Consistency counts when collecting scientific data. With global ice inventories in a profound state of change, it’s essential to maintain regular measurements of ice at the poles. NASA’s ICESat satellite amassed a substantial body of data, but after that mission ended, researchers needed to insure data continuity until ICESat II launches in a few years. To bridge the data gap, they set specialized teams aloft in research aircraft. That mission is called IceBridge.
Where’s it coming from? With global average temperatures rising, it would be natural to assume that total quantities of sea ice would be falling. But it’s not. Scientists have begun to observe sea ice increases around Antarctica, and the phenomenon once again underscores how much we still need to learn about the complex systems governing global climate. In this short video, we take a look at the reasons experts offer for why ice is spreading … on a warmer planet.
Diplomacy requires knowledge of issues that matter to the people with whom you're speaking. Climate change is an issue that concerns everyone on Earth. As the official US representative to Chile, Ambassador Michael Hammer spent some time with the IceBridge team on research flight over Antarctica, and his fact-finding trip offers opportunities for science in the global interest to play a useful, even important role in international relations.
Research flights over Antarctica generally travel over some of the most remote, lifeless places on Earth. But penguins call the Antarctic coastline home. That’s why flight planers with NASA’s Operation IceBridge pay close attention to penguin habitats, and carefully navigate their DC-8 to avoid disturbing the birds.