You may never make it to the South Pole, but you can now see Antarctica and its glaciers in unprecedented detail. Researchers this week announced the release of a new high resolution terrain map of the southernmost continent, called the Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica, or REMA , which they say makes Antarctica the best mapped continent on Earth. Antarctica is the most desolate and inhospitable place on Earth and its remoteness makes monitoring changes in the fluctuations of ice and water levels difficult. Because of the warming climate, seasonal changes at Antarctica are becoming more severe, making the need to understand the loss of ice even more important. The satellite data was licensed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which is part of the Department of Defense.
No ground control or altimetry registration has been applied to Ahtarctica strips. REMA may provide corrections for a wide range of remote sensing processing activities, such image Antarctica model idear and interferometry, and provide constraints for geodynamic and ice flow modeling, mapping of grounding lines, and surface processes. Anttarctica faster Antarctica model idear ice melts on the land, the more weight the ice shelf has to contain, resulting in breaks of glaciers into the sea. You may never Anharctica it to the South Pole, but you can now see Antarctica and its glaciers in Cold sores lip ulcers detail. Scientists who keep a close watch on large ice shelves like Larsen C, above, will now be able to study the streams of ice and stress fractures that occur between the mountains. Most strips are between 13 km and 17 km in width, and km and km in length.
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De astronomia. Explorer Matthew Flindersin particular, has been credited with popularising the transfer of the name Terra Australis to Australia. With the Antarctica model idear of CFCs Antarctiva the Montreal Protocol ofclimate projections indicate that the ozone layer will return to levels between and Ashgate Movel. Antarctica New Zealand. Several bases are now home to families with children attending schools at the station. Archived from the original on 5 June Archived from the original on 8 February Bibcode : Antarctica model idear. Models of the changes suggest that declining CO 2 levels became more important. Multicoloured snow algae and diatoms are especially abundant in the coastal regions during the summer.
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- It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere , almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle , and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean.
- An apparent contradiction in the observed cooling behavior of Antarctica between and became part of the public debate in the global warming controversy , particularly between advocacy groups of both sides in the public arena  including politicians,  as well as the popular media.
Want to jump right to the data? We encourage you to read this documentation, but the link is provided below! Browse Server. REMA Viewer. PGC Elevation Updates. Since each REMA grid point has a timestamp, any past or future point observation of elevation provides a measurement of elevation change.
REMA may provide corrections for a wide range of remote sensing processing activities, such image orthorectification and interferometry, and provide constraints for geodynamic and ice flow modeling, mapping of grounding lines, and surface processes. REMA also provides a powerful new resource for field logistics planning.
Each individual DEM was vertically registered to satellite altimetry measurements from Cryosat-2 and ICESat , resulting in absolute uncertainties of less than 1 m over most of its area, and relative uncertainties of decimeters. REMA is generated by applying fully automated, stereo auto-correlation techniques to overlapping pairs of high-resolution optical satellite images. The time-dependent nature of the strip DEM files allows users to perform change detection analysis and to compare observations of topography data acquired in different seasons or years.
The mosaic DEM tiles are assembled from multiple strip DEMs with the intention of providing a more consistent and comprehensive product over larger areas, while also providing a time stamp and error estimate for each pixel to enable to change detection. The tile data are registered to satellite altimetry to increase their absolute accuracy while strips are not.
Registration data for strips may be provided in later REMA versions. Howat, I. REMA Release 1 includes mosaic tiles of x km generated at 8 meter posting, 8 meter posting strips and 2 meter posting strips for rock outcrops and other areas of interest. The sections below provide more detail of each product.
For both strips and mosaics, an Esri shapefile is available as an index footprint polygons , compatible with most GIS software. A download URL is provided in the fileurl attribute field which links directly to the zipped data. Strip DEM dimensions will vary according to the satellite sensor that acquired the images and the off-nadir angle of collection.
Most strips are between 13 km and 17 km in width, and km and km in length. Elevation units are meters and are referenced to the WGS84 ellipsoid. No ground control or altimetry registration has been applied to the strips. A Python script for applying these translations on the downloaded stip DEM files is hosted on the Polar Geospatial Center GitHub page , along with other useful geospatial data processing utilities. The mosaic tiles are generated at 8 meter posting.
In addition to the complete 8 meter dataset, reduced-resolution, resampled versions are availbled at meter, meter, and 1-km resolutions. The reduced-resolution datasets have an alternate filled version. Hillshade representation images were generated for each DEM strip segment and these were visually inspected and classified based on visual quality i.
Images were either accepted, manually edited to mask erroneous surfaces, or rejected. For Cryosat-2 registration, only vertical bias corrections with a 1-sigma uncertainty of less than 0.
