NASA annual Arctic Ice survey expanded range this year

NASA annual Arctic Ice survey expanded range this year

Washington, May 18 (IBNS): NASA’s annual survey of changes in the Arctic ice cover has significantly increased its reach this year on a series of flights that took place from 12 This is the most ambitious Spring in NASA’s mission area An IceBridge operation to monitor changes in ice at the Earth’s poles, which also included a quick response to a new flight in the crack at the Petermann Glacier, one of the glaciers Largest and fastest in Greenland.
“This has been our best year for sea ice topography,” said Nathan Kurtz, an IceBridge project scientist and sea ice researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Geographically, we covered a wider area than ever, and new instruments that we have done during this campaign gave us accurate and more dense measurements.”

IceBridge first explored half of Eurasia from the Arctic basin through two research flights from Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean. The mission also took fresh measures on the ice shelf of the crack Petermann glacier, read the NASA statement.

This season Arctic IceBridge has completed all of its seabed and ice land flights, which are repeated year after year to measure areas that have developed rapidly over the past few decades. In total, the mission has carried out 39 flights of eight hours and 10 weeks. Of these, 13 focused on the topography of sea ice, while another 26 focused on land ice sections. Several flights have included collaborations with international Ice, Cloud and Altitude (ICESat) mission teams to collect and compare snow and ice measurements. The largest was with CryoVEx, a campaign dedicated to the validation of data collected by the satellite CryoSat-2 of the ESA (European Space Agency), but also IceBridge coordinated data collection with a group of European adventurers collecting data on The depth of snow in the manufacture of a passage to the North Pole with the Sentinel-3A satellite of the ESA, and with a GPS survey near the Summit station, Greenland, designed to validate future measures by the joint ice mission , The cloud and the satellite earth of Elevation-2 (ICESat-2), among other collaborations.

The first IceBridge flight search took place on March 9 in the P-3 Orion NASA Flight Installation Wallops. As every year, the first part of the campaign was devoted to flying above the sea ice cover of the Arctic Ocean, plus several land ice rapidly changing areas from two sites: Thule air base in the north – West of Greenland and Fairbanks, Alaska. But this campaign, the IceBridge team adds an additional base Longyearbyen, Svalbard. From there, the mission was able to reach the areas of the Eurasian part of the Arctic Ocean that had already been explored by IceBridge.

By analyzing the preliminary data, Kurtz said he was intrigued to see that snow on the sea ice on the Eurasian side of the Arctic is now thinner than predicting the depth of the weather models based on snow measurements of age.

“The new snow measures will help us better understand the changes in Arctic ice coverage and help limit satellite measurements to ensure their accuracy,” said Kurtz.
IceBridge also extended its range westward with a flight to the western part of the sea of Chukchi, a sea between Alaska and Russia. It was the first time the mission had crossed the international deadline.

In mid-April the IceBridge team was informed of a crack in the floating ice shelf of the Petermann Glacier. Stef Lhermitte, associate professor at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, had discovered the flaw through satellite imagery. Lhermitte wrote about his comments on NASA’s Twitter and director of the cryosphere science program learned about tweets.

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