NASA study on Antarctic ice melt

September 21, 2007 at 1:07 pm | Posted in Antarctica, GRL, Ice melt, Microwave imagery, NASA | Leave a comment

… In a new NASA study, researchers using 20 years of data from space-based sensors have confirmed that Antarctic snow is melting farther inland from the coast over time, melting at higher altitudes than ever and increasingly melting on Antarctica’s largest ice shelf.

…Satellite imagery shows (below, click for larger image on NASA site) the number of Antarctic melting days for the 2004 – 2005 season. Areas where melting occurred for a greater number of days are indicated in darker shades of red. Credit: NASA/Rob Simmon


…”Snow melting is very connected to surface temperature change, so it’s likely warmer temperatures are at the root of what we’ve observed in Antarctica,” said lead author Marco Tedesco, a research scientist at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology cooperatively managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., and the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Baltimore. The study will be published on Sept. 22 in the American Geophysical Union’s Geophysical Research Letters. …

A map of Antarctica indicates (below, click for larger image on NASA site) first time persistent melting detected within the study period from 1987-2006. Areas where persistent melting took place are shown in darker shades of green. Credit: NASA/Rob Simmon


… The study’s results from the satellite data support related research reporting a direct link between changes in near surface air temperatures and the duration and geographic area of snow melting on Antarctica. These studies, when taken together, indicate a relationship to climate change. …

Those were a few excerpts from a NASA news feature NASA Researchers Find Snowmelt in Antarctica Creeping Inland preparing the way for tomorrow’s report.

(An earlier NASA environment feature article Impact of Climate Warming on Polar Ice Sheets Confirmed set the scene back in March 2007.)


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