|October 10, 2018||
The Biggest Threat to Greenland's Glaciers Lies Deeper in the Ocean Than Expected
This summer, a chunk of ice the size of lower Manhattan broke off of a glacier in Eastern Greenland. It contained 10 billion tons of ice, making the video of the event an insanely shareable capsule of climate change dread. But for NASA scientists, the spectacle created by these massive calving events is really just the final step in a far more worrisome — and less visible — process...
|October 1, 2018||
Finding Open Water in Greenland's Icy Seas
"Three, two, one ... drop!" Researchers in NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland campaign heard that phrase 239 times this fall. Each time, it triggered a team member to release a scientific probe from an airplane into the seawater along the coast of Greenland. The probes are part of a five-year effort to improve our understanding of the ocean's role in Greenland's rapid ice loss...
|October 1, 2018||
NASA's OMG: Where the Water Meets the Ice
Join JPL scientist Josh Willis as he and the NASA Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) team work to understand the role that ocean water plays in melting Greenland’s glaciers. From the sky and the sea, NASA’s OMG mission gathers data on glaciers and water temperature all around Greenland as they try to get a better picture of global sea level rise...
|September 19, 2018||
The Hunt for Better Climate Science
NASA scientists are mapping the loss of ice in Greenland, part of a cutting-edge effort to understand how warming oceans melt ice sheets — a key factor in improving uncertain forecasts for sea-level rise...
|September 6, 2018||
We Came Here to Work”: OMG in the Field
Kulusuk Island is breathtakingly beautiful — a spectacular mountain backdrop, quaint village, turquoise icebergs, even adorable sled-dog puppies. But Oceans Melting Greenland Project Manager Steve Dinardo didn’t choose it as a base because of the scenery. “We came here to work,” he says...
|August 30, 2018||
A Majestic Glacier on OMG’s Return to Greenland
After years of intensive research on Greenland’s glaciers, Josh Willis is standing next to one for the first time in his life. Apusiaajik isn’t one of Greenland’s giants — in fact, its name means “little glacier.” But its marbled blue-and-white wall of ice is tall, long and, as Willis says, majestic...
|August 20, 2018||
NASA Gets Up Close with Greenland's Melting Ice
With a new research plane and a new base to improve its chances of outsmarting Atlantic hurricanes, NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland campaign takes to the sky this week for its third year of gathering data on how the ocean around Greenland is melting its glaciers...
|June 21, 2018||
OMG, the Water's Warm! NASA Study Solves Glacier Puzzle
A new NASA study explains why the Tracy and Heilprin glaciers, which flow side by side into Inglefield Gulf in northwest Greenland, are melting at radically different rates. Using ocean data from NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) campaign...
|April 8, 2018||
Decline of Two Glaciers in Northwest Greenland
Greenland’s coastline is anything but smooth. It is punctuated by rocky outcrops and ice-choked fjords, the outlets through which ice from the interior drains into the sea. The myriad “marine-terminating outlet glaciers” along the coast of Prudhoe Land in northwest Greenland may not be the country’s largest, but they are retreating fast...
|November 1, 2017||
New Greenland Maps Show More Glaciers at Risk
New maps of Greenland's coastal seafloor and bedrock beneath its massive ice sheet show that two to four times as many coastal glaciers are at risk of accelerated melting as previously thought...
|October 4, 2017||
Scientists mapping Greenland have produced some surprising – and worrying – results
Greenland, the world’s largest island and home to its second largest ice sheet, is a land of ragged cliffs, breathtaking fjords and unimaginable amounts of water on either side of the freezing point. It has also, until now, been something of a mystery...
|August 24, 2017||
Narwhals Are Helping NASA Understand Melting Ice and Rising Seas
Greenland’s ice cap holds beneath it 10 percent of the earth’s freshwater, enough to raise global sea levels by 20 feet. While there's no doubt it is melting, scientists have little certainty about exactly what's happening inside this 10,000-year-old ice roughly three times the size of Texas. Last winter was the warmest on record in the Arctic, and as Greenland heats up, understanding this glaciate has become essential to navigating our future...
