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Proceedings Paper

Observing The Polar Regions From Space
Author(s): Robert H. Thomas
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Paper Abstract

Polar ice has a significant impact on world climate and on ocean characteristics. Transfer of heat from tropical oceans to the polar regions is regulated by sea ice, which locally insulates the ocean from the cold atmosphere. The continental ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica represent vast reservoirs of fresh water which can significantly impact sea level if the ice sheets are changing in size. Satellite remote sensing gives information on many aspects of the ice cover: sea-ice extent and physical characteristics; detailed images of ice floes and open-water leads within the ice pack; sea-ice movement; zones of summer melting and snow-accumulation rates on the continental ice sheets; accurate estimates of ice-surface elevation, and detection of zones on the ice sheet that are either thickening or thinning; accurate, all-weather mapping of ice coastlines and large crevasses, and estimates of ice discharge rates from the ice sheets.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 August 1984
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 0481, Recent Advances in Civil Space Remote Sensing, (1 August 1984); doi: 10.1117/12.943082
Show Author Affiliations
Robert H. Thomas, California Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0481:
Recent Advances in Civil Space Remote Sensing

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