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Ice Sheets and Ice Shelves  
  • The understanding of the timescale of ice-sheet response to climate change has changed dramatically over the last decade. Rapid changes in ice-sheet mass have surely contributed to abrupt changes in climate and sea level in the past. The total ice loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets for the 20 year period of 1992–2011 has been 4 260 ± 1 460 Gt, which is equivalent to 11.7 ± 4.0 mm of sea level. However, most of this ice (3 620 Gt) was lost in the second decade of the 20 year period, and the rate of change has increased steadily with time. Over the years 2007–2011, it was equivalent to 1.2 ± 0.4 mm yr–1 of sea level.
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