Planet Earth has lost 28 trillion tonnes of ice in just 23 years.


First published in August 2020.


Between 1994 and 2017, the surface of the Earth lost a staggering 28 trillion tonnes of ice.

The stunning revelation comes from a team of scientists at Leeds and Edinburgh universities as well as the University of London. Their findings were published in online journal Cryosphere Discussions, stating that there can be little doubt that the cause is global warming.

Group member Tom Slater was quoted by the Guardian as he put the figure into perspective. He said that 28 trillion tonnes of ice would cover the entire surface of the UK with a sheet of frozen water that is 100 metres thick,” and that “it’s just mind-blowing.”

The infographic below breaks the ice loss down by category with Arctic sea ice experiencing the largest decline since 1994, losing 7.6 trillion tonnes. Antarctic ice shelves and mountain glaciers had the second highest decline in the report with more than 6 trillion tonnes each.

Amount of ice lost globally between 1994 and 2017 (in trillion tonnes). / Statista





[This piece was first published in Statista & written by Niall McCarthy, Data Journalist at Statista.]

(Cover: - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy steamed south in the Arctic Ocean toward the edge of the sea ice.)


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