Earlier this week, NASA announced the findings of a University of Colorado-Boulder study that used data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite to measure the ice loss of Earth’s land ice (glaciers and ice caps) between 2003 and 2010. According to a NASA news release, “One unexpected study result from GRACE was the estimated ice loss from high Asian mountain ranges like the Himalaya, the Pamir and the Tien Shan was only about 4 billion tons of ice annually.” The report added that “Some previous ground-based estimates of ice loss in these high Asian mountains have ranged up to 50 billion tons annually.” The results from the study point to the importance of Earth monitoring satellite systems for understanding environmental and climate change, particularly for national security planners trying to determine the pace of change and its sociopolitical and security implications.
Learn more about our work on Earth monitoring systems and national security planning here.
Photo: Rendering of measurements taken from NASA’s GRACE satellite system (excluding Greenland and Antarctica). Blue indicates ice mass loss, while red indicates a gain. Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Colorado.