Topic: NASA GRACE-FO Satellites
Pasadena, CA – NASA scientists have studied 17 years of gravity observations of our planet to understand how the global water cycle is changing.
The rate at which plants and the land surface release moisture into the air has increased on a global scale between 2003 and 2019. These processes are collectively known as evapotranspiration, and a new NASA study has calculated its increase by using observations from gravity satellites.
Pasadena, CA – To make better predictions about the future impacts of sea level rise, new techniques are being developed to fill gaps in the historic record of sea level measurements.
We know the factors that play a role in sea level rise: Melting glaciers and ice sheets add water to the seas, and warmer temperatures cause water to expand.
Other factors are known to slow the rise, such as dams impounding water on the land, stymying its flow into the sea.
Pasadena, CA – NASA says Greenland has set a new record for ice loss in 2019, shedding the most mass from its giant ice sheet in any year since at least 1948.
The large loss – 532 billion tons -is a stark reversal of the more moderate rate of melt seen in the previous two years. And it exceeds Greenland’s previous record of 464 billion tons, set in 2012. The record melt will likely raise average global sea level by 1.5 millimeters.
Using a hypothetical comparison, all the water combined would cover the entire state of California in more than 4 feet (1.2 meters) of water.
Pasadena, CA – Seven of the regions that dominate global ice mass losses are melting at an accelerated rate, a new study shows, and the quickened melt rate is depleting freshwater resources that millions of people depend on.
The impact of melting ice in Greenland and Antarctica on the world’s oceans is well documented. But the largest contributors to sea level rise in the 20th century were melting ice caps and glaciers located in seven other regions: Alaska, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the Southern Andes, High Mountain Asia, the Russian Arctic, Iceland and the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard. The five Arctic regions accounted for the greatest share of ice loss.
Pasadena, CA – Greenland and coastal Louisiana may not seem to have a lot in common. An autonomous territory of Denmark, Greenland is covered in snow most of the year and is home to about 56,000 people. On the other hand, more than 2 million people call coastal Louisiana home and the region rarely sees snow.
But their economies, though 3,400 miles (5,400 kilometers) apart, share a dependence on the sea. The majority of Greenland’s residents rely on the territory’s robust Arctic fishing industry. And in Louisiana, the coasts, ports and wetlands provide the basis for everything from shipping to fishing to tourism. As a result, both locales and the people who live in them are linked by a common environmental thread: melting ice and consequent sea level rise.
Pasadena, CA – According to NASA, during the exceptionally warm Arctic summer of 2019, Greenland lost 600 billion tons of ice – enough to raise global sea levels by nearly a tenth of an inch (2.2 millimeters) in just two months, a new study shows.
Led by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of California, Irvine, the study also concludes that Antarctica continues to lose mass, particularly in the Amundsen Sea Embayment and the Antarctic Peninsula on the western part of the continent; however, those losses have been partially offset by gains from increased snowfall in the northeast.
Washington, D.C. – NASA says when you hear news about an aquifer in California that is getting depleted, ice loss from Greenland or Antarctica, or a new explanation for a wobble in Earth’s rotation, you might not realize that all these findings may rely on data from one single mission: the U.S.-German Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE).
GRACE data, collected from 2002 to 2017 while the mission was active, are still being used to improve our understanding of water in motion and its sometimes surprising effects on our planet.
Written by Carol Rasmussen
Washington, D.C. – The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission has resumed collecting science-quality data and planned in-orbit checks after successfully completing a switchover to a backup system in the microwave instrument (MWI) on one of the mission’s twin spacecraft.
The in-orbit checks include calibrations and other system tests, and are expected to continue until January, when GRACE-FO will enter the science phase of its mission.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, CA – The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission team plans to switch to a backup system in the Microwave Instrument (MWI) on one of the twin spacecraft this month. Following the switch-over, GRACE-FO is expected to quickly resume science data collection.
A month after launching this past May, GRACE-FO produced its first preliminary gravity field map. The mission has not acquired science data since mid-July due to an anomaly with a component of the Microwave Instrument on one of the GRACE-FO spacecraft. The mission team is completing its investigation into the cause of the anomaly.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, CA – The laser ranging interferometer (LRI) instrument has been successfully switched on aboard the recently launched twin U.S./German Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) satellites.
The LRI, which is being flown as a technology demonstration, has made its first measurements in parallel with GRACE-FO’s main microwave ranging instrument, and initial comparisons of the data from the two types of instruments show that they agree as expected.
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