Blog | September 13, 2016, 14:02 PDT

Watching Greenland's ice from inside and out

By Laura Faye Tenenbaum

While NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland campaign gets busy flying around the perimeter of Greenland to measure the melt-rate of the Greenland Ice Sheet from around its edges, NASA’s Operation IceBridge has been flying across the ice sheet to survey the ice elevation and observe the impact of the summer melt season on the ice sheet. To draw the best portrait of the ice cap, sometimes IceBridge flies over the same area where researchers drill for ice cores so they can tie in airborne measurements with the more detailed data collected from those ice cores. (Photos by Laura Faye Tenenbaum)

falcon exterior
NASA’s Falcon HU 25 on the runway preparing for a 3- to 4-hour morning flight over the Greenland Ice Sheet. According to John Sonntag, mission scientist, “This one’s a nice ride. It’s a jet, comfortable as can be.”

falcon interior
Inside the Operation IceBridge aircraft fitted out with a laser altimeter, which measures the height of the ice. The campaign will measure the same lines, year after year, from 2009 to 2018 to observe changes in the ice cap.

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