NASA embarks on cutting-edge polar exploration and research

May 30, 2007

NASA has selected 33 new scientific investigations to fund that will advance interdisciplinary studies of Earth's polar regions and the objectives of the International Polar Year (IPY). The three-year projects, supported by NASA at an estimated total of $18 million, will be conducted by scientists and students at several NASA centers, U.S. universities and other research institutions.

"NASA's focus in these IPY science projects is to understand how the polar regions interact with the rest of the planet – the physical, chemical and biological components of the Earth system," said Seelye Martin, NASA cryospheric program manager. "A significant emphasis will be on the ice and the polar cryosphere, but NASA's IPY activities will also delve into the surrounding oceans, the overlying atmosphere, the land surface and polar ecosystems."

In the spirit of exploration and discovery characteristic of previous International Polar Years, NASA is sponsoring a project to determine the total ice flow out of the Arctic Ocean, and will look at the effect of black carbon deposits from northern hemisphere industrial activity on arctic snow. Another project will investigate the building blocks of life found in the soils of the Antarctic Dry Valleys, using an identical instrument to that planned for deployment in the Martian north polar region by the NASA Phoenix mission, scheduled for launch this August.

NASA projects will also monitor air pollution from the observatory at Summit, Greenland; study how changes in sea ice affect the ocean ecosystem in the Bering Sea; and test an instrument that can directly measure the thicknesses of the Greenland glaciers.


Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Explore further: Researchers develop new instrument to monitor atmospheric mercury

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UNL drillers help make new Antarctic discoveries

Jan 21, 2015

Using a hot-water drill and an underwater robotic vehicle designed, built and operated by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineering team, scientists have made new discoveries about Antarctica's geology ...

The Greenland Ice Sheet: Now in HD

Dec 18, 2014

The Greenland Ice Sheet is ready for its close-up. The highest-resolution satellite images ever taken of that region are making their debut. And while each individual pixel represents only one moment in time, ...

Saturn's moons: What a difference a decade makes

Dec 11, 2014

Almost immediately after NASA's twin Voyager spacecraft made their brief visits to Saturn in the early 1980s, scientists were hungry for more. The Voyagers had offered them only a brief glimpse of a family ...

The yin-yang of polar sea ice

Dec 07, 2014

It comes as no surprise, therefore, when researchers announce as they did this past September that Arctic sea ice extent is still below normal, continuing a years-long downward trend, covering less and less ...

Recommended for you

Arsenic stubbornly taints many US wells, say new reports

6 hours ago

Naturally occurring arsenic in private wells threatens people in many U.S. states and parts of Canada, according to a package of a dozen scientific papers to be published next week. The studies, focused mainly ...

Who's been affected by Australia's extreme heat? Everyone

15 hours ago

Australia has been hit by two years of heat: 2013 was the hottest ever recorded and 2014 wasn't far behind, taking third place. The country has also sweltered through several significant heatwaves, and, though ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.