For ICESat, only corrections with a vertical residual of less that 0. Quality-controlled strip DEMs are mosaicked into km by km tiles with a 1-km wide buffer on each side to enable coregistration and feathering between tiles. For each tile, strips with altimetry registration are added first, in order of ascending vertical error, with a linear distance-weighted edge feather applied to the strip boundaries.
The error value at each pixel is the registration error and the date stamp is the day of DEM acquisition. In areas where edges of strips have been feathered, the error and date stamp are averaged with the same weighting as the elevation. Once all registered strips have been added, unregistered strips are added to fill gaps and are coregistered to the existing, registered data in the mosaic.
Each quality-controlled, unregistered strip overlapping a gap is tested for quality of coregistration, with the strip with the smallest coregistration residual selected to fill the the gap. Again, a distance weighted feathering is applied to smooth strip edges. If Cryosat-2 registered data are available within a tile, those data are used and any ICESat registrations are ignored. If neither Cryosat-2 or ICESat registered data are available, the quality-controlled strip with the most coverage of the tile is added first and serves as a relative reference.
Unregistered strips are then coregistered to the mosaic and added as described above. Tiles around the edge of the ice sheet, within the CryoSat-2 SARin mode zone, are mostly registered to contemporaneous Cryosat-2 altimetry with the exception of coast tiles with too little land surface or extensive crevassing that prevent successful altimetry registration.
Most of the interior tiles are registered to ICESat and therefore have a nominal date stamp of late December , although little or no secular surface elevation change is expected in these regions on sub decadal time scales. Some tiles missing registration, and thus registered through alignment, are found around the pole hole and along a narrow zone in to the northeast of the pole hole.
Lack of registration in these cases was due to missing or lower quality DEM data, resulting in registration residuals larger than the threshold. Once the tile is complete, the tile is then registered to surrounding, registered tiles using the overlap provided by the edge buffer.
Tiles edges are then feathered to smooth any offsets between tiles edges and then buffers are cropped. Since this coastline is of a lower resolution and does not precisely match REMA in several areas, we buffered the coastline by m and masked as all surfaces within the buffer that are less than 2 m from the local mean sea level. Esri has developed an online web mapping application to explore REMA data. The full-resolution REMA strips and mosaics are presented in this web map to quickly preview and explore the elevation data.
With this web map, users can visualize the REMA data, preview the spatial coverage, and download simple exports. The REMA Viewer is the best way to preview the datasets if no GIS or remote sensing software is available or you simply want to explore the entire dataset quickly. The NGA web application features many tabs which included separate map types and is useful for a spatial search of the REMA index to quickly download one-off DEMs, both strips and tiles.
Use the links below to browse the directory for the entire REMA dataset. Refer to the User Documentation to see the directory structure, naming schemes, and download contents. Please note, the first two commands will download the entire archive, which is over 43 TB for geocells and 1 TB for mosaics.
Use the subdirectory examples to limit your download. REMA tiles can be accessed via web mapping services provided by Esri. The raster elevation data are served via an Esri Image Service. For other GIS software packages, consult the documentation.
Esri Help: Using an ImageService. There are two versions, one that contains cartographic elements such as place name labels, graticules, and facilities, and one that is just the shaded relief image. The maps can be downloaded below. View Map Download Map. All files are downloadable with the links below in. Please note: file sizes may be up to 50 Mb. PGC services will be unavailable at that time. We apologize for any inconvenience!
Search for:. Subscribe to our mailing list! See the strip and mosaic tile status maps below for exact coverage areas. Please note, coverage may not exist for all areas. Processing REMA is generated by applying fully automated, stereo auto-correlation techniques to overlapping pairs of high-resolution optical satellite images. Current Release Release 1. This correction was determined through comparison to ICESat-1 altimetry.
Release 1 REMA Release 1 includes mosaic tiles of x km generated at 8 meter posting, 8 meter posting strips and 2 meter posting strips for rock outcrops and other areas of interest. Purple: 8 m, Blue: 2 m. Methodology Hillshade representation images were generated for each DEM strip segment and these were visually inspected and classified based on visual quality i. REMA elevation error, given by errors in registration, or co-registration in the case of alignment.
REMA, represented by acquisition year of source imagery. Years range from to PGC Service Interruption. Important notice from the PGC.
Researchers include biologists , geologists , oceanographers , physicists , astronomers , glaciologists , and meteorologists. Eric Rignot, who has worked on similar Antarctic studies, has been fielding a lot of questions about this one and shared his comments with Ars. An updated paper by Thompson et al. Play media. Oslo, Norway. A Greek—English Lexicon.
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In the summer more than 4, scientists operate research stations ; this number decreases to just over 1, in the winter. Researchers include biologists , geologists , oceanographers , physicists , astronomers , glaciologists , and meteorologists. Geologists tend to study plate tectonics , meteorites from outer space , and resources from the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana.
