Operation IceBridge Arctic Campaigns: Produced Videos

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  • IceBridge Update Podcast
    Science writer Kathryn Hansen and video producer Jefferson Beck give an update on Operation IceBridge from the field. They interview NASA engineer Kyle Krabill about the weather in Greenland and the flying conditions so far.

    For complete transcript, click here.

  • Eight Down, One To Go
    As of April 6, 2011, crew and scientists with NASA's Operation IceBridge mission have completed eight out of nine planned sea ice flights from Thule, Greeenland, and plan to fly one more from Kangerlussuaq. Michael Studinger, IceBridge project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., talks about the successes and challenges of logging 30,000 kilometers in an Arctic environment. Credit: NASA/Jefferson Beck
  • Operation IceBridge Flies the Ice Caps
    Ice caps are simply small versions of ice sheets, measuring in at a maximum area of 50,000 square kilometers (about 19,000 square miles). It's their small and thin stature that makes ice caps more prone to melt in a warming Arctic. Charles Webb of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., explains the importance of monitoring ice caps in the Canadian Arctic

    A few flights within NASA's Operation IceBridge — an airborne mission to monitor Earth's polar ice — are adding to the long-term record of ice cap changes. Such a record can provide insight into ice cap dynamics as well as provide an early-warning indicator of the impacts of climate change.

  • Building a Bigger Bridge - OIB 2011 Preview
    Operation IceBridge is heading back into the Arctic with two aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of instruments ever flown in polar regions. This year's mission will focus on sea ice thickness, the Canadian Ice Caps, Greenland ice sheet dynamics, and flyovers of the European Space Agency's CryoSat-2 ground validation sites.
  • OIB Arctic 2011 45-second Package
    Ice near the poles is changing. In spring 2011, the annual maximum extent of Arctic sea ice was among the lowest in the satellite record. Using satellites to track Arctic ice and comparing it with previous years is one way that scientists gauge the Arctic's health and the impacts of climate change. Now, NASA scientists are in the field for the most recent leg of Operation IceBridge, a six year mission to study the Earth's polar regions, not from satellites, but from onboard aircraft. Over the next eight weeks, researchers will fly over the Arctic aboard airborne science laboratories, tracking changes to ice cover and glaciers, and even performing some measurements not possible from space.

    For more information, go to www.nasa.gov/icebridge


  • Five teachers, 500 meters above Greenland
    This year five teachers were invited on board NASA's P-3B aircraft to fly at 500 meters above the glaciers of Greenland with Operation IceBridge, a six-year mission to study Arctic and Antarctic ice. Two teachers from Greenland, two from Denmark, and one from the United States were given the opportunity to see polar research first hand, and then take that experience back to their classrooms.

    For complete transcript, click here.

  • OIB: NASA and ESA in an Arctic Alliance
    For the second straight year, NASA's Operation IceBridge is collaborating with the European Space Agency's CryoVEx program, flying aircraft low over Arctic sea ice while ESA's CryoSat satellite orbits above. In this video, IceBridge Project Scientist Michael Studinger discusses the benefits of the long term joint data set the agencies are creating.


  • Greenland's Mega Canyon (narrated video)
    Hidden for all of human history, a 460 mile long canyon has been discovered below Greenland's ice sheet. Using radar data from NASA's Operation IceBridge and other airborne campaigns, scientists led by a team from the University of Bristol found the canyon runs from near the center of the island northward to the fjord of the Petermann Glacier.

    A large portion of the data was collected by IceBridge from 2009 through 2012. One of the mission's scientific instruments, the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder, operated by the Center for the Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets at the University of Kansas, can see through vast layers of ice to measure its thickness and the shape of bedrock below.

    This is a narrated version of an visualization that can be found, along with more detailed information, at

    Greenland's Mega-Canyon beneath the Ice Sheet (#4097).

  • From the Cockpit:

    The Best of IceBridge Arctic 2013

    The views from the cockpit of NASA's P-3B aircraft on an Operation IceBridge campaign are truly stunning. The mission doesn't travel to both ends of the Earth for the scenery of course — the airborne mission is there to collect radar, laser altimetry, and other data on the changing ice sheets, glaciers, and sea ice of the Arctic and Antarctic. But for those of us who aren't polar pilots, here's a selection of some of the best footage from the forward and nadir cameras mounted to the aircraft taken during IceBridge's spring deployment over Greenland and the Arctic Ocean.
  • Flying Low over Southeast Greenland
    Few of us ever get to see Greenland's glaciers from 500 meters above the ice. But in this video — recorded on April 9, 2013 in southeast Greenland using a cockpit camera installed and operated by the National Suborbital Education and Research Center, or NSERC — we see what Operation IceBridge's pilots see as they fly NASA's P-3B airborne laboratory low over the Arctic. Following a glacier's sometimes winding flow line gives IceBridge researchers a perspective on the ice not possible from satellites which pass in straight lines overhead. By gathering such data, IceBridge is helping to build a continuous record of change in the polar regions.
  • Keeping a Close Eye on Jakobshavn
    Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the fastest moving glaciers in Greenland, has been the focus of IceBridge survey flights for five consecutive years. Here, images from an IceBridge mission on Apr. 4, 2013 and video footage from the 2012 Arctic campaign show this rapidly changing ice stream and how IceBridge is using its suite of airborne instruments to collect crucial data on ice movement and how much glaciers like Jakobshavn might contribute to future sea level rise.
  • Operation IceBridge: Wheels Down in Thule
    NASA's Operation IceBridge begins another season of science over the Arctic with survey flights out of Greenland. For the next several weeks, IceBridge will carry out a research campaign — the result of months of planning and discussion — to study Arctic sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets.


