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NASA Media Briefing To Preview Major Antarctic Research Campaign

October 6, 2009

NASA will hold a media teleconference at 11:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct. 8, to preview the agency’s largest airborne research effort ever to study Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice.

The flights are part of NASA’s Operation Ice Bridge, a six-year airborne campaign to each of Earth’s polar regions that will extend and expand NASA’s multi-year record of space-based observations of ice conditions. Advancing scientific understanding of the behavior of polar ice is needed to improve predictions of future sea-level rise brought on by global warming.

The Antarctic flights are set to begin Oct. 15 from Punta Arenas, Chile, and will map regions of the Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctica that are changing most rapidly. NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory will carry a suite of instruments to measure the surface of the ice, probe beneath the surface to the bedrock below, and measure sea ice in the Weddell and Amundsen seas.

The teleconference participants are:

- Seelye Martin, Operation Ice Bridge chief scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle

- William Krabill, physical scientist at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia

- Thorsten Markus, cryospheric sciences branch head at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

- Robin Bell, geophysicist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in Palisades, N.Y.

To participate in the teleconference, reporters must contact Sonja Alexander at sonja.r.alexander@nasa.gov for dial-in instructions.

Supporting material for the teleconference will be available online on Oct. 8 at 11 a.m. at: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/ice_bridge/media.html

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on NASA’s Web site at: http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio




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