Operation IceBridge Arctic Campaign Takes Off: Reporter’s Package

Narration: Laura Motel


[NARRATOR] The Operation IceBridge 2010 Arctic campaign is off to a flying start. Since arriving in Greenland on March 22nd, the mission’s scientists, engineers and crew have already taken off on several science flights over the region's glaciers and sea ice. Flying aboard NASA’s DC-8 aircraft, outfitted with an array of science instruments, scientists are monitoring changes to the region’s ice, even peering below the surface of some of glaciers, an observation not currently possible from satellites. The first priority of this campaign is to survey Arctic sea ice, which reaches its maximum extent just as spring begins. The amount of sea ice covering the Arctic at the end of each winter is an important indication of the health of the Arctic and Earth’s climate system. QUOTE [John Sonntag]: “Greenland, because of it presence, and Antarctica, all of the ice masses together act as a buffer on climate. And so if they were to start to melt, which many people believe that they are, then the eventual effect will be a warmer climate overall.” [NARRATOR] Over the course of this spring’s five-week campaign, researchers will make a total of 10 to 12 science flights, continuing to monitor the most sensitive and critical areas of this dynamic polar region.