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Topic: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NASA researchers and National Snow and Ice Data Center reports Melting Season in Arctic lasting longer

 

Written by Maria-José Viñas
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The length of the melt season for Arctic sea ice is growing by several days each decade, and an earlier start to the melt season is allowing the Arctic Ocean to absorb enough additional solar radiation in some places to melt as much as four feet of the Arctic ice cap’s thickness, according to a new study by National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA researchers.

Arctic sea ice has been in sharp decline during the last four decades. The sea ice cover is shrinking and thinning, making scientists think an ice-free Arctic Ocean during the summer might be reached this century. The seven lowest September sea ice extents in the satellite record have all occurred in the past seven years.

An image mosaic of sea ice in the Canadian Basin, taken by Operation IceBridge's Digital Mapping System on Mar. 28th, 2014. (Digital Mapping System/NASA Ames)

An image mosaic of sea ice in the Canadian Basin, taken by Operation IceBridge’s Digital Mapping System on Mar. 28th, 2014. (Digital Mapping System/NASA Ames)

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NASA’s Global Hawk research aircraft finishes Climate Change study

 

Written by Rachel Hoover
NASA Ames Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – NASA’s Global Hawk research aircraft returned to its base at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, early Friday morning March 14th, marking the completion of flights in support of this year’s Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX), a multi-year NASA airborne science campaign.

On February 13th, the autonomously operated aircraft began conducting science flights from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam in the western Pacific region on a mission to track changes in the upper atmosphere and help researchers understand how these changes affect Earth’s climate.

NASA's Global Hawk No. 872 flares for landing at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam to begin the 2014 ATTREX climate-change mission Jan. 17th. The two-month-long airborne science flight campaign wrapped up with the aircraft's return to NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center March 14th. (U.S. Air Force)

NASA’s Global Hawk No. 872 flares for landing at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam to begin the 2014 ATTREX climate-change mission Jan. 17th. The two-month-long airborne science flight campaign wrapped up with the aircraft’s return to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center March 14th. (U.S. Air Force)

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NASA says 2013 continued Climate Warming Trend

 

NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA scientists say 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006 for the seventh warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures.

With the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the warmest years on record.

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NASA Scientists use Global Hawk aircraft to track atmosphere changes that affect the climate of Earth

 

Written by Rachel Hoover
NASA’s Ames Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMoffett Field, CA – NASA’s uncrewed Global Hawk research aircraft is in the western Pacific region on a mission to track changes in the upper atmosphere and help researchers understand how these changes affect Earth’s climate.

Deployed from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, CA, the Global Hawk landed at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam Thursday at approximately 5:00pm EST and will begin science flights Tuesday, January 21st. Its mission, the Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX), is a multi-year NASA airborne science campaign.

NASA's Global Hawk 872 on a checkout flight from Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, in preparation for the 2014 ATTREX mission over the western Pacific Ocean. (NASA/Tom Miller)

NASA’s Global Hawk 872 on a checkout flight from Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, in preparation for the 2014 ATTREX mission over the western Pacific Ocean. (NASA/Tom Miller)

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NASA field study shows possible Mercury increase in the sea due to cracks in Arctic Ice

 

Written by Carol Rasmussen
NASA Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Vigorous mixing in the air above large cracks in Arctic sea ice that expose seawater to cold polar air pumps atmospheric mercury down to the surface, finds a NASA field campaign. This process can lead to more of the toxic pollutant entering the food chain, where it can negatively affect the health of fish and animals who eat them, including humans.

Scientists measured increased concentrations of mercury near ground level after sea ice off the coast of Barrow, Alaska, cracked, creating open seawater channels called leads. The researchers were in the Arctic for the NASA-led Bromine, Ozone, and Mercury Experiment (BROMEX) in 2012.

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NASA reports scientists discover coldest place on Earth

 

Written by Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – What is the coldest place on Earth? It is a high ridge in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau where temperatures in several hollows can dip below minus 133.6 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 92 degrees Celsius) on a clear winter night.