  • Operation IceBridge Arctic 2014 Campaign video series
    IceBridge, a six-year NASA mission, is the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice ever flown. It will yield an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice. These flights will provide a yearly, multi-instrument look at the behavior of the rapidly changing features of the Greenland and Antarctic ice. Data collected during IceBridge will help scientists bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) — in orbit since 2003 — and ICESat-2, planned for early 2016. ICESat stopped collecting science data in 2009, making IceBridge critical for ensuring a continuous series of observations.


  • Operation IceBridge Arctic 2015 video series

    For more IceBridge videos

    NASA’s Operation IceBridge has wrapped up its 2015 Arctic field campaign after covering a vast expanse of science targets during 33 different flights over land ice, sea ice, and glaciers. The airborne campaign flies over the Arctic and Antarctic every year measuring changes in the ice with instruments like radar and lasers. For more on IceBridge, visit NASA's IceBridge webpage.
  • IceBridge Rendezvous with an Ice-Bound Vessel
    Having just arrived in Greenland, the first challenge for the Operation IceBridge Arctic 2015 campaign was to survey a broad swath of Arctic sea ice … and along the way, locate and precisely overfly a Norwegian research vessel frozen in the quickly moving ice pack. In this quick mission update, Flight Team Lead John Sonntag gives us the story from the field. For more on the Lance overflight and Operation IceBridge: www.nasa.gov/icebridge
  • IceBridge Kicks Off Campaign with "New" Aircraft
    NASA’s Operation IceBridge is back in the field, but this time, there’s a twist. Instead of using the P-3 or DC-8 aircraft from previous campaigns, they’ve outfitted a C-130 cargo plane for the trip. Science flights begin this week as the mission studies Arctic sea ice, ice caps, glaciers, and the Greenland Ice Sheet with a range of different instruments.
  • IceBridge Flies High over Both Poles
    For the first time NASA’s Operation IceBridge is flying simultaneous missions over both the Arctic and Antarctic, on smaller, faster aircraft. These campaigns and aircraft represent both a unique opportunity for measuring polar ice, and something of a scientific tradeoff from IceBridge’s traditional campaigns.


  • Measuring Sea Ice at the Peak of Melt
    The Arctic sea ice pack is nearing its annual minimum extent, which is projected to be one of the lowest since satellite observations began. Using satellite data and airborne observations, NASA researchers are monitoring the ever-changing ice, and gaining new insights into sea ice thickness and trends. In July, 2016, NASA’s Operation IceBridge flew its first ever science flights low over sea ice near the peak of melt season, studying how the beautiful blue melt ponds on the surface of the ice might affect increased melt rates. For more on recent observations: http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/nasa-monitors-the-new-normal-of-sea-ice



  • Dr. Piers Sellers in Greenland
    In 2016, former astronaut and climate scientist Dr. Piers Sellers visited Thule, Greenland, one of the home bases for Operation IceBridge’s spring Arctic campaign. IceBridge is a 10-year airborne science mission measuring polar ice with a range of instruments including laser altimeters and radar. In recent days, Thule has seen an unusual amount of snow as well as cloud conditions more similar to early summertime months.
  • Cryosphere | Episode 2: The Snow Below
    Snow is one part of the cryosphere that many of us have actually encountered, but it also plays a crucial role in regulating Earth’s climate. Through decades of remote sensing, NASA has kept a close eye on the ebb and flow of snow cover. NASAExplorers also venture into the field at the far reaches of Earth to study snow, a critical resource for the millions of people who rely on it for drinking water.
  • Cryosphere | Episode 8: The Launch
    It’s 5 a.m. on a normal September day and #NASAExplorers have gathered in a California field to watch a rocket launch light up the pre-dawn sky. On board the rocket is a satellite more than 10 years in the making, with one single instrument that will revolutionize the study of ice on Earth. Join the team in the excitement and stress of watching ICESat-2 launch into space and begin its work measuring our home planet.


  • Modeling the Future of the Greenland Ice Sheet
    Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute used data from NASA’s Operation IceBridge to develop a more accurate model of how the Greenland Ice Sheet might respond to climate change in the future, finding that it could generate more sea level rise than previously thought. In the next 50 years, the model shows that melting at the present rate could contribute one to four inches to global sea level rise. This number jumps to five to13 inches by 2100 and 19 to 63 inches by 2200. These numbers are considerably higher than previous estimates, which forecasted up to 35 inches of sea level rise by 2200 The updated model is the first to include outlet glaciers — river-like bodies of ice that connect to the ocean. Outlet glaciers play a key role in how ice sheets melt, but previous models lacked the data to adequately represent their complex flow patterns. The study found that melting outlet glaciers could account for up to 40% of the ice mass lost from Greenland in the next 200 years. By incorporating ice thickness data from IceBridge and identifying sources of statistical uncertainty within the model, the study creates a more accurate picture of how human-generated greenhouse gas emissions and a warming climate may affect Greenland in the future
  • NASA Finds Second Massive Greenland Crater
    Just 114 miles from the newly-found Hiawatha impact crater under the ice of northwest Greenland, lies a possible second impact crater. The 22-mile wide feature would be the second crater found under an ice sheet, and if confirmed, would be the 22nd-largest crater on Earth. A NASA-led team discovered the feature using satellite data of the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet as well as radar measurements from the airborne campaign Operation IceBridge. Although the two massive craters lie fairly close to each other, it’s thought they weren’t created at the same time. The second crater looks to be much older than Hiawatha, with features that are significantly more eroded, and it contains older ice than its neighbor.