Published on 7 December 2018
Using a 25-year record of ESA satellite data, recent research shows that the pace at which Greenland is losing ice is getting faster.
The research, published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, uses radar altimetry data gathered by the ERS, Envisat and CryoSat missions between 1992 and 2016.
Radar altimeters record the height of the surface topography along the satellite’s ground track. They precisely measure the height of ice, water and land by timing the interval between the transmission and reception of very short radar pulses.
Over time, these measurements are used, for example, to work out how the height – or elevation – of huge ice sheets is changing, which, in turn, can be used to monitor ice loss.