Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ice melt in the Arctic

Here is a link to an awesome Youtube video produced by NASA

 ...that looks at quantifying lake depth using remote sensing.

is an image of the Greenland ice sheet taken from a helicopter in 2004 by one of the NSIDC researchers that also shows the differentiation of blue colors.

What Dr. Allen Pope is looking at in the first video is data from the Landsat 8 satellite.  He's analyzing the blue in the lakes in order to determine depth.  Darker lakes mean deeper lakes. This is important information because an increase in melt creates a positive feedback loop where the ice continues to melt at a faster and faster pace.  As more water pools, more light is absorbed and the ice sheet disapears even quicker.  Specifically, monitoring glacial melt is one way to quantify global warming.  We have almost 40 years of satellite data observing the ice melt in Greenland and trends show that its been steadily getting smaller since we started collecting imagery in 1978. It is all done with remote sensing.

This all came up because September 11th, 2015, was the Actic sea ice minimum, and the fourth smallest ice minimum ever.  Here is a Washington post article with links to some NASA images of the entire icemelt.


Ice is pretty neat.

Posted by Teague Walsh-Felz

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