Cryospheric Sciences (615) Local News Archive

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Earth's Expanding Universe Podcast

07/26/2021
With Earth’s recent record-breaking temperatures, the pace of sea level rise has accelerated. NASA scientists take us on a trip into their research right here on our home planet. Join us as we fly over Antarctic ice sheets and consult with orbiting satellites on this exploration of our changing Earth.

NY Times Interviews Shuman for Iceberg Article

05/20/2021
Christopher Shuman (615/UMBC) was interviewed by Claire Fahy of The New York Times for the story “Iceberg Splits From Antarctica, Becoming World’s Largest” (also included in the Sunday print edition).

Paper Selected for IEEE Award

05/07/2021
The article "An active–passive microwave land surface database from GPM" was selected as the winner of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society 2020 Transactions Prize Paper Award. The Award will be presented at IGARSS 2021 in Brussels, Belgium. Congratulations to authors S. Munchak (612), S. Ringerud (612/UMD), L. Brucker (615/USRA), Y. You, I. de Gelis, and C. Prigent.

Shuman Quoted in BBC News Feature

04/17/2021
Chris Shuman was quoted in a recent BBC News feature about the melting of the social media star Iceberg A68.

Study Investigates Glacier Slope

12/18/2020
Denis Felikson is lead author on a study looking at how gentler bed topography, may have a greater impact on glacier flow than previously thought.

Notes from the Field Blog: Polarstern at the North Pole

09/23/2020
Sea ice geophysicist Melinda Webster is blogging from the RV Polarstern, an icebreaker ship locked in Arctic sea ice for the MOSAiC expedition. Webster will use MOSAiC data as a blueprint to evaluate and extend the seasonal capability of data from NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite for sea ice research.

Earth Expeditions: An Active Arctic – Where Sea Ice Meets the Midnight Sun

07/24/2020
In the early 1900s, Ernest Shackleton attempted to travel across Antarctica, but as they neared the continent his ship became stuck in an pack of sea ice and was slowly crushed before it reached the landmass. Over 100 years later and on the opposite side of the globe in the Arctic, researchers in the massive, double-hulled icebreaker, Polarstern, are also stuck in a pack of sea ice – but this time on purpose. And this ship isn’t sinking any time soon.

Earth Expeditions Blog: Operation IceBridge – Glaciers Aren't Forever

07/08/2020
Flying a plane over Alaska’s vast landscape provides a birds-eye view of some incredible sights. Bears run across frigid streams, moose trample through mounds of snow, and golden eagles own the air above ice-capped mountains. Glaciers cut paths through these mountains, leaving lakes and rivers in their wake. These glaciers are especially interesting to scientists who want to learn more about climate change in a region that is changing more than any other.

Notes from the Field Blog: Into the Ice

06/29/2020
Sea ice geophysicist Melinda Webster is blogging from the RV Polarstern, an icebreaker ship locked in Arctic sea ice for the MOSAiC expedition. Webster will use MOSAiC data as a blueprint to evaluate and extend the seasonal capability of data from NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite for sea ice research.

Notes from the Field Blog: Farewells

06/25/2020
Leg 4 scientists and crew with the MOSAiC expedition have finally headed for the Arctic ice pack.

Earth Matters Blog: Research Roundup -- Depicting Change Across Earth’s Frozen Places

06/15/2020
A series of research papers in recent months shows that we know more than ever before about the ice on our land and covering the seas. In case you missed them, here’s a look at some of the notable findings. Many are based on data from NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite, which just over a year ago released to the public more than a trillion new measurements of Earth’s height.

Notes from the Field Blog: We Go North

05/21/2020
After 18 days in quarantine and multiple tests for coronavirus, leg 4 participants in the MOSAiC expedition head north to meet the RV Polarstern.

Notes from the Field Blog: Departure

05/06/2020
Hi there, from 39,000’. I’m Melinda Webster, a sea ice geophysicist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute. I’m on my way to the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition as the Ice Team Lead for Leg 4. Funded under NASA’s New Investigator Program, I’ll be using MOSAiC data as the ultimate blue print to evaluate and extend the seasonal capability of ICESat-2 data for sea-ice research.

