Ice Sheets - A mass of glacial ice the covers surrounding terrain and is greater ... Pine Island Glacier, Antartica Image taken by ASTER December 2000 ...
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Ice Sheet Changes From Space
Antarctic Ice Sheet
Largest single ice mass on Earth
Covers an area of 14,000,000 km2
Contains over 30,000,000 km2
Rests on terrain in East Antarctica, but extends nearly 2500 meters below sea level in West Antarctica
Greenland Ice Sheet
Second largest ice mass on Earth
Covers an area of 1,833,900 km2
Covers over 80% of Greenland
Ice averages a depth of 2.3 kilometers, but the summit is nearly 3 kilometers in depth
Global Image of Ice sheets
Global Sea Level Rising
Possible Extreme Weakening of the Gulf Stream
Changes in global climate due to surface albedo –
“Albedo is the ratio of reflected to incidentelectromagnetic radiation. It is a unitless measure indicative of a surface's or body's diffuse reflectivity. The word is derived from albus, a Latin word for "white".”
Percentage of reflected sun light in relation to various surface conditions of the earth
A Tour of the Cryosphere
DOWN THE RIVER. The material in ice streams flows much faster than does the ice on nearby highlands. Blue tint denotes speeds of less than 10 meters per year; red denotes speeds of 1 kilometer per year or more.Byrd Polar Research Center, NASA, Canadian Space Agency
This figure shows the ice mass loss in Antarctica as observed by Grace over the period 2002-2005 (see browse image) measured in cubic kilometers per year. The ice mass loss observed contributes about 0.4 millimeters (.016 inches) per year to global sea level rise. Image credit: University of Colorado
“…a project designed to monitor the world's glaciers primarily using data from the ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and reflection Radiometer) instrument aboard the EOS (Earth Observing System) Terra spacecraft, launched in December, 1999.”
ASTER's three subsystems are: the Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR), the Shortwave Infrared (SWIR), and the Thermal Infrared (TIR).
Pine Island Glacier, Antartica – Image taken by ASTER December 2000
Figure 7. Byrd Glacier, Antarctica. (top) ASTER image mosaic. (bottom) Surface flow speeds determined by a 1978 theodolite survey (left), and feature tracking in ASTER image analysis using two recent images (center) and the velocity change (right) during two recent time periods. Contributed by Gordon Hamilton and Leigh Stearns (University of Maine).
Fig. 1. Diagrammatic justification for world glacier monitoring. Center of the diagram illustrates key elements of basic glaciological science; yellow-green elements are key areas of investigation by GLIMS. Stream flow and glacier net mass balance (shown in purple in the “science” part of the diagram) are the key links between glaciers and their practical importance to people and natural ecosystems and our understanding of climate change, as shown in the “Impacts” and “Fundamental Understanding” parts of the diagram.
IceSat Orbit on June 7th, 2007
Current Location of ICESat
First Ice Sheet Thickness Images
Constructing and launching ESA’a CryoSat 2 (the first was lost during launch October 2005) which would contain the world’s first altimeter designed to examine and acquire data from the steeply sloping margins on the lower elevations of the ice sheets.
Continue field study in Antarctic and Greenland monitoring declining ice mass as well as many other factors
Continue collecting and analyzing GLIMS data as well as other satellite data