A new NASA Goddard feature highlights how the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite 2 (ICESat-2), originally intended to precisely measure the height of the ice sheets at Earth’s poles, of sea ice floes above the ocean waters, and of forest canopies, has gone beyond its original purposes to map the Earth’s surface. In the article, ESSIC/CISESS scientists Sinéad Farrell and Nathan Thomas are quoted discussing these unintended benefits.
ESSIC Associate Research Scientist Kelly Brunt was recently featured in a NOVA Virtual Field Trip, where she spoke on her own field work as well as ICESat-2, the satellite laser altimeter working to accurately and precisely measure changes in our polar regions.
Using the most advanced Earth-observing laser instrument NASA has ever flown in space, scientists have made precise, detailed measurements of how the elevation of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have changed over 16 years.
More than a trillion new measurements of the Earth’s surface height are now available to the public as the first results of ICESat-2, a mission devoted to measuring the changing height of Earth’s ice.