Cryospheric Research Roundup
IceBridge’s First Antarctic Campaign from McMurdo Station
Operation IceBridge begun its 2013 Antarctic field campaign with a survey of the Transantarctic Mountains on Nov. 18. Unlike previous years, when IceBridge Antarctic missions were conducted out of Punta Arenas, Chile, this year the flights will leave from he National Science Foundation's McMurdo Station in Antarctica. The new base of operations will allow IceBridge to survey areas that had been too remote from Chile, such as the Ross Sea area.
To learn more, visit the IceBridge website
History of Winter 2014: Registration Open
Educators can now register for the 2014 edition of History of Winter, a week-long workshop for elementary and secondary science teachers to experience the world of cryospheric science research. Guided by professional glaciologists, the participants will spend the week of February 13- in Lake Placid, New York learning about common field research techniques that are often used as ground validation for NASA satellite missions.
To register, visit the HOW website
Posters on NASA’s Work in Greenland Available for Download
Ice in Motion, a series of posters depicting NASA’s work in Greenland, is now freely available for download here. The posters, which were translated into Danish and Greenlandic with the help of high school students, are currently on display at several airports and high schools in Greenland. The posters were designed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory, in collaboration with the United States Embassy in Copenhagen, the government of Greenland and the Joint Committee, a forum involving the Greenlandic, Danish and U.S. governments.
Read more about this exhibit in The Arctic Journal.
Comiso’s Role in IPCC Fifth Assessment Report
Josefino “Joey” Comiso, Senior Research Scientist at Goddard’s Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory, is coordinating lead author for “Chapter 4: Observations: Cryosphere” of the Fifth Assessment Report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Comiso is also a contributing author to one of the most popular portions of the new report, the Summary for Policymakers, and he traveled to Copenhagen in late September to participate in the negotiations over the wording of this summary.
New Members of the Lab
Walt Meier started at the lab as a research scientist in July. Meier, whose research focuses on remote sensing of sea ice, development of new sea ice products and sea ice climate data records, and analyzing changes in the Arctic sea ice cover, comes from the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he worked as a research scientist from 2003 to 2013. He had previously been an adjunct assistant professor in the Oceanography Department at the U.S. Naval Academy and a visiting scientist at the U.S. National Ice Center.
Nathan Kurtz, who first joined the lab in 2005 as a graduate research assistant, became a civil servant on July 1. In his new role as a research physical scientist, Kurtz works on NASA's Operation IceBridge project as well as the ICESat and CryoSat-2 satellite missions.
Christopher Crawford joined the lab in August as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow. Crawford comes to NASA Goddard from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he recently completed a Ph.D. in the Department of Geography. His research focuses on developing multi-sensor visible/infrared snow cover climate data records of seasonal mountain snowpack extent across the western United States for climate variability and change study.
GROVER Passes Its First Polar Test
GROVER didn’t have it easy in Greenland: the solar-powered rover, developed under the supervision of Lora Koenig, had to defy 30 mph gusts and temperatures down to minus 22 F while Boise State University graduate students tested its power consumption and ability to collect radar data, among other parameters. The robot demonstrated it was able to execute commands sent from afar over an Iridium satellite connection.
To learn more about the GROVER testing and watch a video, click here.
Lab Offers Activities for DeafBlind Camp of Maryland
Some 100 campers and volunteers from the DeafBlind Camp of Maryland were able to enjoy the hands-on activities organized by the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory and other NASA Goddard labs on June 12. One of the most popular activities among the visitors, most of whom had significant hearing and vision loss, was trying on the polar gear displayed at the lab’s booth. The campers also showed interest in a Greenlandic ice core bit and in a visual and tactile demonstration of how ice deforms at different temperatures.
March - April 2013
Greenland Aquifer Team Blog
Glaciologist Lora Koenig is leading an expedition to southeast Greenland in April to investigate an aquifer trapped within the ice sheet. The team, which includes lab member Ludovic Brucker, will drill several holes in the ice sheet to analyze snow density and structure. They will also leave instrumentation in the drilled holes to record temperatures over a year.
Read Lora Koenig’s field blog on NASA’s Earth Observatory website.
Google + Hangout on Sea Level Rise
Ice sheet modeler Sophie Nowicki participated in a Google + Hangout on sea level rise with three other scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the U.S. Geological Survey on April 2. The hour-long Hangout, which covered topics ranging from uncertainties in sea level rise modeling to potential impacts on coastal communities, was the kick-off event for NASA’s Earth Month celebrations.
Watch a recording of the Hangout on NASA Goddard’s YouTube Channel.
2013 Artic Sea Ice Maximum is 5th Lowest on Record
A NASA analysis led by Joey Comiso determined that the annual maximum Arctic sea ice extent was reached on Feb. 28 and it was the fifth lowest sea ice winter extent in the past 35 years. The new maximum —5.82 million square miles (15.09 million square kilometers)— is in line with a continuing trend in declining winter Arctic sea ice extent: nine of the ten smallest recorded maximums have occurred during the last decade. The 2013 winter extent is 144,402 square miles (374,000 square kilometers) below the average annual maximum extent for the last three decades.
Read more about the 2013 Arctic sea ice maximum and watch an animation of sea ice in this web feature.
Cryospheric Scientists Featured on “Know Your Earth” Campaign
Lab members Claire Parkinson and Nathan Kurtz are profiled in NASA’s “Know Your Earth 3.0, Local Connections” campaign. Many of the participants of this educational project will be speaking about their work at NASA to schools, youth groups and other organizations in their hometowns.
Find out more about Parkinson’s and Kurtz’s work on the “Know your Earth” website.
Operation IceBridge and ICESat-2: Now on Facebook
Operation IceBridge, currently carrying its 2013 Arctic campaign, has a new Facebook page for their frequent updates and photos from the field.
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
Questions or Comments
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