|June 28, 2017||
OMG Mission: Greenland's Ice Melting Faster Than Previously Thought
Thanks to rising temperatures, glaciers in Greenland are melting faster than scientists previously thought — and a new NASA video shows how researchers are tracking the magnitude of the changes (in feet per day)...
|June 8, 2017||
Greenland's Thinning Ice
With temperatures around the world climbing, melt waters from the continental ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are raising sea levels. Those ice sheets are melting from both above and below. Much of the ice lost from ice sheets comes from a process called calving where ice erodes, breaks off, and flows rapidly into the ocean. A large volume of ice is also lost from ice sheets melting on their surfaces...
|June 5, 2017||
Sun and sky, snow and ice - Reflections at the top of the world
It was 11:30 in the morning and GLISTIN-A instrument engineer Ron Muellerschoen and I were in northern Greenland at the Thule Air Base pier looking over the frozen Wolstenholme Bay. We’d been talking about the time Ron was wearing shorts here during the summer, but today it was the typical -22 Fahrenheit (-30 Celsius.) And even though over the past week we’d somehow gotten used to the cold and I was wearing a big parka, my legs were starting to get cold after walking for an hour. So we decided to head back...
|May 11, 2017||
Jump into a sea of new data from NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland
“Get to work,” Josh Willis, NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) principal investigator, said during a two-and-a-half-hour debriefing. “Get to work.” It was as though he’d been ringing one of those big ol’ dinner gongs...
|February 10, 2017||
NASA took on an unprecedented study of Greenland’s melting. Now, the data are coming in
In 2015, in a moment of science communication genius, NASA created a mission called “OMG.” The acronym basically ensured that a new scientific mission — measuring how quickly the Oceans are Melting Greenland — would get maximum press attention...
|February 9, 2017||
NASA, UCI Reveal New Details of Greenland Ice Loss
Less than a year after the first research flight kicked off NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland campaign last March, data from the new program are providing a dramatic increase in knowledge of how Greenland's ice sheet is melting from below. Two new research papers in the journal Oceanography use OMG observations to document how meltwater and ocean currents are interacting along Greenland's west coast and to improve seafloor maps used to predict future melting and subsequent sea level rise...
|February 1, 2017||
Glaciers on the edge
“This year we’re gonna bring it!” Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) Principal Investigator Josh Willis told me excitedly. “It’s the beginning of year two of this five-year airborne mission, which means that by comparing data from the first and second years, we’ll be able to observe changes in Greenland’s glaciers and coastal ocean water for the first time.” Glaciers around Greenland’s jagged coastline have been melting into the ocean and causing increased sea level rise, so measuring the amount of ice mass loss will help us understand the impact of these changes, Willis said. “Will we see 5 feet of sea level rise this century ... or more?”
|December 21, 2016||
NASA Releases New, Detailed Greenland Glacier Data
NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission has released preliminary data on the heights of Greenland coastal glaciers from its first airborne campaign in March 2016. The new data show the dramatic increase in coverage that the mission provides to scientists and other interested users. Finalized data on glacier surface heights, accurate within three feet (one meter) or less vertically, will be available by Feb. 1, 2017...
|October 19, 2016||
Science Torpedoes Reveal How Greenland Is Melting From Below
If the climate keeps warming the way it has, Greenland may finally live up to its name (which was probably bestowed on it by some colorblind viking). The island’s glacier-crusted surface is melting, and a lot of this is from balmier atmospheric temperatures. But as the saying goes, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The oceans are becoming more tepid as well, and that warmer water is causing the glaciers to thaw from below...
|October 17, 2016||
Making lemonade out of climate change - Science unveils the sheer beauty of Planet Earth
You might expect that being a science writer primarily focused on climate change and climate science could put me in a bad mood. You can see this if you read the comments on many of my blogs, on our NASA Climate Change Facebook page and on my TEDx video. Many commenters think I should express more alarm about our changing climate...
|August 16, 2016||
NASA Launches "Operation OMG" After 10 Ft. Sea Level Rise Predicted in Next 50 Yrs.
