New eyes in the sky measure glaciers and ice sheets


  • Hugh Kieffer,

  • Jeffrey S. Kargel,

    1. U. S. Geological Survey, 2255 N. Gemini Dr., Flagstaff, Ariz., USA
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  • Roger Barry,

  • Robert Bindschadler,

  • Michael Bishop,

  • David MacKinnon,

  • Atsumu Ohmura,

  • Bruce Raup,

  • Massimo Antoninetti,

  • Jonathan Bamber,

  • Matthias Braun,

  • Ian Brown,

  • Denis Cohen,

  • Luke Copland,

  • Jon DueHagen,

  • Rune V. Engeset,

  • Blair Fitzharris,

  • Koji Fujita,

  • Wilfried Haeberli,

  • Jon Oue Hagen,

  • Dorothy Hall,

  • Martin Hoelzle,

  • Maria Johansson,

  • Andi Kaab,

  • Max Koenig,

  • Vladimir Konovalov,

  • Max Maisch,

  • Frank Paul,

  • Frank Rau,

  • Niels Reeh,

  • Eric Rignot,

  • Andres Rivera,

  • Martiyn De Ruyter de Wildt,

  • Ted Scambos,

  • Jesko Schaper,

  • Greg Scharfen,

  • Jack Shroder,

  • Olga Solomina,

  • David Thompson,

  • Kees van der Veen,

  • Trudy Wohlleben,

  • Neal Young


The mapping and measurement of glaciers and their changes are useful in predicting sea-level and regional water supply, studying hazards and climate change [Haeberli et al., 1998],and in the hydropower industry Existing inventories cover only about 67,000 of the world's estimated 160,000 glaciers and are based on data collected over 50 years or more [e.g.,Haeberli et al., 1998]. The data available have proven that small ice bodies are disappearing at an accelerating rate and that the Antarctic ice sheet and its fringing ice shelves are undergoing unexpected, rapid change. According to many glaciologists, much larger fluctuations in land ice—with vast implications for society—are possible in the coming decades and centuries due to natural and anthropogenic climate change [Oppenheimer, 1998].