New Research Sums up Sea-level Rise

The melting of Gorner Glacier in Switzerland is adding to sea level rise. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Sea-level rise is arguably one of the most serious consequences of the climate crisis. While using satellite data to monitor how the height of the sea is changing provides critical evidence for decision-making, satellites are also essential to measuring the individual components, such as seawater temperature and glacier melt, that contribute to the overall rise. Confidence in the accuracy of these separate measures is key. ESA-funded research now confirms that the figures match up.

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Glaciers are Melting Faster With Far Greater Consequences Than Expected

Pope Glacier in Antarctica taken by Operation Ice Bridge in 2016. (Credit: NASA)

https://www.dlr.de/content/de/artikel/news/2022/01/20220128_gletscher-schmelzen-schneller-als-erwartet.html

  • West Antarctica: Smith, Pope and Kohler glaciers are melting faster than expected.
  • Critical area: Free-floating undersides of glaciers melt the most.
  • Ice masses in West Antarctica could raise sea levels by up to 1.3 meters.
  • Focus: space travel, earth observation, global change, TanDEM-X

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR PR) — The South Pole has new problem children. A group of smaller glaciers are melting faster than expected: Pope, Smith and Kohler. So far, the neighboring ice giants Thwaites and Pine Island have been the focus of research because they are very fragile and could cause global sea levels to rise by up to 1.2 meters. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has uncovered and analyzed the changes in West Antarctica together with international research partners. Using special radar data from the TanDEM-X and COSMO-SkyMed satellite missions, they tracked down the causes of the rapid melting of the smaller glaciers.

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Plant Scientist Harvests Success in Antarctica EDEN Greenhouse

Ten polar explorers spent the Antarctic winter isolated at the German Neumayer III Station, operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) – a process they call overwintering – and the experience serves as an analog to conditions astronauts will face during long-duration space travel, such as a mission to Mars. A collaboration between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) ensured they had fresh produce available all winter. (Credits: NASA/Jess Bunchek)

By Linda Herridge
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

When plant scientist Jess Bunchek leaves Antarctica in the coming weeks and returns to her roots at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, she will bring back knowledge to benefit space exploration along with memories that will last a lifetime.

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NASA, DLR Begin New Test Run for Plant Cultivation on the Moon and Mars in Antarctica

Jess Bunchek holds her first harvest in her hand. (Credit: Alfred-Wegener-Institut/Ort)
  • NASA guest scientist Jess Bunchek will conduct research in the Antarctic greenhouse until early 2022.
  • Crop yield, plant irrigation, microbiology, crew time and effects on the wellbeing of the wintering team are the focus of the new research mission.
  • The YouTube livestream for the DLR press conference “EDEN ISS – Antarctic Greenhouse Mission 2021” was held on May 4th, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. CEST.

NEUMAYER STATION III, Antarctica (DLR PR) — Nine weeks of darkness and cold to minus 50 degrees Celsius. A joint series of experiments begins under the harsh conditions of the Antarctic by NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for growing vegetables on the moon and Mars. NASA guest scientist Jess Bunchek is researching until the beginning of 2022 how astronauts can grow lots of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and herbs with as little time and energy as possible. 

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Our World is Losing Ice at Record Rate

Arctic ice (Credit: Pixabay/Taken)

LEEDS, UK (ESA PR) — A research team – the first to carry out a survey of global ice loss using satellite data – has discovered that the rate at which ice is disappearing across the planet is speeding up. The findings also reveal that 28 trillion tonnes of ice was lost between 1994 and 2017 – equivalent to a sheet of ice 100 metres thick covering the whole of the UK.

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NASA, NSF Sign Agreement to Advance Space, Earth, Biological, Physical Sciences

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA and the U.S. National Science Foundation  (NSF) have signed a  memorandum of understanding affirming the agencies’ intent to continue their longstanding partnership in mutually beneficial research activities advancing space, Earth, biological, and physical sciences to further U.S. national space policy and promote the progress of science.

The agreement addresses a broad range of research and activities in many areas of science, engineering, and education central to the missions of both agencies.

“When you look at the vast array of disciplines that make up NASA’s mission, there isn’t a single one that isn’t somehow informed by our partnership with NSF,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “We look forward to continued collaboration on areas of research here on Earth and in space – including aboard the International Space Station – as well as inspiring the next generation of STEM professionals.”

