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pdf SCAR XXXII IP08: The Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Sea Level (ISMASS) Group

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XXXII SCAR Delegates Meeting
23-25 July 2012, Portland Oregon, USA

SCAR XXXII IP08: The Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Sea Level (ISMASS) Group 

Information Paper: 8
Agenda Item: 5.4.2
Posted/Revised: June 14
Person Responsible: Sparrow/Navarro

Executive Summary

Title: The Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Sea Level (ISMASS) Group

Authors: F Navarro, M Sparrow

Introduction/ Background:  The mass balance of a glacier or ice sheet is the net balance between the mass gained by snow deposition, and the loss of mass by melting (either at the glacier surface or under the floating ice shelves or ice tongues) and calving (production of icebergs). A negative mass balance means that a glacier is losing mass, and, for grounded glaciers and ice sheets, this mass loss directly contributes to sea level rise. This is the major reason why it is important to have accurate estimates of the mass balance of glaciers and ice sheets.

Important Issues or Factors: The ISMASS Expert Group is now a joint group of SCAR and IASC. An interim steering committee has been appointed and a workshop planned for the 14th of July in Portland (sponsored by an ICSU grant plus contributions from SCAR and partners). This workshop will plan the way ahead for ISMASS (see Appendices 3 and 4)

Expected Benefits/Outcomes:  SCAR and IASC leadership in a science area with high societal impact (sea level rise)

Partners: ICSU, IASC plus IACS, WCRP/CliC, IGS and others.

Budget Implications: Funds have been requested from SSG-PS