ESSIC scientists Dr. Sinéad Farrell and Dr. Thomas Newman are participating in the NASA Operation IceBridge Arctic Spring 2016 mission. Operation IceBridge completed its first science mission of the season on Tuesday 19 April, 2016, surveying shore-fast ice in Eureka Fjord, Ellesmere Island, Canada. The IceBridge mission conducted flights over the field site, carrying a suite of remote sensing instrumentation on-board a P-3 aircraft to measure snow depth, ice thickness and ice morphology.
Dr. Newman is part of the Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) field team stationed at Eureka. Over the past two weeks the ECCC team have conducted extensive surveys of snow and sea ice conditions in the fjord. Dr. Farrell, a member of the NASA IceBridge Science Team, has participated in optimizing the layout and location of these airborne surveys so as to obtain measurements of sea ice floes of varying age and thickness.
This year the NASA IceBridge team are utilizing the NOAA P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft, known as "Miss Piggy" to conduct the flight surveys. Next up will be to a survey the ice cover along a number of planned flight lines, arranged to criss-cross the Arctic Ocean. These new data will allow for the continued assessment of inter-annual variability in the Arctic ice cover and the impact of climate change on the region.