Did you know that ice sheets have very long memories, and can be used to look back into history?
Glaciologists have built the first-ever comprehensive map of layers deep inside the Greenland Ice Sheet using ice-penetrating radar data collected by NASA’s Operation IceBridge, along with information from earlier airborne campaigns.
This new, huge data volume records how the ice sheet evolved, and how it’s flowing today,
said study lead author Joe MacGregor at the University of Texas in a press release.
Greenland’s ice sheet is the second largest ice mass on Earth, containing enough water to raise ocean levels by about 20 feet.
“IceBridge surveyed previously unexplored parts of the Greenland Ice Sheet and did it using state-of-the-art CReSIS radars,” said study co-author Mark Fahnestock at University of Alaska Fairbanks in the release. CReSIS is the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets.
By studying ice from different climate periods in the past, the team can better understand how the ice sheet might respond in the future.