Cryospheric Research Roundup

February 2015

Crawford's Field Campaign To Measure Snow Properties In Minnesota

As part of his NASA postdoctoral program research, Christopher Crawford will lead a field excursion on snowmobiles into the mid-continent near boreal forest region of Voyagers National Park on the Minnesota -Canadian border. Crawford will be accompanied by his University of Minnesota colleague, Lane Johnson. They will collect ground-based measurements of pure snow, snow in forest, and snow on lakes using a field spectrometer supported by the Biospheric Optics Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Crawford will take measurements in coincidence with Landsat 7 and 8 acquisitions, and a hyperspectral image from the EO-1 Hyperion Imaging Spectrometer is scheduled. Ground-based measurements of snow properties are important for validating snow cover, snow grain size, and snow albedo retrieval algorithms, supporting current and future operational snow mapping applications, and advancing research on satellite snow product development to enable climate and hydrological science studies on seasonal snow variability and change.


November 2014

Casey To Participate In Ice Core Drilling At South Pole

Kimberly Casey left for the South Pole, Antarctica, on November 8th for the austral summer season to assist in the recovery of an ice core. The ice core will be drilled to a depth of 1500 meters, providing an environmental record spanning approximately 40,000 years that will be used to investigate changes in climate. Dr. Casey will work on ice core logging and recovery efforts at the South Pole for four months. She will also conduct field observations related to her studies of pollutant deposition on ice.

Parkinson Becomes Member of AAAS’ Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee

Claire ParkinsonThe Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) appointed Claire Parkinson in October to a three-year term on the association's Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee. The committee is charged with establishing the theme and program tracks of AAAS’ annual meeting, reviewing proposals, and selecting symposia. It is chaired by the AAAS President and is composed of 13 members appointed by the board to reflect the wide range of scientific disciplines represented by the association.

October 2014

IceBridge Begins 2014 Antarctic Campaign

On October 16, Operation IceBridge began its sixth campaign of research flights over Antarctica to study changes in the continent’s ice sheet, glaciers and sea ice. This year’s airborne campaign, based in Punta Arenas (Chile), will revisit a section of the Antarctic ice sheet that recently was found to be in irreversible decline. The mission also will collect data on Antarctic sea ice, which recently reached a record high coverage. In addition to extending ICESat’s data record over land and sea ice, IceBridge will also help set the stage for ICESat-2 by measuring ice the satellite will fly over.

»To learn more about IceBridge’s 2014 Antarctic Campaign, check this press release and the campaign’s blog.


ARISE Investigates Effects of Sea Ice Loss On Arctic Climate

A new NASA field campaign flew over the Arctic this summer to study the effect of sea ice retreat on Arctic climate. The Arctic Radiation IceBridge Sea and Ice Experiment (ARISE) conducted research flights Aug. 28 through Oct. 1, covering the peak of summer sea ice melt. This was NASA’s first Arctic airborne campaign designed to take simultaneous measurements of ice, clouds and the levels of incoming and outgoing radiation, the balance of which determines the degree of climate warming.

»To learn more about ARISE, read this press release.

Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Continues Below-Average Trend

The 2014 Arctic sea ice minimum, reached on Sept. 17, is the sixth lowest on the satellite record. Over the 2014 summer, Arctic sea ice melted back from its maximum extent reached in March to a coverage area of 5.02 million square kilometers, according to analysis from NASA and National Snow and Ice Data Center scientists. This year’s minimum extent is similar to last year’s and below the 1981-2010 average of 6.22 million square km.

This year’s Arctic sea ice minimum is the 35th in the uninterrupted sea ice record that started with the launch of NASA’s Nimbus 7 satellite in November 1978. Check out this story on how a group of Goddard scientists developed the techniques to study sea ice from space.

» More on the 2014 Arctic sea ice minimum

Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Maximum

Sea ice surrounding Antarctica reached a new record high extent this year, covering more of the southern oceans than it has since scientists began a long-term satellite record to map sea ice extent in the late 1970s. The upward trend in the Antarctic, however, is only about a third of the magnitude of the rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.

»Learn more about the 2014 Antarctic sea ice maximum

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.

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