Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




ICE WORLD
NASA Begins Airborne Campaign to Map Greenland Ice Sheet Summer Melt
by Staff Writers
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Nov 5, 2013


File image.

For the first time, a NASA airborne campaign will measure changes in the height of the Greenland Ice Sheet and surrounding Arctic sea ice produced by a single season of summer melt.

NASA's C-130 research aircraft flew from the Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., to Greenland Wednesday where they will conduct survey flights to collect data that will improve our understanding of seasonal melt and provide baseline measurements for future satellite missions. Flights are scheduled to continue through Nov. 16.

The land and sea ice data gathered during this campaign will give researchers a more comprehensive view of seasonal changes and provide context for measurements that will be gathered during NASA's ICESat-2 mission, which is scheduled for launch in 2016.

"The more ground we cover the more comparison points we'll have for ICESat-2," said Bryan Blair of Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., principal investigator for the Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor, or LVIS.

Warm summer temperatures lead to a decline in ice sheet elevation that often can be significant in low-lying areas along the Greenland coast. In past years, the Jakobshavn Glacier, located in the lower elevations of western Greenland, has experienced declines of nearly 100 feet in elevation over a single summer. Higher elevations farther inland see less dramatic changes, usually only a few inches, caused by pockets of air in the snowpack that shrink as temperatures warm.

"Surface melt is more than half of the story for Greenland's mass loss," said Ben Smith, senior physicist at the University of Washington's Advanced Physics Laboratory, Seattle, and member of the science team that selected flight lines for this campaign. The rest of Greenland's mass loss comes from ice flowing downhill into the ocean, often breaking off to form icebergs, and from melting at the base of the ice sheet.

Researchers will measure ice elevation using the LVIS laser altimeter and the LVIS-GH, a new, smaller version designed to fly on NASA's Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle. LVIS and LVIS-GH will measure separate but overlapping swaths of the ice from an altitude of 28,000 feet.

The C-130 carrying both instruments will fly out of Thule and Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, allowing researchers to sample both high- and low-elevation ice and a variety of geographic areas.

"We plan to concentrate our flights on areas northwest, southeast and southwest Greenland and the Arctic Ocean," said Michelle Hofton, LVIS mission scientist at Goddard and the University of Maryland, College Park. "The measurements we collect along lines sampled in IceBridge's spring 2013 Arctic campaign will allow scientists to assess changes over the summer."

Flying from Thule also will allow mission scientists to gather data on Arctic sea ice shortly after it reaches its annual minimum extent. This will help researchers get a clearer picture of what happens over the summer. It also will help researchers gather new data on snow covering sea ice when combined with information collected by the European Space Agency's CryoSat-2 polar-monitoring satellite. LVIS detects the snow surface while CryoSat's radar sees through snow to find the top of the ice. Researchers can combine these measurements to calculate snow depth.

"This will be crucial for assessing the snow cover on sea ice during a very different time of year," said Nathan Kurtz, sea ice scientist at Goddard.

.


Related Links
IceSat-2 at NASA
Beyond the Ice Age






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ICE WORLD
Families ask Ottawa to demand Russia release activists
Ottawa (AFP) Oct 30, 2013
The families of two Canadian Greenpeace activists detained in Russia over an Arctic oil drilling protest pleaded Wednesday for Ottawa to further pressure Moscow to release them. The Netherlands brought a case against Russia to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, while the leaders of Germany, Britain and others have spoken out against the detentions. But Ottawa has remained ... read more


ICE WORLD
Crowdfunded Lunar Spacecraft Reaches Funding Milestone

LADEE Continues To Settle Into Operational Lunar Orbit

NASA's moon landing remembered as a promise of a 'future which never happened'

Russia could build manned lunar base

ICE WORLD
India reaches for Mars on prestige space mission

India mission to Mars blasts off successfully

Mars Mission: India's Tryst with the Red Planet

Martian box of delights

ICE WORLD
A look at recent tech sector IPOs

NASA's Orion Spacecraft Comes to Life

Flights of Fancy

NewSpace Business Plan Competition 2013 Winners Announced

ICE WORLD
China shows off moon rover model before space launch

China providing space training

China launches experimental satellite Shijian-16

China Moon Rover A New Opportunity To Explore Our Nearest Neighbor

ICE WORLD
Spaceflight Joins with NanoRacks to Deploy Satellites from the ISS

Crew Completes Preparations for Soyuz Move

Mission accomplished for Europe's cargo freighter

Soyuz changes parking spots at space station, making way for new crew

ICE WORLD
Kazakhstan say Baikonur launch site may be open to Western countries

ESA Swarm launch postponed

Europe's fifth ATV for launch by Arianespace begins its pre-flight checkout at the Spaceport

ILS Proton Launches Sirius FM-6 Satellite

ICE WORLD
One in five Sun-like stars may have Earth-like planets

Mystery World Baffles Astronomers

Researchers discover that an exoplanet is Earth-like in mass and size

'Hellish' exoplanet has Earth-like mass: research

ICE WORLD
Plasmonic crystal alters to match light-frequency source

Virtually numbed: Immersive video gaming alters real-life experience

New material for quantum computing discovered out of the blue

Google boss says US data spying is "outrageous"




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement