CR
Cryospheric Sciences

Remote sensing

Image of the Week – Sea Ice Floes!

Image of the Week – Sea Ice Floes!

The polar regions are covered by a thin sheet of sea ice – frozen water that forms out of the same ocean water it floats on. Often, portrayals of Earth’s sea ice cover show it as a great, white, sheet. Looking more closely, however reveals the sea ice cover to be a varied and jumbled collection of floating pieces of ice, known as floes. The distribution and size of these floes is vitally imp ...[Read More]

Image of the Week – What an ice hole!

Image of the Week – What an ice hole!

Over the summer, I got excited… the Weddell Polynya was seemingly re-opening! ”The what?” asked my new colleagues. So today, after brief mentions in past posts, it is time to explain what a polynya is. Put it simply, a polynya, from the Russian word for “ice hole”, is a hole in the sea-ice cover. That means that in the middle of winter, the sea ice locally and naturally opens and reveals the ocean ...[Read More]

Image of the Week – Satellite Measurements of Arctic Sea Ice

Image of the Week – Satellite Measurements of Arctic Sea Ice

Sea ice is an important part of the Earth’s climate system. When sea ice forms, it releases heat and salt. When sea ice melts, it takes up heat and adds freshwater to the salty ocean water. It is also important for the exchange of energy between the atmosphere and the ocean surface, and for the ocean currents that transport warm and cold water from the equator to the poles and back. The main route ...[Read More]

Image of the Week – How ocean tides affect ice flow

Image of the Week – How ocean tides affect ice flow

Ice streams discharge approximately 90% of the Antarctic ice onto ice shelves , and ultimately into the sea into the sea (Bamber et al., 2000; Rignot et al., 2011). Whilst flow-speed changes on annual timescales are frequently discussed, we consider here what happens on much shorter timescales! Previous studies have shown that ice streams can respond to ocean tides at distances up to 100km inland ...[Read More]

European Space Agency Living Planet Symposium 2016

European Space Agency Living Planet Symposium 2016

Living Planet Symposium Between the 9th and 13th May, Prague played host to the European Space Agency’s (ESA) fourth Living Planet Symposium. The event, the largest in its history with over 3300 attendees, brought together the earth observation community across multiple disciplines to discuss significant scientific results and the future developments of earth observation missions. Earth Observatio ...[Read More]

Careers at the European Space Agency – How and Why?

Careers at the European Space Agency – How and Why?

As the pace of modern life speeds up and job competition becomes even more fierce, it is good to have a focused plan of where you would like to be in the future. The European Space Agency (ESA) offers traineeships and research positions to young scientists on a regular basis. They may be a springboard into your chosen career path, but how do you go about bagging one of these valuable opportunities ...[Read More]

Image of the Week – Monitoring icy rivers from space!

Image of the Week – Monitoring icy rivers from space!

Why? When a river freezes over, it changes the amount of water that flows through the river system. River ice affects many of the world’s largest rivers, and in the Northern Hemisphere, approximately 60% of rivers experience significant seasonal effects. The formation and evolution of river ice changes river discharge and is not only of interest to local ice skating enthusiasts. The variations in ...[Read More]

Image of the Week – Changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet Documented by Satellite

Image of the Week – Changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet Documented by Satellite

Monitoring the changing ice mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet provides valuable information about how the ice sheet is responding to changing climate, but how do we make these measurements over such a large area of ice? Using NASA’s GRACE satellites (twin-satellites flying in formation) it is possible to make detailed measurements of the Earth’s gravitational field. As ice is gained/lost from ...[Read More]

Image of the Week — What’s up with the sea-ice leads?

Image of the Week — What’s up with the sea-ice leads?

This illustration shows two Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images taken over sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. Both images are polarimetric and the different colours reflect the different polarimetric channels of the SAR (red = VV, green = HV and blue = HH). The two images are from the two satellites “ALOS-2” and “RADARSAT-2”. These are equipped with radars that operate at wavel ...[Read More]

Image of the Week: Greenland Ice Streams

Image of the Week: Greenland Ice Streams

This image is from the west coast of Greenland and it shows several glaciers flowing towards the sea (upper part of the image), transporting ice into the ocean. The colours show the velocity of the ice. As the ice gets nearer to the coast it speeds up reaching speeds over 15m/day. The velocities were calculated using two Sentinel-1A radar scans from 3 and 15 January 2015. You can download a high r ...[Read More]