Greenland’s thaw


NASA’s Operation IceBridge monitors the state of the Arctic ice from above.


Meltwater in crevasses in southern Greenland, as seen during Operation IceBridge's last flight of the 2017 Arctic campaign, on 11 May 2017.
NASA / John Sonntag

In a series of 39 flights lasting eight hours each, NASA’s Operation IceBridge – the largest airborne survey of Earth’s polar ice – conducted critical surveys of our planet’s polar regions to trace their changing features.

This year has provided the best data of all the IceBridge operations. A wider area was covered than ever before, while new instruments allowed for more accurate measurements to be made.

The IceBridge team were able to study a newly discovered crack on the ice shelf of Petermann Glacier in Greenland. Because the rift only developed very recently, the measurements collected will help scientists better understand the evolution of cracks.

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