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NASA: Measuring up sea level change

ScienceDaily (Nov. 10, 2008) — A NASA-led research team has used satellite data to make the most precise measurements to date of changes in the mass of mountain glaciers in the Gulf of Alaska, a region expected to be a significant contributor to global sea level rise over the next 50-100 years.

The study's authors found that the annual ice mass lost from glaciers in the Gulf of Alaska has been 84 gigatons annually, about five times the average annual flow of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and equal to the entire amount of water in the Chesapeake Bay.

Image Above: The mass changes of the Gulf of Alaska glaciers are computed from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) inter-satellite rate data from April 2003 through September 2007. Using space-borne gravity measurements to assess glacier mass balance NASA scientists determine mass variations along the Gulf of Alaska. Areas of deep blue like the areas around Glacier Bay and the Yakutat Icefield represent significant mass loss where inland areas of dark gray represent slight mass gains. (Credit: NASA)
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