Thursday, July 11, 2013

Huge Antarctic Glacier Confirmed by Satellite this Week

NASA's Operation IceBridge scientists confirmed this week that an iceberg 1/4 the size of Rhode Island has calved from the Pine Island Glacier.  Images taken from the European Earth monitoring satellite TerraSAR-X show that a 280-square mile ice island has resulted from a rift in the ice.  The crack in the Pine Island Glacier has been monitored since 2011 when it was discovered by Operation IceBridge scientists during flights over Antarctica.

Because the TerraSAR-X uses radar, it is able to monitor the continent even through clouds and through the dark winter months.  Scientist use data on calving, as well as ocean temperatures and surface melt rates, to discover more about the effects of climate changes.

Image Credit:  NASA / DMS

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