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Recent changes in the Earth's oblateness driven by Greenland and Antarctic ice mass loss

Edited: 2011-07-14
TitleRecent changes in the Earth's oblateness driven by Greenland and Antarctic ice mass loss
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsNerem, R. S., and J. M. Wahr
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume38
Issue13
Date Published07/2011
ISSN0094-8276
Keywordsclimate, grace, ice
AbstractWe 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.
DOI10.1029/2011GL047879
Short TitleGeophys. Res. Lett.