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Mass Balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet: An Assessment of Yearly Ice Accumulation
Vaughn, D.G., Bamber, J.L., Giovinetto, M., Russell, J. and Cooper, A.P.R.  1999.  Reassessment of net surface mass balance in Antarctica.  Journal of Climate 12: 933-946.

What was done
The authors used more than 1800 published and unpublished in situ measurements of the surface mass balance of Antarctica to produce an updated assessment of yearly ice accumulation over the continent.

What was learned
Their results indicate that the "total net surface mass balance for the conterminous grounded ice sheet is 1811 Gton yr-1 (149 kg m-2 yr-1) and for the entire ice sheet including ice shelves and embedded ice rises, 2288 Gton yr-1 (166 kg m-2 yr-1)."

What it means
The authors note that "these values are around 18% and 7% higher than the estimates widely adopted at present," which were derived about 15 years ago.  Hence, they are indicative of the fact that net icefall on Antarctica may well be somewhat greater than what has been believed over the last decade and a half.  Nevertheless, because of uncertainties in these numbers, as well as in those representing the total mass of ice lost from the ice sheet and ice shelves, the authors note that "we are still unable to determine even the sign of the contribution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to recent sea level change."

Reviewed 1 March 2000