150 Billion Tons February 15, 2012 : 5:21 PM

New research finds the world's glaciers and ice caps have lost 150 billion tons of ice since 2003

“Melting glaciers and ice caps are perhaps the most striking illustrations of the effects of global climate change. Surprisingly, however, there is relatively little data on just how fast the ice is disappearing.”

“Now, a new paper from researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive numbers on glacier and ice cap melt worldwide. The research, published in the journal Nature, calculates that from 2003 to 2010, the world’s glaciers and ice caps lost about 150 billion tons of ice each year. This ice loss was responsible for an average rise of four-tenths of a millimeter in sea level every year over the eight-study period.”

“The new numbers come from measurements made by the two Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites, or Grace, a joint project of NASA and German scientists. The tandem satellites, which are usually 137 miles apart, are sensitive to regional changes in the Earth’s mass and gravitational pull caused by the distribution of water and ice on the planet.”

Source: New York Times-Green Blog