Cryospheric Research Roundup

July 2016

IceBridge’s Summer Campaign In Alaska

Operation IceBridge conducted a short summer campaign in July to study Arctic sea ice melt. The flights, carried July 13-21 from Barrow, Alaska, were primarily aimed to map the extent, frequency and depth of melt ponds, the aquamarine pools of melt water that form on sea ice during spring and summer. Previous studies have shown that how melt ponds form early in the summer is a good predictor of September’s sea ice yearly minimum extent and this IceBridge campaign aims to provide data to help improve melt pond models. 

During the Barrow deployment, IceBridge flew six four-hour flights over sea ice in the Beaufort and Chuckchi seas.

New Visiting Scientist

Cynthia Garcia-Eidell finished her Masters in Environmental Engineering from the Catholic University of Korea and served as one of the main researchers in the Philippine Senate Committee on Science and Technology and the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering. As a visiting scientist at the cryospheric sciences laboratory, she is studying space-observed salinity distribution in the Arctic and relationship with sea ice retreat in spring, plankton concentration and sea surface temperature under the direction of Josefino Comiso. She intends to pursue further studies on climate change and satellite-remote sensing of the Arctic as the research component of a Ph.D. program.
Second IceBridge Intern For The Summer
Midshipman First Class Colton Byers is a senior at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) majoring in Oceanography. Midshipman Byers is participating in an internship with the NASA's Operation IceBridge from July 25 to August 16. During the internship he will focus on developing new techniques for using unmanned aerial systems to collect data on snow and sea and land ice properties. After completion of his internship, Byers will continue to work with NASA OIB through the spring of 2017 as part of his Honors Oceanography Independent Research project. After graduation from USNA in May 2017, Byers hopes to be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.

June 2016

 IceBridge's Summer Intern

Sarah Claudy is a senior majoring in English at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Claudy is participating in an Operation IceBridge internship from May 31 to June 24 under the direction of John Woods and Jefferson Beck. During her time at Goddard, she will focus on science communication by creating social media products and educational material for IceBridge. With the experience she gains from this internship, she hopes to pursue further study in environmental policy before, after, or during her time as a Nuclear Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy.

May 2016

 Claire Parkinson Elected to National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences announced on May 3 the election of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 14 countries in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Among the newly elected members is Claire Parkinson, climate change senior scientist at NASA Goddard’s Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory.  

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and — with the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council — provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

 IceBridge Completes 2016 Arctic Spring Campaign

Operation IceBridge wrapped up its eighth spring Arctic campaign on May 21. During their five weeks of operations, mission scientists carried out six research flights over sea ice and ten over land ice.

"We collected data over key portions of the Greenland Ice Sheet, like the fast-changing Zachariae Isstrom Glacier, and we got the broad geographic coverage of Arctic sea ice we needed,” said Nathan Kurtz, IceBridge’s project scientist and a sea ice researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “This is an important continuation of the time series for Arctic ice, particularly with the very warm Arctic winter noticeably impacting sea ice retreat and ice sheet melt onset this year.”

The campaign flights were carried aboard one of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hurricane Hunter planes, a P-3 Orion. 

For more info, read this feature

April 2016

IceBridge Begins Eighth Year of Arctic Flights

Operation IceBridge, NASA’s airborne survey of polar ice, completed its first Greenland research flight of 2016 on April 19, kicking off its eighth spring Arctic campaign. This year’s science flights over Arctic sea and land ice will continue until May 21. The first leg of the mission will be based out of Thule Air Base in northwest Greenland and out of Fairbanks, Alaska. Ten high-priority sea ice flights and three land flights are planned from these two sites. The second part of the Arctic campaign will be based in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and will focus on gauging surface elevation changes in land ice. As in previous years, Operation IceBridge will cooperate with several international research initiatives, including projects from from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the European Space Agency. 
To learn more, click here.

Measuring Snow in the Canadian Arctic

Ludovic Brucker carried out a snow measurement campaign in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut in collaboration with University of Sherbrooke, Quebec in late March and early April. He measured snow properties in tens of snow pits within the Greiner watershed of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station. The campaign revisited three transects first surveyed last year, and extended the domain with two new transects. This activity is part of Brucker's project on satellite detection of rain on snow events.

Read more research news in our Research Roundup Archives.

Cryospheric Sciences at NASA Goddard

Cryospheric research at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center addresses the physics of ice sheets and glaciers, sea ice, snow on ice and land, and their roles in the global climate system.

Updated Weekly Ice Extent

Northern Hemisphere

Southern Hemisphere

Social Media

Join IceBridge on Facebook!Operation IceBridge

Join ICESat-2 on Facebook!ICESat-2

Contact Us

Questions or Comments

General inquiries about the scientific programs at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center may be directed to the Center Public Affairs office at 1.301.286.8955
> PAO's Questions and Comments Page