The ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica have been shrinking more rapidly in recent years, with the biggest losses in Greenland, according to data collected from NASA satellites. Scientists warn that the loss of both polar sheets — the most extreme possibility — could cause seas to rise 220 feet. Note that 1 gigaton equals 1 billion tons.

Source: “Land Ice,” NASA, updated Jan. 26, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/mnwrl4e

Data for the graphic are as follows:

Date of Measurement Gains and Losses in Antarctica's Ice Mass, in Gigatons of ice Gains and Losses in Greenland's Ice Mass, in Gigatons of ice
May 8, 2002 62.1 14.6
May 12, 2003 −29.3 1.2
May 15, 2004 −98.4 −269.6
May 16, 2005 −285.7 −429.6
May 16, 2006 −178.3 −714.7
May 16, 2007 −70.2 −883.1
May 15, 2008 −518.9 −1,258.3
May 16, 2009 −572.5 −1,470.9
May 16, 2010 −727.7 −1,664.3
May 16, 2011 −1,017.8 −2,139.2
June 17, 2012 −1,028.3 −2,556.1
May 16, 2013 −994.1 −3,038.7
May 16, 2014 −1,253.6 −3,095.5
April 27, 2015 −1,735.6 −3,278.2
May 19, 2016 −1,755.3 −3,495.2
Jan. 22, 2017 −1,933.9 −3,778.7

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