National Science Digital Library

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The Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat)

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Technology, Education, Astronomy, Chemistry, Geoscience, Oceanography, Physical Geography, Physics, Space Science, Science and Technology, Social Sciences
Internet Scout Project, UCAR, UCAR Staff
Provider Set:
Internet Scout Project, NASA Earth and Space Science Education Collection
High School, Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division, Graduate / Professional, Career / Technical, Adult Education
Material Type:
Activities and Labs, Data, Images and Illustrations, Readings, Reference
Media Format:
Graphics/Photos, Text/HTML, Video
UCAR Staff Abstract:

This document discusses the mission of ICESat, the benchmark Earth Observing System satellite intended to measure ice sheet mass balance, cloud and aerosol heights, topography, and vegetative cover. Questions of particular interest to the mission include: is sea level is rising?; are the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets growing or shrinking?; are ice sheets are capable of causing large, rapid changes in sea level?; and will the ice sheets melt or grow in a warmer climate? Datasets, imagery, and pictures of the launch are included.

Internet Scout Project Abstract:

"ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite) is the benchmark Earth Observing System mission for measuring ice sheet mass balance, cloud and aerosol heights, as well as land topography and vegetation characteristics." Visitors can learn how the data being collected can assist in answering many climatic questions including the impacts ice sheets can have on sea level and the affects of polar clouds and haze on climate. The website discusses ICESat's Spacecraft and GLAS instrument, which is the first lidar apparatus created for continuous global observations of the Earth. Teachers and students will find many links to educational resource materials. Through the website, users can also submit their questions to the ICESat science team.