Melting Greenland (OMG) scientists are heading into the field this
week to better understand how seawater is melting Greenland’s ice from below. (Yes,
those black specks are people next to an iceberg.) While NASA is studying ocean
properties (things like temperature, salinity and currents), other researchers
are eager to incorporate our data into their work. In fact, University of
Washington scientists are using OMG data to study narwhals – smallish whales
with long tusks – otherwise known as the “unicorns of the sea.”
Our researchers are also in the field right now studying how
Alaska’s ice is changing. Operation
IceBridge, our longest airborne campaign, is using science
instruments on airplanes to study and measure the ice below.
What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic (or
the Antarctic, really). In a warming world, the greatest changes are seen in
the coldest places. Earth’s cryosphere – its ice sheets, sea ice, glaciers,
permafrost and snow cover – acts as our planet’s thermostat and deep freeze,
regulating temperatures and storing most of our freshwater. Next month, we’re
launching ICESat-2, our
latest satellite to study Earth’s ice!
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