Author: Kirsty Tinto

Expanding Our Vision Brings the Big Picture Into Focus

by | 11.12.2012 at 1:47pm
Mount Murphy rises through the ice sheet along the flank of West Antarctica, diverting the flow of ice around it (photo credit J. Yungel, NASA  IceBridge Project)

1500 feet above the ground surface is where our suite of instruments normally operates, but for this flight we are taking them up higher, much higher, in fact over 20 times our normal range to 33,000 feet. Our flight plan is to repeat lines surveyed in a previous years by NASA’s Land, Vegetation Ice Sensor [...]

The Story at Ronne

by | 11.8.2012 at 3:53pm
Travel to the Ronne Ice Shelf involved passing by the Ellesworth Mountains. The range contains Antarctica’s highest peak, Vinson Massif at 4897 meters of elevation.

Named after Edith Ronne, the first American woman to set foot on this southern continent, the Ronne Ice Shelf is tucked just to the East of the Antarctic Peninsula on the backside of the Transantarctic Mountains. With an area measured at 422,000 square kms, this is the second largest ice shelf in Antarctica. This vast [...]

The ‘Skinny’ on Antarctic Sea Ice

by | 11.1.2012 at 4:48pm
Sea Ice on the left, touching up against an ice shelf along West Antarctica. (Photo from the camera in the belly of the plane). The plane is flying at ~1500 ft. of elevation - the estimated field of view is ~450 meters.

One piece of our IceBridge mission focuses on sea ice here in the south. Sea ice in the northern regions has been reducing at dramatic rates over the last decade, setting a new record just this year, but the story in the south is not so clear. In fact, there has been a buzz that [...]

A Recovery Mission

by | 10.29.2012 at 3:23pm
Shackleton Ridge bordering the Recovery Ice Stream East Antarctica. (Photo M. Studinger, NASA)

Recovery Glacier is a section of Antarctic ice that lies east of the peninsular arm of West Antarctica, tucked behind the Transantarctic Mountains, a dividing line that separates west from east. We know from satellite data that Recovery and its tributaries have a deep reach, stretching well inland. But there is a lot we don’t know about Recovery because the remoteness of the area has limited the number of surveys.

Launching the Season with a Key Mission – IceBridge Antarctica 2012

by | 10.18.2012 at 5:13pm
Snow blowing off the ice

This month, IceBridge Antarctica resumes. The crews have spent the last few weeks in Palmdale, where the DC8 is based, for instrument installation and test flights prior to our move down to Punta Arenas, our home base for IceBridge Antarctica.

The ‘Glory’ in Clouds and Other Amazing Sights!

by | 5.24.2012 at 4:04pm
The optical phenomenon, called a ‘glory', can develop when the plane flies directly between the sun and a cloud below.

If you look carefully at the picture below you will see a small shadow of our plane completely encircled in a rainbow. This optical phenomenon, called a “glory,” can develop when the plane flies directly between the sun and a cloud below. Flying over the ice sheet in the far northeast of Greenland we saw [...]

Our Best Flight Yet

by | 5.9.2012 at 5:07pm
Our last sunrise in Kangerlussuaq – we won’t be seeing  another of these, since now we have moved up to Thule and the sun won’t set again until we return to Wallops at the end of the season.

Evidence of the retreat of glaciers since the last glacial maximum (check), flying over sites of ancient Inuit, Norse and present day settlements (check), and a personal recollection of my own past in this location (check).

Monitoring Antarctica’s Changing Glaciers – No Longer Like ‘Watching Paint Dry’

by | 11.8.2011 at 6:54pm
Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

By Kirsty Tinto & Mike Wolovick As little as a few decades ago you could ask a scientist what it was like to monitor the changing ice in Antarctica and the response might have been “Like watching paint dry” — seemingly no change, with no big surprises and not too exciting. Well times have changed. [...]

A Focus on the Thinning Northwest Greenland Glaciers

by | 5.19.2011 at 11:30pm
NW Greenland Glacier (Photo: LDEO/Hakim Abdi)

Blog by Hakim Abdi, LDEO Satellite measures showing thinning ice on the Northwest Greenland glaciers prompted Operation IceBridge to include annual flights over this region. The area runs along the Baffin Bay coast, which is often covered in fog and low lying clouds forcing delays and reschedules. With the end of our season in sight [...]

Witnessing time – from 445 million year old rocks exposed in the Fjords to ~4 thousand year old small ice caps

by | 5.15.2011 at 11:09am | 2 Comments
The IceBridge P3 (photo H. Abdi)

By Hakim Abdi, LDEO. My first flight on the P3 and the scenery was nothing short of breathtaking. The science mission involved flights in the north over the Steensby glacier that passes through Sherard Osbron Fjord, and Ryder glacier constrained by the Victoria Fjord. In northeast Greenland we overflew the Hagen glacier and the Flade [...]