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12 May 2005

NSIDC Researchers Receive Seed Money for Proposals

NSIDC researchers are leading or contributing to three proposals awarded funding under the CIRES Innovative Research Program. The program provides modest funding to help researchers develop the viability of novel, unconventional, or fundamental research that might otherwise be difficult to fund. All three of the proposals use data that NSIDC currently disseminates.

Sea ice on Mars? Earth-Mars Satellite Altimetry Comparison and Theoretical Modeling

Data acquired by the Mars Express spacecraft may suggest the existence of frozen sea ice, and therefore past oceans, on Mars. NSIDC researchers Todd Arbetter and Ted Scambos will use existing data from ICESat, which is archived at NSIDC, to contrast recognized ice fracture patterns in the Antarctic with similar patterns on the Elysium Planitia. Dr. Todd Arbetter will have the unenviable task of trying to make a terrestrial sea ice computer model think that it is living on Mars. The existence of water is essential to speculation about life on Mars. Visit CIRES to read proposal.

Is Climate Change on the Tibetan Plateau Driven by Land Use/Cover Change?

Decreasing vegetative cover and increasing urbanization could be causing temperatures to rise on the Tibetan Plateau. The Plateau spawns several of the world’s largest rivers, which impact the livelihood of half of the world’s population. NSIDC researchers Oliver W. Frauenfeld and Tingjun Zhang will use existing AVHRR/NDVI data and station records to compare climate warming sensitivities of this high altitude region by determining the impacts of land cover changes on the Tibetan Plateau. Visit CIRES to read proposal.

Mountain Temperatures at Fine Spatial Scales

Snowmelt runoff supplies more than half of the water used by the western United States, but it can be difficult to forecast because temperatures vary greatly between basins, and standard weather stations are costly. Jessica Lundquist and Martyn Clark of CIRES, together with NSIDC researcher Andrew Slater, will use their award to deploy 100 small temperature probes in trees along the Continental Divide. They’ll compare their fine spatial data to existing data from nearby climate stations and field data from the Cold Land Processes Experiment to determine how well meteorological stations represent surrounding topography. VIsit CIRES to read proposal.