|"Cold Facts: Snow Accumulation Research in West Antarctica"
Lora Koenig, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Abstract: The Antarctic Ice Sheet holds the largest amount of ice on Earth. This cold inhospitable place is a center for studying the effects of climate change and how it translates into sea level rise. In particular scientists aim to understand mass changes occurring over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). With much of its ice sitting on land below sea level, WAIS is vulnerable to both atmospheric and oceanic warming. And, over the past 50 years atmospheric temperatures have risen over WAIS. As temperatures warm, and are predicted to warm, increases in precipitation are expected, yet current in-situ and space-borne instruments are deficient in spatial extent, temporal extent or validation to accurately monitor temporal changes. Predicting the changes in total ice mass requires quantifying the ablation, mass loss, and the accumulation, mass gain. Currently satellites monitor ablation relatively well but the abilities to monitor accumulation are quite limited. To remedy the deficiencies in monitoring accumulation, my team and I rode snowmobiles across WAIS drilling ice cores and dragging near surface radars collecting a spatially extensive in-situ accumulation record during the satellite era. During this talk I will discuss the new radar and ice core equipment that enables fast and light traverses for gathering accumulation data and present preliminary ice core results showing a decrease in accumulation over the region, the opposite of model predictions. Also, on this the 100th Anniversary of Amundsen and Scott reaching the South Pole, I present a photographic comparison of Antarctic traverses from today to that of the early explorers.
|Date||March 09, 2012|
|Start/End Time||03:30 PM - 04:30 PM|
|Location||Building 3 Goett Auditorium|