Posts Tagged "nasa"

Photo Friday: NASA’s Operation IceBridge

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Images, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Photo Friday: NASA’s Operation IceBridge

Spread the News:ShareNASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s ongoing operation called IceBridge uses manned aircraft to study polar ice. IceBridge serves to bridge the gap between NASA’s Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), which stopped collecting data in 2009, and NASA’s second generation of the satellite (ICESat-2) which is scheduled to launch later this year. The six year operation is the largest airborne survey of  Earth’s polar ice, and collects data about ice sheets, ice shelves, and sea ice in Greenland and the Antarctic. The goal is to document annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets along with collecting information to help with the modeling the effect of climate change on Earth’s polar ice, specifically in connection to possible sea-level rise. IceBridge Airplanes fly over Greenland between March and May and in  over Antarctica between October and November. Smaller airplane surveys of ice around the world are also included in the IceBridge operation.       Pic from today's #IceBridge flight: Network of supraglacial meltwater drainage channels. pic.twitter.com/hlUvPQky5y — NASA ICE (@NASA_ICE) May 18, 2016   Spread the...

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Photo Friday: Upsala Glacier

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Images, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Photo Friday: Upsala Glacier

Spread the News:ShareUpsala Glacier, a stunning glacier within Parque Nacional Los Glaciares in Argentina, has been retreating rapidly due to climate change. NASA has found, through satellite imaging, that Upsala’s ice front has moved back approximately 2 miles since 2001, following a similar trend seen in the rest of Patagonia (the vast area at the southern extent of Chile and Argentina). Also featured in the photos below is the Estancia Cristina–a popular ranch that many visitors use as an outpost on their journey through the glacial park, especially to see Upsala. The ranch offers unique views of the glaciers and its own beautiful scenery. Upsala gets its namesake from the Swedish University (Uppsala University) that first sponsored glacier research in this area. The area has been extensively studied since, and Upsala is often used as an example of glacial retreat in Argentina. Upsala’s retreat is significant because of the size of the glacier; once the largest glacier in South America, it is now the third largest. Argentinian glaciers, and Upsala in general, will aid in our further understanding of glacier dynamics. Cristina Estancia Ranch Cristina Estancia Ranch (Photo:<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/8632855@N05/3132389522/in/photolist-5LNjgU-mWNrP2-AovBjN-5ULuBg-BeyDho-BUkdW5-DBwf7r-DzcUYf-kPy5sx-DzcVh1-Dr7Emo-mWQjRb-5LNiNy-5ULx6p-5UL9dX-5ULkN6-baXWPx-baXWYX-5UQtgj-aBAbqT-aBJ85t-aBLGyq-aBLE29-aBJ4nZ-aBHX58-aBHVzg-aBLd5A-aBLCAs-aBHUF8-aBLDnN-aBLFPJ-aBHvbD-aBLJMq-aBJ3Ev-aBLL8L-aBJ7jn-aBJ5Ng-aBHWjr-aBHTSg-aBLcqN-aBLETQ-aBHTfv-dbHFM7-baXYbD-baXXNP-baXXDP-baXXZF-5LivTv-dbHAar-55GC6d"> Shane R/Flikr</a>) Upsala Glacier Upsala Glacier (Photo:<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mederic/2201782237/"> Médéric/Flikr</a>) Near Estancia Cristina Near Estancia Cristina (Photo:<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/benobryan/3223386378/in/photolist-5UQGtd-79DsEh-5LNjgU-mWNrP2-AovBjN-5ULuBg-BeyDho-kPy5sx-BUkdW5-DBwf7r-DzcUYf-DzcVh1-Dr7Emo-mWQjRb-5LNiNy-5ULx6p-5UL9dX-5ULkN6-baXWPx-baXWYX-5UQtgj-aBAbqT-aBJ85t-aBLGyq-aBLE29-aBJ4nZ-aBHX58-aBHVzg-aBLd5A-aBLCAs-aBHUF8-aBLDnN-aBLFPJ-aBHvbD-aBLJMq-aBJ3Ev-aBLL8L-aBJ7jn-aBJ5Ng-aBHWjr-aBHTSg-aBLcqN-aBLETQ-aBHTfv-dbHFM7-9Yt9Up-baXYbD-baXXNP-baXXDP-baXXZF">Ben O'Bryan/Flikr</a>) Upsala Glacier Retreat Upsala Glacier Retreat (Photo:<a href="https://www.nasa.gov/content/upsala-glacier-retreat">NASA/</a>) Mountain near Estancia Cristina Mountain near Estancia Cristina (Photo:<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/benobryan/3222497455/"> Ben O'Bryan/Flikr</a>) Spread the...

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Roundup: Grounding Lines, Fault Lines and Algae-filled Pits

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in All Posts, Featured Posts, News | 0 comments

Roundup: Grounding Lines, Fault Lines and Algae-filled Pits

Spread the News:ShareNASA reports on the Hidden Melting of Greenland’s Glaciers “What’s causing this ‘big thaw’? Rignot’s team found that Greenland’s glaciers flowing into the ocean are grounded deeper below sea level than previously measured. This means that the warm ocean currents at depth can sweep across the glacier faces and erode them.“In polar regions, the upper layers of ocean water are cold and fresh,” he explains. “Cold water is less effective at melting ice. The real ocean heat is at a depth of 350-400 meters and below. This warm, salty water is of subtropical origin and melts the ice much more rapidly.” To learn more, click here. Biological interactions between Microalgae and Glacial Grazers “Glaciers are known to harbor surprisingly complex ecosystems. On their surface, distinct cylindrical holes filled with meltwater and sediments are considered as hot spots for microbial life. The present paper addresses possible biological interactions within 5 the community of prokaryotic cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae (microalgae) and relations to their potential grazers, additional to their environmental controls…. We propose that, for the studied glaciers, nutrient levels related to recycling of limiting nutrients is the main factor driving variation in the community structure of microalgae and grazers.” Read more about the study here. Italy’s glaciers retreated by 40 percent: WWF “ROME: Alpine glaciers in Italy have lost an estimated 40 percent of their area over the last three decades, a recent report released by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has said. “The situation of glaciers on the Italian side of the Alps is very worrying,” Xinhua news agency on Friday quoted Gianfranco Bologna, scientific director of WWF-Italy and co-author of the report as saying. The Hot Ice report was unveiled earlier this week, ahead of a crucial United Nations Climate Change Conference due to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11.” Read more here.   Spread the...

