NASA IceBridge Mission Prepares for Study of Arctic Glaciers

Crew photo

Credit: NASA
NASA research pilot Dick Ewers of Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., is briefed.

3/18/2010

NASA's Operation IceBridge mission, the largest airborne survey ever flown of Earth's polar ice, kicks off its second year of study when NASA aircraft arrive in Greenland March 22.

The IceBridge mission allows scientists to track changes in the extent and thickness of polar ice, which is important for understanding ice dynamics. IceBridge began in March 2009 as a means to fill the gap in polar observations between the loss of NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite, or ICESat, and the launch of ICESat-2, planned for 2015. Annual missions fly over the Arctic in March and April and over Antarctica in October and November.

"NASA's IceBridge mission is characterizing the changes occurring in the world's polar ice sheets," said Tom Wagner, cryosphere program manager at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The mission's goal is to collect the most important data for improving predictive models of sea level rise and global climate change."

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