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Topic: NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment

NASA study brings new insights into causes of Sea Level Rise Since 1900

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, 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.

This aerial photograph shows fast-moving meltwater rivers flowing across the Greenland Ice Sheet, a region that, combined with Antarctic meltwater and thermal expansion, accounts for two-thirds of observed global mean sea level rise. (NASA)

This aerial photograph shows fast-moving meltwater rivers flowing across the Greenland Ice Sheet, a region that, combined with Antarctic meltwater and thermal expansion, accounts for two-thirds of observed global mean sea level rise. (NASA)

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NASA Study shows Record Loss of Greenland Ice in 2019

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, 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.

An iceberg in Disko Bay, near Ilulissat, Greenland. The massive Greenland ice sheet shed a record amount of ice in 2019, ending a brief period of more moderate ice loss. (NASA/Saskia Madlener)

An iceberg in Disko Bay, near Ilulissat, Greenland. The massive Greenland ice sheet shed a record amount of ice in 2019, ending a brief period of more moderate ice loss. (NASA/Saskia Madlener)

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NASA keeps tabs on Rising Seas, Flooding Mitigation, Disaster Response

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, 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.

The Mississippi River Delta contains vast areas of marshes, swamps and barrier islands - important for wildlife and as protective buffers against storms and hurricanes. Rapid land subsidence due to sediment compaction and dewatering increases the rate of submergence in this system. (K.L. McKee / U.S. Geological Survey)

The Mississippi River Delta contains vast areas of marshes, swamps and barrier islands – important for wildlife and as protective buffers against storms and hurricanes. Rapid land subsidence due to sediment compaction and dewatering increases the rate of submergence in this system. (K.L. McKee / U.S. Geological Survey)

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NASA Scientists use GRACE, GRACE-FO Satellite Data to examine Ice Loss in Greenland, Antarctica

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, 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.

Greenland's Steenstrup Glacier, with the midmorning sun glinting off the Denmark Strait in the background. The image was taken during a NASA IceBridge airborne survey of the region in 2016. (NASA/Operation IceBridge)

Greenland’s Steenstrup Glacier, with the midmorning sun glinting off the Denmark Strait in the background. The image was taken during a NASA IceBridge airborne survey of the region in 2016. (NASA/Operation IceBridge)

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NASA’s Grace satellites data reveals how Water moves on Earth

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, 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.

Illustration of the twin GRACE satellites. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Illustration of the twin GRACE satellites. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s GRACE-FO mission switches to backup system, resumes collecting data

 

Written by Carol Rasmussen
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, 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.

Illustration of the twin GRACE Follow-On Satellites. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Illustration of the twin GRACE Follow-On Satellites. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s GRACE-FO Satellite to Switch to Backup Instrument Processing Unit

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, 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.

Artist's illustration of the NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, which will track changes in the distribution of Earth's mass, providing insights into climate, Earth system processes and the impacts of some human activities. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist’s illustration of the NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, which will track changes in the distribution of Earth’s mass, providing insights into climate, Earth system processes and the impacts of some human activities. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s GRACE-FO satellites switch on Laser Ranging Interferometer

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, 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.

Artist's rendering of the twin spacecraft of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, scheduled to launch in May. GRACE-FO will track the evolution of Earth's water cycle by monitoring changes in the distribution of mass on Earth. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist’s rendering of the twin spacecraft of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, scheduled to launch in May. GRACE-FO will track the evolution of Earth’s water cycle by monitoring changes in the distribution of mass on Earth. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA assessment shows Antarctica Ice Losses have Tripled since 2012, Sea Levels Rising Faster

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Ice losses from Antarctica have tripled since 2012, increasing global sea levels by 0.12 inch (3 millimeters) in that timeframe alone, according to a major new international climate assessment funded by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).

According to the study, ice losses from Antarctica are causing sea levels to rise faster today than at any time in the past 25 years. Results of the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE) were published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The Antarctic Peninsula from the air: although the mountains are plastered in snow and ice, measurements tell us that this region is losing ice at an increasing rate. (Pippa Whitehouse, University of Durham)

The Antarctic Peninsula from the air: although the mountains are plastered in snow and ice, measurements tell us that this region is losing ice at an increasing rate. (Pippa Whitehouse, University of Durham)

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NASA’s GRACE Follow-On Spacecraft launched Tuesday with mission to track Earth’s Water Changes

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. –  A joint U.S./German space mission to track the continuous movement of water and other changes in Earth’s mass on and beneath the planet’s surface successfully launched at 12:47pm PDT (2:47pm CDT) Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 from the California coast.

The twin spacecraft of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO), a joint NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) mission, lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, sharing their ride into space with five Iridium NEXT communications satellites.

The NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences GRACE Follow-On spacecraft launch onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The mission will measure changes in how mass is redistributed within and among Earth's atmosphere, oceans, land and ice sheets, as well as within Earth itself. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences GRACE Follow-On spacecraft launch onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The mission will measure changes in how mass is redistributed within and among Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, land and ice sheets, as well as within Earth itself. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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