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Scientists Find Nitrogen Ice Glaciers on Pluto

Posted by on Aug 13, 2015 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Images, Science | 0 comments

Scientists Find Nitrogen Ice Glaciers on Pluto

Spread the News:ShareNewly released close-up photographs from NASA’s New Horizons mission show evidence of exotic ice flow across dwarf-planet Pluto’s surface, indicating that Earth may not be the only planet with glacier-like geology. New Horizon’s Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) shows close-up photos of a sheet of ice that appears to have glided across Pluto’s surface in similar manner as glacier movement on Earth. On Earth, melting glaciers are often characterized by surface flows around obstacles and towards the point of deepest depression, often creating swirl-shaped surfaces. New photos from the New Horizons mission show that Pluto too exhibits this characteristic warped surface. According to Bill McKinnon, the deputy leader of New Horizons Geology, Geophysics, and Imaging team, Pluto’s frosty temperature of minus-390 degrees Fahrenheit allows these ices to move in a manner similar to those on Earth. This movement might still be continuing, scientists speculate, but it is difficult to discern from still photographs whether Pluto’s frozen ice is still flowing. The ice stems from the center of Sputnik Planum, a craterless plain lying in “the heart of the heart” of Pluto. According to NASA scientists, this plain, lying in the western half of the Tombaugh region, appears to be no more than 100 million years old, making it a relatively young surface of Pluto. This region is likely still be being shaped by geological processes. NASA’s associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, John Grunsfeld, told NASA that the diverse and surprising findings of the New Horizons Pluto mission have been “truly thrilling.” “We’ve only seen surfaces like this on active worlds like Earth and Mars,” said mission co-investigator John Spencer of SwRI. “I’m really smiling.” The ice that comprises the plain is primarily composed of nitrogen, although it is also carbon monoxide- and methane-rich. New Horizon’s Ralph Instrument reveals that the concentration of carbon monoxide in ice steadily increases towards the center of the heart’s “bulls-eye.” These findings call into question the very definition of “glaciers,” and whether this geological term can be applied not only to other planets, but also to different chemical compositions of ice. Glaciers, as interpreted by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, are composed of fallen snow that compresses into large, thickened ice masses over a number of years. The chemical makeup of snow differs largely from Pluto’s nitrogen-, carbon monoxide-, and methane-rich ice makeup. For now, scientists and the media seem content to use the term “glacier-like” when referring to Pluto’s newly discovered nitrogen ice flow. Through the New Horizons mission, NASA scientists have also discovered Pluto’s latitudinal planetary zones, and believe them to be caused by seasonal ice transport from the equator to the icy poles. Lending additional support to this theory, enhanced color images of the planet show that Pluto’s darkest terrains appear at the equator, while a seemingly whiter, icy expanse reigns in the northern polar region. Another region, the southern-most region of Pluto’s heart, Cthulhu Regio (one of the older, heavily-cratered regions of the planet) is also believed to be filled with newer icy deposits. The New Horizons mission has also discovered Pluto’s mountain ranges, exotic surface chemistry, and a peculiar haze surrounding the planet that extends as high as 80 miles above the planet’s surface. Scientists and the public have been delighted with and captivated by the diverse and surprising findings of the New Horizons mission. A closer view of the distant dwarf planet has provided knowledge of Pluto’s features that are both similar to Earth’s, such as these glaciers, as well as those that are vastly different. Spread the...

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PhotoFriday: NASA Views Greenland Glaciers From Above

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Images | 0 comments

PhotoFriday: NASA Views Greenland Glaciers From Above

Spread the News:ShareNASA’s Operation IceBridge is finishing up its seventh annual campaign surveying Arctic ice levels. The operation has run biannual polar expeditions, one to the Arctic and the other to the Antarctic, each year since its formation in 2009. This year’s spring survey of the Arctic wrapped up on May 22. While Operation IceBridge uses advanced remote sensing technologies to measures ice levels, IceBridge scientist John Sonntag captured a few stunning shots of glacial moulins and crevassing during a Greenland expedition. Greenland Glaciers Glacial Fissures in Greenland IceBridge Moulin NASA states IceBridge’s mission is to “yield an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice.” Annual data collected from IceBridge also helps to provide continuous polar ice data throughout the gap in data collection during NASA’s Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), which has not collected data since 2010. The satellite’s successor, ICESat-2, will not begin data collection until 2017. In an article for NASA’s Earth Observatory, IceBridge project scientist Michael Studinger cited the importance of IceBridge in improving sea level rising forecasts, especially for influential annual reports such as from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He said, “IceBridge exists because we need to understand how much ice the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will contribute to sea level rise over the next couple of decades. In order to do this, we need to measure how much the ice surface elevation is changing from year to year.” You can click here to explore some of IceBridge’s data and findings. To read more about moulins, check out this GlacierHub article about moulin ice caves. Photo Friday highlights photo essays and collections from areas with glaciers. If you have photos you’d like to share, let us know in the comments, by Twitter @glacierhub or email us at glacierhub@gmail.com.  Spread the...

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