Falling in line with an alarming new paper spearheaded by climate-science guru Dr. James Hansen, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has launched its own urgent five-year study — a project that will “stress-test” Hansen’s new, and downright dire predictions...
|August 2, 2016||
Greenland on the edge - Where ice meets water at the bottom of the sea
A person can look at a thing over and over again before finally seeing it for the first time. That’s how I felt standing in front of an Arctic map at the University of Washington in Seattle. I gazed at the northwest coastline of Greenland, north of Baffin Bay, up where the Canadian Queen Elizabeth Islands come close to Greenland...
|June 20, 2016||
A sea slug changed my life
At 8 p.m. after a long day of work in the Houston humidity, Derek Rutavic, manager of the NASA Gulfstream-III that will head back to Greenland this fall, and I were in the back of the plane singing One Direction’s "Drag Me Down" over the high frequency radio system. It was stifling hot, getting dark and we were tired and hungry...
|June 16, 2016||
OMG: How fast are oceans melting Greenland?
We know more about the moon and other planets than we do some places on our home planet. Remote parts of the world ocean remain uncharted, especially in the polar regions, especially under areas that are seasonally covered with ice and especially near jagged coastlines that are difficult to access by boat. Yet, as global warming forces glaciers in places like Greenland to melt into the ocean, causing increased sea level rise, understanding these remote places has become more and more important...
|April 21, 2016||
New Maps Chart Greenland Glaciers' Melting Risk
Many large glaciers in Greenland are at greater risk of melting from below than previously thought, according to new maps of the seafloor around Greenland created by an international research team. Like other recent research findings, the maps highlight the critical importance of studying the seascape under Greenland's coastal waters to better understand and predict global sea level rise...
|April 5, 2016||
OMG: Is the Ocean Melting the Ice?
At 1.7 million square kilometers (660,000 square miles), the Greenland ice sheet is three times the size of Texas. On average, the ice is about 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) deep and contains enough water to raise global sea levels about 6 meters (20 feet) if it were all to melt...
|April 4, 2016||
Earth Expeditions: Episode 1 - Oceans Melting Greenland, KORUS...
Our first episode of the NASA TV Earth Expeditions program follows the Oceans Melting Greenland team as they prep for their deployment and then fly over the melting glaciers of Greenland. Then we do some man on the street interviews, preview our next expedition, KORUS-AQ, which will study air quality in South Korea, and learn about NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory...
|March 30, 2016||
Sorrow and excitement - Watching global warming in real-time from a NASA plane
"When I looked down at the rivers of ice running into the ocean, it was shocking to think about the effects of rising sea levels as far away as California or Antarctica," said Principle Investigator Josh Willis, two days after returning from his first trip to observe this pristine part of our planet as it melts into the sea and goes bye-bye...
|March 29, 2016||
NASA's OMG Mission Maps Sea Floor Depth off Greenland's Coast
This image shows a region of the sea floor off the coast of northwest Greenland mapped as part of NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission. This five-year Earth Ventures Suborbital mission will test the connection between ocean warming and ice loss in Greenland. The data shown here will be used to understand the pathways by which warm water can reach glacier edges...
|March 28, 2016||
Into the Final Turn: From Cold to Colder
On Monday morning, the Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) team left the chill of Keflavik (32 degrees Fahrenheit but with a relentless, stinging wind) for the more ruthless cold of -8 degrees Fahrenheit in Thule, Greenland...
|March 28, 2016||
Step 1: Minor in Theater. Step 2: Devise Science Experiment.
Here’s the second part of our Q&A with Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) principal investigator Josh Willis, an oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, specializing in sea level rise. Josh is also a graduate of the improv program at Second City Hollywood Conservatory in Los Angeles. Here he describes how exercising his sense of humor improves his science...
|March 27, 2016||
Glaciers by Sight, Glaciers by Radar
The Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) team is flying NASA’s G-III at about 40,000 feet. On a clear day, this altitude also provides a stunning perspective of one of the world’s two great ice sheets (the other is Antarctica). The flight Saturday, March 26, over the northeast coastline was one of those clear days...