Claire Parkinson Named Finalist for Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal

05/05/2020
Photo of Claire Parkinson On May 3, 2020, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service announced 27 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammies) finalists for 2020 – outstanding federal employees who serve the public good and are addressing many of our country’s greatest challenges. One of those winners is climatologist and author, Claire Parkinson of the Earth Sciences Division.

Claire was selected for her achievements in conducting breakthrough scientific research documenting how the changing sea ice covers in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans have played a significant role in climate change and for her role as Project Scientist for the Aqua satellite. Claire is one of six finalists in the Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement category.

The Sammies, known as the “Oscars” of government service, are a highly respected honor with a rigorous selection process. Congratulations, Claire!

Earth Matters Blog: Antarctic Iceberg Breaks and Makes a New Berg

05/04/2020
Antarctic iceberg A-68A, which broke from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in 2017, has been floating solo in recent years. Not anymore. The colossal iceberg finally fractured in late April 2020, spawning a new companion named A-68C.

Notes from the Field Blog: Polar Bear Visits Polarstern

04/28/2020
This past week we had the first polar bear sighting of leg 3. In the early morning hours, a curious male polar bear walked through the Central Observatory, checked out a few installations, played with a rubber fender, and continued on to about 800 meters from the ship.

Notes from the Field Blog: Ice Coring Mondays

04/21/2020
The main task I am involved with here on MOSAiC is the drilling of sea ice cores. Each week, a group of 10 scientists from the Sea Ice, Ecology, and Biogeochemistry teams goes out to two different “Dark Site” locations on the floe to drill ice cores that will be used in a variety of different experiments back on the ship. We call this large weekly effort “Coring Monday.”

Science Magazine Highlights ICESat-2

04/17/2020
ICESat-2's ability to measure bathymetry was highlighted in the 17 April 2020 issue of Science magazine.

Notes from the Field: MOSAiC Meets ICESat-2

04/07/2020
One of my scientific objectives while on MOSAiC is to make measurements that will help validate sea ice data collected by NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite. Using a helicopter, a laser, precise GPS coordinates, and some chocolate, we were able to do just that.

Earth Day Countdown Blog: T-16–Earth’s Ice from the Air

04/06/2020
NASA’s airborne researchers travel to some of the most remote places on the planet. For eleven years from 2009 through 2019, the planes of NASA’s Operation IceBridge flew above the Arctic, Antarctic and Alaska, gathering data on the height, depth, thickness, flow and change of sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets.

Notes from the Field: Instrument Rescue Operation

04/02/2020
The leads that formed the last weeks throughout the floe continue to have an impact here on MOSAiC. The wide lead that split off two sites from the rest of the central observatory started to close again, forming a large ridge that threatened some of the instruments and huts that were out on the ice. Knowing that a storm could re-open the leads or force the ridge to grow even larger, we decided to hold a rescue operation to move any instruments that were too near to the ridge to safer ground.

Earth Day Countdown Blog: T-26–Snow from the Ground and Space

03/27/2020
Snow is vital for Earth’s ecosystems and humans. It regulates temperature by reflecting sunlight and acts as insulation. When it melts in the springtime, it produces life-giving water.

Coronavirus Impacts Field Work

03/27/2020
Goddard Space Flight Center airborne campaigns are highlighted in a recent Capital Weather Gang article in The Washington Post. The article describes the novel coronavirus's impact on scientific research and field campaigns.

Notes from the Field Blog: The MOSAiC Floe

03/16/2020
Central to the entire MOSAiC Expedition is the MOSAiC Floe: a large sheet of sea ice that was carefully selected as the ideal place to anchor Polarstern for an entire year.

Earth Day Countdown Blog: T-38–Glaciers on the Move

03/15/2020
Condense 48 years into six seconds, and Alaska’s glaciers move at a pace that’s anything but glacial. The rivers of ice flow and surge and shift and retreat, and time-lapse videos created from decades of satellite images track the changes over time.

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