Glaciologists in Antarctica are concerned with the study of the history and dynamics of floating ice, seasonal snow , glaciers , and ice sheets. Biologists, in addition to examining the wildlife, are interested in how harsh temperatures and the presence of people affect adaptation and survival strategies in a wide variety of organisms.
Medical physicians have made discoveries concerning the spreading of viruses and the body's response to extreme seasonal temperatures. Astrophysicists at Amundsen—Scott South Pole Station study the celestial dome and cosmic microwave background radiation. Many astronomical observations are better made from the interior of Antarctica than from most surface locations because of the high elevation, which results in a thin atmosphere; low temperature, which minimises the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere; and absence of light pollution , thus allowing for a view of space clearer than anywhere else on Earth.
Since the s an important focus of study has been the ozone layer in the atmosphere above Antarctica. In , three British scientists working on data they had gathered at Halley Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf discovered the existence of a hole in this layer.
It was eventually determined that the destruction of the ozone was caused by chlorofluorocarbons CFCs emitted by human products. With the ban of CFCs in the Montreal Protocol of , climate projections indicate that the ozone layer will return to levels between and In The Polar Geospatial Center was founded. The Polar Geospatial Center uses geospatial and remote sensing technology to provide mapping services to American federally funded research teams.
On 6 September Belgian-based International Polar Foundation unveiled the Princess Elisabeth station , the world's first zero-emissions polar science station in Antarctica to research climate change. Belgian polar explorer Alain Hubert stated: "This base will be the first of its kind to produce zero emissions, making it a unique model of how energy should be used in the Antarctic. The biggest eruption in Antarctica in the last 10, years, the volcanic ash was found deposited on the ice surface under the Hudson Mountains , close to Pine Island Glacier.
Meteorites from Antarctica are an important area of study of material formed early in the solar system ; most are thought to come from asteroids , but some may have originated on larger planets. The first meteorite was found in , and named the Adelie Land meteorite. In , a Japanese expedition discovered nine meteorites.
Most of these meteorites have fallen onto the ice sheet in the last million years. Motion of the ice sheet tends to concentrate the meteorites at blocking locations such as mountain ranges, with wind erosion bringing them to the surface after centuries beneath accumulated snowfall. Compared with meteorites collected in more temperate regions on Earth, the Antarctic meteorites are well-preserved. This large collection of meteorites allows a better understanding of the abundance of meteorite types in the solar system and how meteorites relate to asteroids and comets.
New types of meteorites and rare meteorites have been found. Among these are pieces blasted off the Moon, and probably Mars, by impacts. Because meteorites in space absorb and record cosmic radiation, the time elapsed since the meteorite hit the Earth can be determined from laboratory studies.
The elapsed time since fall, or terrestrial residence age, of a meteorite represents more information that might be useful in environmental studies of Antarctic ice sheets.
In January reports emerged of a 2-kilometre 1. Satellite images from 25 years ago seemingly show it. Due to its location at the South Pole, Antarctica receives relatively little solar radiation except along the southern summer.
This means that it is a very cold continent where water is mostly in the form of ice. Precipitation is low most of Antarctica is a desert and almost always in the form of snow, which accumulates and forms a giant ice sheet which covers the land. Parts of this ice sheet form moving glaciers known as ice streams , which flow towards the edges of the continent.
Next to the continental shore are many ice shelves. These are floating extensions of outflowing glaciers from the continental ice mass.
Offshore, temperatures are also low enough that ice is formed from seawater through most of the year. It is important to understand the various types of Antarctic ice to understand possible effects on sea levels and the implications of global cooling. Sea ice extent expands annually in the Antarctic winter and most of this ice melts in the summer.
This ice is formed from the ocean water and floats in the same water and thus does not contribute to rise in sea level. The extent of sea ice around Antarctica in terms of square kilometers of coverage has remained roughly constant in recent decades, although the amount of variation it has experienced in its thickness is unclear.
Melting of floating ice shelves ice that originated on the land does not in itself contribute much to sea-level rise since the ice displaces only its own mass of water. However, it is the outflow of the ice from the land to form the ice shelf which causes a rise in global sea level.
This effect is offset by snow falling back onto the continent. Recent decades have witnessed several dramatic collapses of large ice shelves around the coast of Antarctica, especially along the Antarctic Peninsula.
Concerns have been raised that disruption of ice shelves may result in increased glacial outflow from the continental ice mass. Sheperd et al. A single study by H. Jay Zwally et al. A satellite record revealed that the overall increase in Antarctic sea ice extents reversed in , with rapid rates of decrease in — reducing the Antarctic sea ice extents to their lowest values in the y record. East Antarctica is a cold region with a ground base above sea level and occupies most of the continent.
