April 27 (UPI) — NASA scientists conducted the longest flight of the Operation IceBridge mission’s spring campaign this week. On Friday, the space agency shared a photo captured during the flight.
The image features a ridge in Greenland dividing a pair of glacial valleys. The deep blue of a fjord and the Arctic sky interrupt the snow-capped mountains.
The most recent Operation IceBridge flight lasted 8.5 hours, allowing scientists to collect data on several glaciers and other points of interest.
The IceBridge mission is the largest airborne polar survey yet undertaken. Flights over Greenland will continue through May. In October and November, scientists will survey Antarctica.
“It is yielding unprecedented three-dimensional views of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice,” NASA wrote in a caption accompanying the new image. “These flights provide a yearly, multi-instrument look at the behavior of the rapidly changing features of the Greenland and Antarctic ice.”
Previous research has shown temperatures are rising at accelerated rates in the planet’s polar regions, causing glaciers to recede and sea ice to shrink.
Climate scientist and glaciologists are working to better understand these trends so they can more accurately predict how climate change will sea level rise, as well as an array of related weather and ocean systems.