July 17, 2013

Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) Mission -Discovers melting of Snow Glaciers

The Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE), a joint mission of NASA and the German Aerospace Center, has been making detailed measurements of Earth's gravity field since its launch in March 2002.
Gravity is determined by mass. By measuring gravity, GRACE shows how mass is distributed around the planet and how it varies over time. Data from the GRACE satellites is an important tool for studying Earth's ocean, geology, and climate.
Scientists have warned that the measurements gathered since 2002 by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) flying in space are still too short—term for accurate predictions of how much ice will be lost in the coming decades, and therefore how rapidly sea levels will rise.
The ice sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland contain about 99.5 per cent of the Earth’s glacier ice which would raise global sea level by some 63m if it were to melt completely.
A rapid acceleration in the melting of Antarctic and Greenland glacier ice, amounting to around 300 billion tonnes a year, has been detected by a satellite over the past decade.


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