Friday, June 7, 2013

NASA's IceBridge Mission Contributes to New Map of Antarctica

With effects ranging from influencing ocean currents to raising sea level, Antarctica plays a large role in the global climate system.

Researchers are using a variety of methods to understand how Antarctica will react to a changing climate, but limited information on ice thickness and what lies beneath the ice makes this work challenging.

Now, thanks to work led by the British Antarctic Survey published recently in the journal The Cryosphere, scientists will have a new detailed map of the frozen continent.

A new dataset called Bedmap2 gives a clearer picture of Antarctica from the ice surface down to the bedrock below.

Bedmap2 is a significant improvement on the previous collection of Antarctic data—known as Bedmap—that was produced more than 10 years ago.

The product was a result of work led by the British Antarctic Survey, where researchers compiled decades worth of geophysical measurements, such as surface elevation measurements from NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite, known as ICESat, and ice thickness data collected by Operation IceBridge.

[story, photos]

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/antarctic-map.html

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