"Earth is releasing large amounts of ice into the oceans every year," said Professor John Wahr, who chaired the study. "These new results will help us answer some important questions about rising sea levels and how the cold regions on the planet play a role in global change."
Of all the ice is lost each year, about a quarter comes from glaciers and ice outside Greenland and Antarctica, whose numbers equal 148 billion tons or 39 cubic miles. Melting ice from Greenland, Antarctica, and the ice sheets and glaciers surrounding the number reached 385 billion tons or 100 cubic miles per year.
The results of this study is an important breakthrough considering this is the first time the entire glacier - in number about 200,000 glaciers around the world - were monitored simultaneously for long periods of time. Usually, the calculation is only an estimate done by using a small amount of data the work of glaciers and integrate the results with other glaciers that are not measured.
This study uses a satellite of the NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), launched in 2002. Numerous studies show unexpected results such as ice melt in the Himalayas, Pamir and Tien Shan mountains. The amount of ice that melts in the region previously estimated at 50 billion tons per year, but the calculation results show GRACE 4 billion tons per year.
"The results of calculation of GRACE in the region is staggering," said Wahr. "One possible explanation is the previous estimate based on calculations that take most of the glaciers that exist under a more accessible, then the results are generalized to the glacier at a higher location."
Although a number of findings in this NASA research results show lower results than ever before, NASA warned that melting glacial ice and sea level rise remains a serious concern related to climate change.
"The results of this study found that small glaciers and ice sheets in the world in areas such as Alaska, South America, and the Himalaya accounts for sea level rise of 0.2 inches per year," said NASA scientist Tom Wagner