|March 25, 2016||
Halfway Around Greenland – So Far
Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) will pave the way for improved estimates of sea level rise by investigating the extent to which the oceans are melting Greenland’s ice. OMG will observe changing water temperatures and glaciers that reach the ocean around all of Greenland from 2015 to 2020...
|March 24, 2016||
Goodbye Astronomy, Hello Greenland Glaciers
The seven-person Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) team arrived in Keflavik earlier this week to make its first round of research flights over Greenland’s eastern coast. The team is flying NASA’s GLISTIN-A radar to measure the thickness of glaciers that flow to the ocean...
|March 16, 2016||
Greenland is melting and it's time to pay attention
Yes, yes, Greenland is melting. You already knew that...probably. And the giant flux of fresh water pouring out of the second largest ice sheet on the planet isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Greenland’s ice melt is actually accelerating...
|November 12, 2015||
In Greenland, Another Major Glacier Comes Undone
It's big. It's cold. And it's melting into the world's ocean. It's Zachariae Isstrom, the latest in a string of Greenland glaciers to undergo rapid change in our warming world. A new NASA-funded study published today in the journal Science finds that Zachariae Isstrom broke loose from a glaciologically stable position in 2012 and entered a phase of accelerated retreat. The consequences will be felt for decades to come...
|September 28, 2015||
You’re gonna lose it when you hear about Oceans Melting Greenland
This morning when I told someone I’d interviewed NASA oceanographer Josh Willis for this blog, they replied, “Isn’t Josh Willis a climatologist?” “Aha!” I said. “That’s a problem. Not knowing that Earth’s ocean is responsible for controlling the climate is major. Oceanographers are climatologists.”...
|August 29, 2015||
Why NASA's so worried that Greenland’s melting could speed up
Antarctica contains vastly more ice than Greenland. However, Greenland is subjected to the rapidly warming temperatures of the Arctic. The result is that for now at least — and as you can see above — it is losing ice mass considerably faster than Antarctica is, to the tune of several hundred gigatons a year...
|August 28, 2015||
NASA: Sea Level Rise is Going to get Much Worse
Eleven of the fifteen largest cities in the world are located on the coast. The tenuous barrier between land and sea was a boon for humanity in the past, providing access to ports around the globe, building lifelines of trade between countries, and raising triumphs of steel and concrete high into the air. Now, sea levels are also on the rise, putting millions of people who live in those cities in harm's way...
|August 27, 2015||
Oceans Will Rise Much More Than Predicted, NASA Says
Year by year, millimeter by millimeter, the seas are rising. Fed by melting glaciers and ice sheets, and swollen by thermal expansion of water as the planet warms, the world's oceans now on average are about eight inches higher than a century ago. And this sea change is only getting started...
|August 27, 2015||
How to Understand What your Teenage Space Agency is Saying
OMG NASA, SRSLY? The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (aka, NASA) has fittingly named their latest mission OMG, or Oceans Melting Greenland. It's a funny name for a very serious project...
|August 26, 2015||
NASA's OMG Mission Maps Greenland's Coastline
This summer, a refitted fishing boat is mapping the seafloor around Greenland as the first step in a six-year research program to document the loss of ice from the world's largest island. NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) field campaign is gathering data...
|August 12, 2015||
NASA launches operation 'OMG'
Late last month, an alarming new study concluded that the glaciers of Greenland and Antarctica will melt ten times faster than previous estimates, raising ocean levels 10 feet in as little as a half century. But is it accurate? NASA has launched an urgent, five-year, $30 million study that will help scientists find out...
|July 28, 2015||
NASA launches mission to Greenland
When the retired fishing trawler MV Cape Race sets off along Greenland’s west coast this week, it will start hauling in a scientific catch that promises to improve projections of how the ice-covered island will fare in a warming world. The ship’s cruise is the initial phase of a six-year air and sea campaign to probe interactions between Greenland’s glaciers and the deep, narrow fjords where they come to an end...
|November 25, 2014||
NASA Airborne Campaigns Tackle Climate Questions
Five new NASA airborne field campaigns, including one managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, will take to the skies starting in 2015 to investigate how long-range air pollution, warming ocean waters and fires in Africa affect our climate...