Wednesday, September 28, 2016 Headlines & Global News

NASA Operation IceBridge Update: NASA Completes Summer Melt Mission Checks at Greenland Ice Sheet

NASA's airborne survey of polar ice called the Operation IceBridge flew over Greenland for the second time this year to observe the impact of the summer melt season on the ice sheet.

By Marrianne Ledesma | Sep 23, 2016 07:56 AM EDT

 

NASA's IceBridge, an airborne survey of polar ice, flew over the Helheim/Kangerdlugssuaq region of Greenland on Sept. 11, 2016. This photograph from the flight captures Greenland's Steenstrup Glacier, with the midmorning sun glinting off of the Denmark Strait in the background. IceBridge completed the final flight of the summer campaign to observe the impact of the summer melt season on the ice sheet on Sept. 16.
(Photo : NASA/John Sonntag) NASA's IceBridge, an airborne survey of polar ice, flew over the Helheim/Kangerdlugssuaq region of Greenland on Sept. 11, 2016. This photograph from the flight captures Greenland's Steenstrup Glacier, with the midmorning sun glinting off of the Denmark Strait in the background. IceBridge completed the final flight of the summer campaign to observe the impact of the summer melt season on the ice sheet on Sept. 16.
NASA's airborne survey of polar ice called the Operation IceBridge flew over Greenland for the second time this year to observe the impact of the summer melt season on the ice sheet.
IceBridge's deputy project scientist Joe MacGregor announced in a NASA press release, "Earlier in IceBridge's history, we only surveyed the elevation of the glaciers once a year. But these glaciers experience the climate year-round. Now we're starting to complete the picture of what happens to them as the year goes on, especially after most of the summer melting has already occurred, so we can measure their cumulative response to that melt."
Operation IceBridge uses a fleet of research aircraft to monitor the polar regions' annual changes due to climate change. As per the report of Live Science, the Helheim Glacier is closely monitored by scientists because it is one of Greenland's largest and fastest-melting glaciers. The result of the IceBridge Mission at Greenland ice sheet, however, is yet to be released.
The Operation IceBridge began on August 27 and lasted until September 2016. The flights, as NASA reported, are mostly repeats of lines that the team flew in early May. This is to observe changes in ice elevation between the spring and the late summer. 
Meanwhile, an analysis of IceBridge satellite data from Arctic Sea ice showed that it reached its second lowest extent on September 10. Since satellites began monitoring sea ice in 1978, researchers have observed a steep decline in the average extent of Arctic seas ice for every month of the year. The 2016 Arctic seas ice is at 1.60 million square miles which effectively tied with 2007 for the second lowest yearly minimum in the satellite record.
Stay tuned for more updates!

 

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