When scientists talk about the cryosphere, they mean the places on Earth where water is in its solid form, frozen into ice or snow. Read more ...
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Scientists have measured changes in the thickness of the Greenland Ice Sheet for decades using a variety of instruments. ThIs image shows that the glacial ice along Greenland's shoreline is thinning rapidly.
The Program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment (PARCA) began in 1993 with the primary goal of measuring and understanding the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Approximately 25 investigations used in situ measurements and satellite and aircraft remote sensing to study this issue. Some investigators have agreed to make their data available through their own Web sites, and some investigators have asked NSIDC to host their data. Thus, NSIDC lists and provides links to all of these data as a service to our users. Questions about these data should be directed to the individual technical contacts responsible for each data set.
The main objective of the GLAS instrument was to measure ice sheet elevations and changes in elevation through time. Secondary objectives included measurement of cloud and aerosol height profiles, land elevation and vegetation cover, and sea ice thickness.
The Operation IceBridge mission, initiated in 2009, collects airborne remote sensing measurements to bridge the gap between NASA's Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) mission and the upcoming ICESat-2 mission.