Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




ICE WORLD
Wheels Up for Extensive Survey of Arctic Ice
by Staff Writers
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Mar 16, 2011


illustration only

Researchers and flight crew arrived in Thule, Greenland, on Monday, March 14, for the start of NASA's 2011 Operation IceBridge, an airborne mission to study changes in Arctic polar ice. This year's plans include surveys of Canadian ice caps and expanded international collaboration.

The state of Earth's polar ice sheets, glaciers and sea ice is an important indicator of climate change and plays a key role in regulating global climate. With IceBridge, NASA is pushing ahead with its commitment to keep an eye on changes to polar ice to better understand the effects of climate change.

Since 2009, Operation IceBridge has flown annual campaigns over the Arctic starting in March and over Antarctica starting in October.

The mission extends the multi-year record of ice elevation measurements made by NASA's Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), which stopped collecting data in 2009, and the upcoming ICESat-2, scheduled for launch in 2016.

"Each successive IceBridge campaign has broadened in scope," said IceBridge project scientist Michael Studinger of Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

"This year, we have more flight hours and flight plans than ever before. We are looking forward to a busy, fruitful campaign."

The first science flight is scheduled for this week, pending favorable weather. For almost 10 weeks, researchers will operate an array of airborne instruments collecting data over Arctic land and sea ice.

Among the highest priority flights is an overnight transit to Fairbanks, Alaska, to collect sea ice thickness data across a slice of the Arctic Ocean. Sea ice is thought to be thinning in recent years in addition to shrinking in the area covered.

Another high-priority flight plan is to fly over the Barnes and Devon ice caps of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

"The Canadian ice caps are notably smaller than the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, but are still significant potential contributors to sea-level change in the next few decades," said Charles Webb, deputy cryosphere program manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

"They also serve as potential early-warning indicators, responding more sensitively to temperature changes than the more massive ice sheets."

The IceBridge campaign also plans to fly for the first time over the European Space Agency's ground-based calibration sites for their ice-observing satellite, CryoSat-2. Flights over calibration sites ultimately are expected to provide data to evaluate and improve remote-sensing measurements.

Still other IceBridge missions will retrace paths flown in previous years, such as flights over Petermann, Jacobshavn, Kangerlussuak and Helheim glaciers. With this multi-year data, scientists can begin to see how such glaciers - the outlets through which Greenland loses mass from its ice sheet - are changing, where ice loss is slowing or accelerating, and why.

The P-3B aircraft from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., will fly from Thule and Kagerlussuaq, Greenland, carrying a suite of instruments.

The Airborne Topographic Mapper measures changes in the surface elevation of the ice by reflecting lasers from the ground back to the aircraft and converting the readings into elevation maps.

Radar instruments onboard the P-3B from the University of Kansas' Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets in Lawrence, Kan., allow scientists to see snow and ice characteristics at the surface and down to the bedrock.

A gravity instrument from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., is used to peer below floating ice to determine the shape of water-filled cavities below.

Another laser altimeter, the Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor, operates at higher altitudes to survey large areas. This altimeter will fly solo out of Kangerlussuaq on the King Air B-200, an aircraft based at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

The IceBridge campaign is led by Goddard. The Earth Science Project Office at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., is responsible for integration of science experiments on the aircraft and mission logistics.

.


Related Links
Operation Ice Bridge web site
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
Arctic-Wide Measurements Verify Rapid Ozone Depletion In Recent Days
Potsdam, Germany (SPX) Mar 15, 2011
Unusually low temperatures in the Arctic ozone layer have recently initiated massive ozone depletion. The Arctic appears to be heading for a record loss of this trace gas that protects the Earth's surface against ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This result has been found by measurements carried out by an international network of over 30 ozone sounding stations spread all over the Arcti ... read more


ICE WORLD
LRO Delivers Treasure Trove Of Data

Goddard's Chief Scientist Talks About The 'Supermoon' Phenomenon

A 'Supermoon' Did Not Cause The Japanese Earthquake

LRO Images Lunar Farside In Stunning Detail

ICE WORLD
Time Is Now For Human Mission To Mars

Color View From Orbit Shows Mars Rover Beside Crater

Testing Mars Missions In Morocco

Rover Snaps Close-Up of 'Ruiz Garcia'

ICE WORLD
Health experts sound warning over iodine rush

US, Russia sign deal to transport astronauts until 2016

Winds blowing radioactivity offshore, away from Japan: WMO

NASA Seeks Partners To Manage Night Rover, Nano-Sat Launcher Challenges

ICE WORLD
What Future for Chang'e-2

China setting up new rocket production base

China's Tiangong-1 To Be Launched By Modified Long March II-F Rocket

China Expects To Launch Fifth Lunar Probe Chang'e-5 In 2017

ICE WORLD
Paolo Nespoli's MagISStra Mission At Midway Point

NASA books seats on Soyuz through 2015

Fasting For Science On ISS

Russia delays ISS launch for 'technical reasons'

ICE WORLD
Ariane 5 Moves To Final Assembly Building

NASA Unveiling New Rocket Integration Facility At Wallops

Falcon 9 To Launch SES-8 To GTO In 2013

SES gives SpaceX first geostationary satellite launch deal

ICE WORLD
Report Identifies Priorities For Planetary Science 2013-2022

Planetary Society Statement On Planetary Science Decadal Survey For 2013-2022

Meteorite Tells Of How Planets Are Born In A Swirl Of Dust

Planet Formation In Action

ICE WORLD
Radiation 'not threat outside nuclear plant zone'

Hong Kong extends 'black' travel alert for Japan

US warns citizens near Japan nuclear plant to leave

Chinese snap up salt amid Japan nuclear scare




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