6 mm since 1992, with two fifths of this rise (3.0 mm) coming in the last five years alone. (See Figure above, left.)

In 2019, IMBIE published a new paper in Nature showing that Greenland has lost enough ice to push global sea levels up by 10.6 millimetres. According to this study, Greenland’s ice losses are rising faster than expected. The findings show also that half of the ice losses were due to surface melting as air temperatures have risen, and the other half has been due to increased glacier flow, triggered by rising ocean temperatures. (See Figure above, right.)

isardSAT is responsible for the collection, homogenisation and combination of satellite processed data from different scientific institutions to estimate the ice sheet mass loss from the Antarctic and Greenland.

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Read our paper showing that ice sheet loss is accelerating, published in Nature in 2018. One of the most featured climate papers!

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University of Leeds, isardSAT



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