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Cruising the Arctic

June 14th, 2010 by Rebecca Lindsey

On June 15, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy (photo above) will depart Dutch Harbor, Alaska, for its 5-week-long journey north through the Bering Strait to the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Along the way, forty-three NASA-funded scientists will study how climate change is affecting the ecology of the Arctic. They will collect samples and even disembark for extended periods to work directly on the sea ice. They’ll study everything from the Arctic Ocean’s optical properties (how it reflects and absorbs light) to phytoplankton physiology.

To follow the expedition in coming weeks, please visit NASA’s ICESCAPE blog.

Dr. Robert Bindschadler reports on progress from his team’s work this past Antarctic summer. The project took a major step forward in 2010, although the work that was accomplished was completed far from the Pine Island area. The goal was to conduct field work together for the first time, try out as many techniques as possible and test as much equipment as we could. Looking forward to a return to Pine Island ice shelf in 2011-12.

Read more on the Pine Island Glacier site.

Practice drilling into the ice

Many hands are required to adjust hoses and couplings as the team practices the techniques they will eventually deploy at the Pine Island site.

Operation IceBridge Greenland 2010 Begins

March 23rd, 2010 by Kevin Ward
Lora Koenig, IceBridge project scientist, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Lora Koenig, IceBridge project scientist, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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.

Follow their progress over the next several weeks on the Operation IceBridge blog.

Operation Ice Bridge

September 28th, 2009 by Kevin Ward
Antarctica's Larsen Ice Shelf, viewed from NASA's DC-8 aircraft in 2004, is one target of the 2009 Operation: Ice Bridge Antarctica campaign. Credit: NASA/Jim Ross

Antarctica's Larsen Ice Shelf, viewed from NASA's DC-8 aircraft in 2004, is one target of the 2009 Operation: Ice Bridge Antarctica campaign. Credit: NASA/Jim Ross

Operation Ice Bridge, a six-year NASA field campaign, is the largest airborne survey of Earth’s polar ice ever flown. It will yield an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice.

The team in Antarctica will be blogging about their experiences on this campaign over the next few weeks so be sure to follow them on the Operation Ice Bridge blog.

Notes from the Field