Latest Polar ice cap Stories

2008-05-14 11:24:17

Even in the clearest, bluest sky on Earth, there is still water vapor in our atmosphere. If you could condense all the water vapor out of the atmosphere above you, it would form a layer of water two centimeters deep. On Mars today, there is also water vapor in the atmosphere but it would create a layer just 10 micrometers thick. As on Earth, this water is constantly moving through a cycle of condensation and evaporation. When it condenses, it falls to the surface. When it evaporates, it...

2007-12-12 08:09:31

SAN FRANCISCO—NASA scientists have discovered what might form some of the weirdest landscapes on Mars, winding channels carved into the Martian surface that scientists have dubbed "spiders," "lace" and "lizard skin." The unusual landscape features form in an area of Mars' south pole called cryptic terrain because it once defied explanation. But new observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, presented here today at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union,...

2007-09-26 07:25:00

Melting Arctic sea ice has shrunk to a 29-year low, significantly below the minimum set in 2005, according to preliminary figures from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, part of the University of Colorado at Boulder. NASA scientists, who have been observing the declining Arctic sea ice cover since the earliest measurements in 1979, are working to understand this sudden speed-up of sea ice decline and what it means for the future of Earth's northern polar region. "The decline in the amount...

2007-05-15 16:30:00

A team of NASA and university scientists has found clear evidence that extensive areas of snow melted in west Antarctica in January 2005 in response to warm temperatures. This was the first widespread Antarctic melting ever detected with NASA's QuikScat satellite and the most significant melt observed using satellites during the past three decades. Combined, the affected regions encompassed an area as big as California. Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and...

2007-04-19 16:40:00

It is perhaps an unlikely combination "“ an international team of scientists stationed in Svalbard, Norway and two polar explorers crossing the North Pole on foot. Both teams, however, are currently part of a common effort to collect vital data on the ground and from the air in support of ESA's ice mission CryoSat-2. The CryoSat-2 mission, due for launch in 2009, will provide highly accurate information on changing marine and land ice thicknesses over the entire north and south polar...

2007-03-22 00:15:00

Vast, yet remote; frigid, yet teeming with life; stark and barren, yet serenely beautiful -- these are just a few of the contradictions of Earth's polar regions. Within their frozen confines lie secrets -- clues scientists believe can help unravel some of the mysteries that drive Earth's climate. That's because Earth's poles are sensitive barometers to climate change. They react quickly to a warmer environment, and the effects of these reactions are felt on a global scale. In the past 125...

2007-03-15 13:20:00

The amount of water trapped in frozen layers over Mars' south polar region is equivalent to a liquid layer about 11 metres deep covering the planet. This new estimate comes from mapping the thickness of the dusty ice by the Mars Express radar instrument that has made more than 300 virtual slices through layered deposits covering the pole. The radar sees through icy layers to the lower boundary, which in places is as deep as 3.7 kilometres below the surface.  "The south polar layered...

2006-10-26 09:00:00

The Fourth International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration was recently held in Davos, Switzerland. It was an appropriate meeting place for those who study cold regions, because as Walter Ammann of the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research noted, "We like to joke that in Davos, we have 9 months of winter, and 3 months of cold." Snow had not yet accumulated on the Alps that tower over the small village, but the proximity to nearby mountains and glaciers...

2006-08-16 17:30:00

Every spring brings violent eruptions to the south polar ice cap of Mars, according to researchers interpreting new observations by NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. Jets of carbon dioxide gas erupting from the ice cap as it warms in the spring carry dark sand and dust high aloft. The dark material falls back to the surface, creating dark patches on the ice cap which have long puzzled scientists. Deducing the eruptions of carbon dioxide gas from under the warming ice cap solves the riddle of the...

2005-10-18 04:55:27

Brown -- New high-resolution images of mid-latitude Mars are revealing glacier-formed landscapes far from the Martian poles, says a leading Mars researcher. Conspicuous trains of debris in valleys, arcs of debris on steep slopes and other features far from the polar ice caps bear striking similarities to glacial landscapes of Earth, says Brown University's James Head III. When combined with the latest climate models and orbital calculation for Mars, the geological features make a compelling...

Word of the Day
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.