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UB climate scientists among authors of Altmetric Top 100 paper

Beata Csatho makes gravity measurements on the Greenland Ice Sheet. A small plane is in the background.

Beata Csatho, chair of the Department of Geology, makes gravity measurements on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Csatho and  former UB postdoctoral researcher and PhD graduate Greg Babonis are among the co-authors of a paper on Antarctic ice loss that was ranked No. 26 on Altmetric’s list of the 100 most-mentioned scholarly articles of 2018. Photo: Robert Thomas

By CHARLOTTE HSU

Published January 7, 2019

A study on Antarctic ice loss — co-authored by UB geologists — ranked No. 26 on Altmetric’s list of the 100 most-mentioned scholarly articles of 2018.

The paper, “Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017,” was published in Nature in June 2018 by an international consortium of researchers known as the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE).

Beata Csatho, chair of UB’s Department of Geology and an internationally known climate scientist, was among co-authors, as well as Greg Babonis, a former UB postdoctoral researcher and PhD graduate.

The research found that ice losses from Antarctica have increased average global sea level by about 7.6 millimeters between 1992 and 2017.

“If you take the big picture, when we compared before and after 2012, there was a three-times increase in the amount of melting,” Csatho told The Atlantic, one of many news outlets around the world that covered the study.

The 2018 Altmetric Top 100 is a list created by Altmetric, a data science company that tracks online activity around scholarly literature, including mentions in mainstream media, policy documents, social networks, blogs and other forums. These metrics help measure the influence and reach of scholarly work.

UB’s climate scientists are engaged in a number of important projects that aim to improve understanding of how ice sheets and glaciers will contribute to sea level rise in a warming world.

Csatho, for example, has been heavily involved in developing the technology that scientists are now using to monitor ice loss in Antarctica and Greenland. From 2011-14, she led the Science Definition Team that helped determine the scientific requirements for NASA’s new Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2, which launched in 2018 and provides detailed measurements of the elevation of glaciers and ice sheets on Earth.