microwave maps of the polar ice of the earth

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  • 1 Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771
  • 2 Ice Dynamics Project, U.S.G.S., Tacoma, Washington 98416
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Synoptic views of the entire polar regions of Earth have been obtained free of the usual persistent cloud cover using a scanning microwave radiometer operating at a wavelength of 1.55 cm on board the Nimbus-5 satellite. Three different views at each pole are presented utilizing data obtained at approximately one-month intervals during December 1972 to February 1973. The major discoveries resulting from an analysis of these data are as follows: 1) Large discrepancies exist between the long-term ice cover depicted in various atlases and the actual extent of the canopies. 2) The distribution of multiyear ice in the north polar region is markedly different from that predicted by existing ice dynamics models. 3) Irregularities in the edge of the Antarctic sea ice pack occur that have neither been observed previously nor anticipated. 4) The brightness temperatures of the Greenland and Antarctic glaciers show interesting contours probably related to the ice and snow morphologic structure.

Synoptic views of the entire polar regions of Earth have been obtained free of the usual persistent cloud cover using a scanning microwave radiometer operating at a wavelength of 1.55 cm on board the Nimbus-5 satellite. Three different views at each pole are presented utilizing data obtained at approximately one-month intervals during December 1972 to February 1973. The major discoveries resulting from an analysis of these data are as follows: 1) Large discrepancies exist between the long-term ice cover depicted in various atlases and the actual extent of the canopies. 2) The distribution of multiyear ice in the north polar region is markedly different from that predicted by existing ice dynamics models. 3) Irregularities in the edge of the Antarctic sea ice pack occur that have neither been observed previously nor anticipated. 4) The brightness temperatures of the Greenland and Antarctic glaciers show interesting contours probably related to the ice and snow morphologic structure.

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