New NASA Mission: Oceans Melting Greenland

January 8, 2015
By Jessica Rohde

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image of ice in the Greenland Sea.

Image courtesy of NASA

In late November, NASA announced five new airborne campaigns to begin in 2015 as part of its second series of Earth Venture suborbital investigations. The Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission, one of two that will be active in the Arctic, will study the oceanic drivers of the dynamic behavior of the Greenland Ice Sheet. It includes 4 years of air dropped CTDs (conductivity, sea water temperature, and depth), bathymetric mapping, and altimetry over the glacier front around key areas of Greenland, as well as other measurements from ship and aircraft.  The activities are directly in line with the GRISO June 2013 workshop recommendations. The selection of OMG as an Earth Ventures project is off to a quick and significant start with $6M a year slated for over 5 years.

As an official NASA "mission", there is no period of exclusive use of OMG data. The data will be available as soon as possible after collection via a NASA archive, which should facilitate use and collaboration across agencies. For any agencies interested in collaboration, oceanographic measurements are an area to consider co-supporting. OMG's CTD work is focused exclusively on short duration campaigns on the continental shelf, and there are potential synergies with such activities as NSF's glider, moorings on the continental shelf, and in-fjord work. 

Attached is a briefing on OMG with additional details.

Posted by Jessica Rohde on behalf of Christine Mataya, NASA

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