Patagonia Icefield melting observed by Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)



[1] Using recently released reprocessed gravity solutions from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), we estimate the ice loss rate for the Patagonia Icefield (PIF) of South America, for the period April 2002 through December 2006. After postglacial rebound and hydrological effects are corrected, the estimated rate is −27.9 ± 11 km3/year, equivalent to an average loss of ∼−1.6 m/year ice thickness change if evenly distributed over the entire PIF area. The estimated contribution to global sea level rise is 0.078 ± 0.031 mm/year. This is an independent confirmation of relatively large melting rate estimates from earlier studies employing topographic and cartographic data.