This area is dominated by small accumulations of snowfall which becomes ice and thus eventually seaward glacial flows. The mass balance of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet as a whole is thought to be slightly positive lowering sea level or near to balance. Some of Antarctica has been warming up; particularly strong warming has been noted on the Antarctic Peninsula. This study also noted that West Antarctica has warmed by more than 0.
This is partly offset by autumn cooling in East Antarctica. Instead the recent increases in glacier outflow are believed to be due to an inflow of warm water from the deep ocean, just off the continental shelf.
In the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen-B ice shelf collapsed. A study published in Nature Geoscience in online in December identified central West Antarctica as one of the fastest-warming regions on Earth. The researchers present a complete temperature record from Antarctica's Byrd Station and assert that it "reveals a linear increase in annual temperature between and by 2.
There is a large area of low ozone concentration or " ozone hole " over Antarctica. This hole covers almost the whole continent and was at its largest in September , when the longest lasting hole on record remained until the end of December.
The ozone hole is attributed to the emission of chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs into the atmosphere, which decompose the ozone into other gases. Some scientific studies suggest that ozone depletion may have a dominant role in governing climatic change in Antarctica and a wider area of the Southern Hemisphere. This cooling has the effect of intensifying the westerly winds which flow around the continent the polar vortex and thus prevents outflow of the cold air near the South Pole.
As a result, the continental mass of the East Antarctic ice sheet is held at lower temperatures, and the peripheral areas of Antarctica, especially the Antarctic Peninsula, are subject to higher temperatures, which promote accelerated melting. North America. South America. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Anartica. This article is about the continent. For other uses, see Antarctica disambiguation. Polar continent in the Earth's southern hemisphere.
Main article: History of Antarctica. See also: List of Antarctic expeditions and Women in Antarctica. Historical claims to continental Antarctica. Main article: Geography of Antarctica.
See also: Extreme points of Antarctica and List of Antarctic and subantarctic islands. Main article: Geology of Antarctica. Main article: Meyer Desert Formation biota. Main article: Climate of Antarctica. See also: Antarctic ecozone , Antarctic flora , Antarctic microorganism , and Wildlife of Antarctica. Main article: Territorial claims in Antarctica. See also: Research stations in Antarctica. See also: Current sea level rise. Play media. See also: Global warming in Antarctica and Antarctic sea ice.
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You may never make it to the South Pole, but you can now see Antarctica and its glaciers in unprecedented detail. Researchers this week announced the release of a new high resolution terrain map of the southernmost continent, called the Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica, or REMA , which they say makes Antarctica the best mapped continent on Earth.
Antarctica is the most desolate and inhospitable place on Earth and its remoteness makes monitoring changes in the fluctuations of ice and water levels difficult. Because of the warming climate, seasonal changes at Antarctica are becoming more severe, making the need to understand the loss of ice even more important. The satellite data was licensed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which is part of the Department of Defense.
Previous maps of the continent had a resolution similar to seeing the whole of Central Park from a satellite. With this new data, it is now possible to see down to the size of a car, and even smaller in some areas. The data is so complete that scientists now know the height of every feature on the continent down to a few feet. Sign up for the Science Times newsletter. The team used , images collected over six years to create the map. The pictures are so detailed they had to use one of the most powerful supercomputers on Earth to ingest the data.
Having access to this amount of information will allow researchers to better monitor the effects of climate change on the ice. Previous images of Antarctic terrain left much to be desired.
The difference between two images from previous surface imaging on the left and the new map on the right demonstrates the difference. The upturned shovel feature in the bottom right is called Siple Dome. Hills like these are found all over Antarctica, their smooth surface made by accumulations of ice. Observing snowfall, ice-growth and the rate of melt and fissures will allow scientists to monitor sea-level rise and glacial melt with more accuracy. Ice shelves bear the brunt of pressure from flowing rivers pushing against them.
The faster the ice melts on the land, the more weight the ice shelf has to contain, resulting in breaks of glaciers into the sea. Scientists who keep a close watch on large ice shelves like Larsen C, above, will now be able to study the streams of ice and stress fractures that occur between the mountains. Since the last set of data was collected, a large section of this glacier has broken off into an iceberg named A This is a large river of ice flowing between two mountains called the Glacier South of Dry Valley.
Images like these will be free and accessible to scientists for their research. Explorers and scientists stationed at Antarctica will also find the new map useful. Both were British research bases. They have since had to move because the ice shelf began to break off. Howat said. The terabyte data set is the first that will allow researchers to watch the fracturing of ice shells within a three week time span, nearly tracking changes on the ice in real time.
These streams are flowing into Filchner ice shelf where stress fractures can be seen forming between hills. Such fractures are often the early signs of a full break from the glacier.
Howat and Mr. Morin hope to update the map every year. With REMA it will be possible to watch icebergs forming and glaciers moving like this flow of ice at Byrd Glacier, which is the largest ice stream on Antarctica. Log In.