Cryospheric Sciences (615) Press Releases & Feature Stories Archive

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NASA Space Lasers Map Meltwater Lakes in Antarctica With Striking Precision

With the most advanced Earth-observing laser instrument NASA has ever flown in space, scientists have improved their maps of hidden lake systems under the West Antarctic ice sheet.

Study Projects a Surge in Coastal Flooding, Starting in 2030s

In the mid-2030s, every U.S. coast will experience rapidly increasing high-tide floods, when a lunar cycle will amplify rising sea levels caused by climate change.

Sizing Up a Tabular Iceberg

The topography of Antarctic Iceberg A-76 provides insight into the strange properties of ice.

Sizing Up Remote Lakes

Researchers are using ICESat-2 elevation data to create bathymetry maps of shallow lakes in the remote desert.

Tracking an Antarctic Iceberg’s Epic Journey

The long voyage of one of the planet’s largest bergs—A-68A—has come to an end.

Earth's cryosphere is vital for everyone. Here's how NASA keeps track of its changes.

Everything on our planet — the land, the water, the air, people — is connected by the various chemical, physical and biological processes that make up what we call the Earth system.

Sea Ice Highs and Lows

There were no records set in 2020-21, but the downward trends in polar ice continue.

NASA’s 2021 Virtual Earth Day Event – Online, April 21–24

NASA’s 2021 Virtual Earth Day Event – Online, April 21–24 You’re invited to NASA’s 2021 Virtual Earth Day Event, held April 21-24. Registration is FREE and open to the public!

What a Glacial River Reveals About the Greenland Ice Sheet

With data from a 2016 expedition, scientists supported by NASA are shedding more light into the complex processes under the Greenland Ice Sheet that control how fast its glaciers slide toward the ocean and contribute to sea level rise.

Dry Ice: How Expanding Antarctic Sea Ice is Drying the Atmosphere Over the Southern Ocean

Evaporation plays an important role in the global water and energy cycles and therefore in climate change. AIRS data were used in a study to help quantify evaporation over the Southern Ocean, where the Antarctic sea ice coverage has a large annual cycle.

NASA Finds 2021 Arctic Winter Sea Ice Tied for 7th-Lowest on Record

Sea ice in the Arctic appears to have hit its annual maximum extent after growing through the fall and winter. This year's maximum extent peaked at 5.70 million square miles, making it the seventh-smallest on record and tied with 2007.

NASA Scientists Complete 1st Global Survey of Freshwater Fluctuation

To investigate humans’ impact on freshwater resources, scientists have now conducted the first global accounting of fluctuating water levels in Earth’s lakes and reservoirs – including ones previously too small to measure from space.

Breakup at Brunt

A large iceberg finally split from the Antarctic ice shelf, but another piece stubbornly hangs on.

Antarctic Icebergs Galore

The many pieces of Antarctic iceberg A-68 continue to drift near South Georgia Island.

Snowmelt Timing Near the Great Salt Lake

Satellite data indicate that snow is melting earlier, changing when and how much the lake is refilled.

Snow-Free Glaciers in Winter

Several glaciers near Mount Everest have experienced unusual melting this winter.

Brunt Breaking Up with Antarctica this Year?

A crack on the Antarctic ice shelf grew dramatically in late 2020 into 2021.

The Climate Events of 2020 Show How Excess Heat is Expressed on Earth

By most accounts, 2020 has been a rough year for the planet. It was the warmest year on record, just barely exceeding the record set in 2016 by less than a tenth of a degree according to NASA's analysis.

Beyond Ice: NASA’s ICESat-2 Shows Hidden Talents

The ICESat-2 laser altimeter data provide height measurements of every 2.3 feet (70 centimeters) along the ground path. The data provide precise measurements of the ice sheet height, ice floes, forest canopies, rivers and lakes and surface topography, and shallow water bathymetry.

NASA Discoveries, R&D, Moon to Mars Exploration Plans Persevere in 2020

"NASA has impressed the nation with our resilience and persistence during the pandemic," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

NASA Finds What a Glacier’s Slope Reveals About Greenland Ice Sheet Thinning

As glaciers flow outward from the Greenland Ice Sheet, what lies beneath them offers clues to their role in future ice thinning and sea-level rise contribution.

Iceberg Closes In on South Georgia

Antarctic iceberg A-68A has drifted menacingly close to a remote island in the southern Atlantic Ocean.

NASA Scientists Named AGU 2020 Union Honorees

Nine individuals with NASA affiliations have been named 2020 Union honorees or fellows by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and will receive honors bestowed by AGU for their excellence in scientific research, education, communication, and outreach.

Beyond Ice: NASA's ICESat-2 Shows Hidden Talents

For a satellite with ice in its name, and measuring ice as its mission, NASA's ICESat-2 is also getting a lot of attention from scientists who have warmer subjects in mind.

Early Melting Along the Antarctic Peninsula

About a month before the start of astronomical summer in the southern hemisphere, vast areas of sea ice were already painted blue with meltwater.

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