Operation IceBridge - Studying Earth's Polar Ice

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Once More to Jakobshavn

Shadow of the NASA P-3 on the calving front of Greenland’s Jakobshavn Glacier. › View larger
Shadow of the NASA P-3 on the calving front of Greenland’s Jakobshavn Glacier. Credit: NASA / Jim Yungel

Following two days of grounding due to weather, IceBridge researchers returned to surveying Greenland's ice with another survey of the Jakobshavn Glacier area.

On Apr. 17 and 18, IceBridge mission planners carried out their normal early morning trip to the Kangerlussuaq airport weather office. But instead of finding clear areas to survey, the team found low clouds and high winds throughout Greenland. One of the main driving forces behind IceBridge mission planning is to maximize data collection, so planners opted to stay on the ground.

The evening science meeting on Apr. 18 was more promising than the last two, with forecast models showing some clearing in southeast Greenland and in the west central region near the town of Ilulissat. The following morning, mission planners went to the weather office and found that forecasts of clearing around the Jakobshavn Glacier looked promising. With that, the team boarded the P-3 and took off for another survey of the Jakobshavn Glacier basin.

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Read more about the IceBridge 2014 Arctic campaign.


IceBridge Mission Statement

NASA’s Operation IceBridge images Earth's polar ice in unprecedented detail to better understand processes that connect the polar regions with the global climate system. IceBridge utilizes a highly specialized fleet of research aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of innovative science instruments ever assembled to characterize annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. In addition, IceBridge collects critical data used to predict the response of earth’s polar ice to climate change and resulting sea-level rise. IceBridge also helps bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA's ICESat satellite missions.

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Page Last Updated: April 21st, 2014
Page Editor: Holly Zell