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NASA Releases Full Map of Antarctic Ice Flows

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posted on Aug, 22 2011 @ 08:51 AM

NASA-funded researchers have created the first complete map of the speed and direction of ice flow in Antarctica. The map, which shows glaciers flowing thousands of miles from the continent's deep interior to its coast, will be critical for tracking future sea-level increases from climate change. The team created the map using integrated radar observations from a consortium of international satellites.

"This is like seeing a map of all the oceans' currents for the first time. It's a game changer for glaciology," said Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and the University of California (UC), Irvine. Rignot is lead author of a paper about the ice flow published online Thursday in Science Express. "We are seeing amazing flows from the heart of the continent that had never been described before."

To compile the map, Rignot and his colleagues used 3,000 different orbital tracks from polar-orbiting satellites. With billions of data points, they corrected for the effects of cloud cover, solar glare and land features to see where certain “fingerprints” several meters below the ice surface were moved. Some travel as much as 800 feet in a year

This is sure to give us a better understanding of the effects of climate change.

edit on 22-8-2011 by PhoenixOD because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 22 2011 @ 09:16 AM
reply to post by PhoenixOD

wow... that was awesome graphics, and i think a good look at the "topography" of Antarctica...

gotta go compare this to google earth, and see if mountain ranges fit "erosion" pattterns...

thanks PhoenixOD,

s+ f

edit on 22/8/2011 by shaneR because: typo

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