Scientists made the discovery while analyzing the most detailed global surface temperature maps to date, developed with data from remote sensing satellites including the new Landsat 8, a joint project of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

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NASA says ‘La Nada’ Climate Pattern Lingers in the Pacific

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – New remote sensing data from NASA’s Jason-2 satellite show near-normal sea-surface height conditions across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

This neutral, or “La Nada” event, has stubbornly persisted for 16 months, since spring 2012. Models suggest this pattern will continue through the spring of 2014, according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.

The latest image of sea surface heights in the Pacific Ocean from NASA's Jason-2 satellite shows that the equatorial Pacific Ocean is now in its 16th month of being locked in what some call a neutral, or "La Nada" state. (Image credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech/Ocean Surface Topography Team)

The latest image of sea surface heights in the Pacific Ocean from NASA’s Jason-2 satellite shows that the equatorial Pacific Ocean is now in its 16th month of being locked in what some call a neutral, or “La Nada” state. (Image credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech/Ocean Surface Topography Team)

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NASA Scientists link Industrial Soot to Abrupt Retreat of 19th Century Glaciers

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – A NASA-led team of scientists has uncovered strong evidence that soot from a rapidly industrializing Europe caused the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the European Alps that began in the 1860s, a period often thought of as the end of the Little Ice Age.

The research, published September 3rd in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may help resolve a longstanding scientific debate.

This photo from summer 2012 looking south into the Bernese Alps shows how air pollution in the Alps tends to be confined to lower altitudes, concentrating the deposition of soot and dust on the lower slopes. At center left in the picture, a glacier can be seen extending from a high-altitude snow field, above the pollution layer, down into the valley where its lower reach is bathed in pollutants. (Image credit: Peter Holy)

This photo from summer 2012 looking south into the Bernese Alps shows how air pollution in the Alps tends to be confined to lower altitudes, concentrating the deposition of soot and dust on the lower slopes. At center left in the picture, a glacier can be seen extending from a high-altitude snow field, above the pollution layer, down into the valley where its lower reach is bathed in pollutants. (Image credit: Peter Holy)

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NASA’s Jason-1 Ocean Altimetry Satellite decommissioned after Signal Loss

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The curtain has come down on a superstar of the satellite oceanography world that played the “Great Blue Way” of the world’s ocean for 11-1/2 years. The successful joint NASA and Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) Jason-1 ocean altimetry satellite was decommissioned this week following the loss of its last remaining transmitter.

Launched December 7th, 2001, and designed to last three to five years, Jason-1 helped create a revolutionary 20-plus-year climate data record of global ocean surface topography that began in 1992 with the launch of the NASA/CNES Topex/Poseidon satellite.

Artist's concept of the joint NASA/CNES Jason-1 ocean altimetry satellite. During its 11-1/2-year life, Jason-1 helped create a 20-plus-year climate record of global ocean surface topography, providing new insights into ocean circulation, tracking our rising seas and enabling more accurate weather, ocean and climate forecasts. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist’s concept of the joint NASA/CNES Jason-1 ocean altimetry satellite. During its 11-1/2-year life, Jason-1 helped create a 20-plus-year climate record of global ocean surface topography, providing new insights into ocean circulation, tracking our rising seas and enabling more accurate weather, ocean and climate forecasts. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA asks “Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?”

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Flying low and slow above the wild, pristine terrain of Alaska’s North Slope in a specially instrumented NASA plane, research scientist Charles Miller of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, surveys the endless whiteness of tundra and frozen permafrost below.

On the horizon, a long, dark line appears. The plane draws nearer, and the mysterious object reveals itself to be a massive herd of migrating caribou, stretching for miles. It’s a sight Miller won’t soon forget.

Permafrost zones occupy nearly a quarter of the exposed land area of the Northern Hemisphere. NASA's Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment is probing deep into the frozen lands above the Arctic Circle in Alaska to measure emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane from thawing permafrost - signals that may hold a key to Earth's climate future. (Image credit: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal)

Permafrost zones occupy nearly a quarter of the exposed land area of the Northern Hemisphere. NASA’s Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment is probing deep into the frozen lands above the Arctic Circle in Alaska to measure emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane from thawing permafrost – signals that may hold a key to Earth’s climate future. (Image credit: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal)

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