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Emissions Could Add 15 Inches to 2100 Sea Level Rise, NASA-Led Study Finds

Ice shelves in Antarctica, such as the Getz Ice Shelf seen here, are sensitive to warming ocean temperatures. Ocean and atmospheric conditions are some of the drivers of ice sheet loss that scientists considered in a new study estimating additional global sea level rise by 2100. (Credits: Jeremy Harbeck/NASA)

by Kate Ramsayer
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

GREENBELT, Md. — An international effort that brought together more than 60 ice, ocean and atmosphere scientists from three dozen international institutions has generated new estimates of how much of an impact Earth’s melting ice sheets could have on global sea levels by 2100.

If greenhouse gas emissions continue apace, Greenland and Antarctica’s ice sheets could together contribute more than 15 inches (38 centimeters) of global sea level rise – and that’s beyond the amount that has already been set in motion by Earth’s warming climate.

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GRACE, GRACE-FO Satellite Data Track Ice Loss at the Poles

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

Greenland and Antarctica are melting – but how quickly and which areas are most affected? Nearly 20 years of satellite data provide key insights into these questions.


PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — 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.

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Greenland and Antarctica Losing Ice Six Times Faster Than Expected

Greenland (Credit: I. Joughin, University of Washington)

PARIS (ESA PR) — According to a new report, Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice six times faster than in the 1990s – currently on track with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s worst-case climate warming scenario.

The findings, published in two separate papers in Nature, show that Greenland and Antarctica lost 6.4 trillion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017 – pushing global sea levels up by 17.8 millimetres.

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Craving for Cold Isolation – Research Doctor Rotation in Antarctica

ESA research medical doctor Nadja Albertsen views the first sunlight in Antartctic research station Concordia after four months of darkness. (Credit: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–N. Albertsen)

CONCORDIA RESEARCH BASE, Antarctica (ESA PR) — Did you know the largest desert in the world is also the coldest place in the world? In the heart of Antarctica, where temperatures can drop to –80°C, life is so hard there is no life to be found as even bacteria cannot survive.

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EDEN ISS Project Presents Results of New Greenhouse Concept for Future Space Missions

The EDEN ISS greenhouse concept is designed to be launched on a Falcon 9 booster. It would have 30 square meters of cultivate space to provide food for astronauts on the moon or Mars. (Credit: LIQUIFER Systems Group)
  • 268 kilograms of food produced in an area of only 12.5 square metres over 9.5 months.
  • Power consumption less than half as much as previously assumed for greenhouses in space.
  • Concept – a deployable greenhouse suitable for launch on a Falcon 9 rocket.
  • Project in Antarctica continues.

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR PR) — Future food production in deserts and cold regions, as well as under the inhospitable conditions of future space missions to the Moon and Mars, is providing the stimulus for research in the Antarctic greenhouse project EDEN ISS, which is led by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR).

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Bezos Re-unveils Blue Moon, BE-7 Engine

Blue Moon lander with payloads. (Credit: Blue Origin)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

During a presentation in Washington, DC, today, Jeff Bezos laid out a bold vision humans living in giant cylindrical floating space colonies first envisioned by Gerard K. O’Neill four decades ago.

On a more immediate, practical front, the Amazon.com founder produced updated concept art for Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lander he says would be perfect for landing astronauts at the south pole of the moon by 2024 as the Trump Administration has proposed.

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Ramp-Up in Antarctic Ice Loss Speeds Sea Level Rise

Crevasses near the grounding line of Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica. (Credit: University of Washington/I. Joughin)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — 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 ESA (European Space Agency).

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.

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Fragile Wilkins Ice Shelf Destabilizing

Wilkins Ice Shelf
Wilkins Ice Shelf


ESA PRESS RELEASE

Satellite images show that icebergs have begun to calve from the northern front of the Wilkins Ice Shelf – indicating that the huge shelf has become unstable. This follows the collapse three weeks ago of the ice bridge that had previously linked the Antarctic mainland to Charcot Island.

The ice bridge, which effectively formed a barrier pinning back the northern ice front of the central Wilkins Ice Shelf, collapsed on 5 April removing about 330 sq km of ice. As a consequence of the collapse, the rifts, which had already featured along the northern ice front, widened and new cracks formed as the ice adjusted in the days that followed.

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