Recent changes in the Earth's oblateness driven by Greenland and Antarctic ice mass loss
Article first published online: 13 JUL 2011
Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 38, Issue 13, July 2011
How to Cite
2011), Recent changes in the Earth's oblateness driven by Greenland and Antarctic ice mass loss, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L13501, doi:10.1029/2011GL047879., and (
- Issue published online: 13 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 13 JUL 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 MAY 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 25 MAY 2011
- Manuscript Received: 20 APR 2011
 We use temporal gravity variations from GRACE to investigate changes in a 34-year time series of Earth's oblateness (J2) observed by satellite laser ranging (SLR). We use 2002–2010 GRACE data to compute the effects of Greenland and Antarctic ice mass variations on J2 (2.0 and 1.7 × 10−11/year respectively). Their combined effect on the J2 trend during the GRACE mission is 3.7 × 10−11/year, which agrees well with the GIA-corrected SLR J2 trend over the same time period. The results suggest that at least since 2002, ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica has been the dominant contributor to the current GIA-corrected J2 trend, which apparently began sometime in the 1990s.