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Hello, and welcome back to my office. This week I wanted to take a couple of minutes to set things straight about some new climate research that I think is pretty important.

As often happens when it comes to the media and climate change a lot of people are kind of missing the point here. So here's the scoop: NASA just finished the first ever comprehensive study of melting land ice, like glaciers and ice caps, and how much that melting is affecting sea level. And there are almost two hundred thousand glaciers on the planet, but only a few of them have been studied for more than a decade or so, so to get a look at the whole system together is a big deal.

Using data from two satellites the GRACE program found that between 2003 and 2010, the earth lost 4.3 trillion tons of land ice, and that lost ice adds as much as 12 millimeters to the global sea level and that was just in seven years. The satellites discovered this not by technically measuring the glaciers. What they're doing is measuring the changes in the gravitational pull of the earth caused by shifts in the earth's mass. So shifts are typically caused by the movement of water from one place on the earth to another place on the earth, for example, when water from an ice cap goes into the ocean.

Now another surprising thing that GRACE figured out is that only about a quarter of the melting was going on ice caps and glaciers outside of Greenland and Antarctica. One of the most unexpected findings is that the amount of ice mass lost at Asia's highest mountains, like the Himalaya, were much less than expected, in some cases, just about 4 billion tons of ice lost a year instead of 50 billion tons. There were even some areas where the amount of ice grew slightly.

So there's a lot of data in here. That's good, we need to know more about this stuff. But with so much to consider and media always being interested in the most interesting headlines, we started to get headlines like this [The Himalayas and nearby peaks have lost no ice in past 10 years, study shows] and like this [An Unsettling Week For Global Warming's 'Settled Science'], and suddenly there was a lot of crowing about how "some glacier melt was less than we feared" and "this would cast doubt on all the other estimates."

But to put these new findings in perspective, let's take a look at this video that the GRACE team provided. The yellow dots are glaciers and highland ice caps all over the earth. Now as it zooms around you'll see that some areas turn blue; that's where most of the ice mass is being lost. Similarly, red stands for where ice mass is being gained. If you can make out some of those pink spots, that's as red as it gets.

The fact is, the GRACE data actually seemed to confirm estimates made in 2010 about how much melting land ice is contributing to sea level rise overall. But more importantly, for us all, it confirms that sea level is rising, and fast. What science here is telling us is that melt-water is coming in different proportions and from different regions than we expected. So using this study to cast doubt on the fact that climate is changing is kind of like me continuing my all corn dog diet, because after seven years I gained just as much weight as I would afraid I would, just ended up being surprising areas of my body. I mean, hypothetically.

And so, this is good, information is good, hooray for data! Because now I know that the sea level rose half an inch between the time when I saw X-Men 2 and when I saw Deathly Hallows Part 1. Anything that helps me and you and scientists help understand why and where all that's coming from is good, and if the Himalaya aren't melting super fast, putting millions of people who live downstream at risk, so much the better.

Have a news tip, or an idea for an episode? Let me know what you think through Facebook or Twitter or in the comments below. We'll see you next week, if not sooner, with more breaking SciShow soon.