NASA Ocean Melting Greenland Mission

The ocean waters are melting the glaciers in Greenland as much as the warm air is melting them from the above. The Ocean Melting Greenland mission, generally referred to as OMG mission was launched by NASA. It was a five year mission. It ended on December 31, 2021. The mission mainly measured the ice loss in Green land.

Key Findings of the Mission

  • The study conducted by the mission says that if all the Greenland ice melts, then the global ocean level will increase by 7.4 metres.
  • The ice in Greenland is melting five times faster than they were 25 years ago.
  • There are more than 220 glaciers in Greenland. The ocean waters are melting them at faster rate.
  • The top layer of the oceans in Greenland is extremely cold. Also, it is not salty. More of the top layer water are from the Arctic. On the other hand, the bottom layers are warmer. These waters in the bottom are melting the glaciers four to five times faster. Greater the depth greater and faster is the melting. Also, water in greater depths are more saltier.

What did the mission do?

  • The mission conducted a complete survey of the sea floor in the coasts of Greenland. It measured the ocean temperature year to year, place to place and top to bottom.
  • A complete map of the ocean was created. The mission measured the salinity of the water at different depths.
  • It also studied how the salty Atlantic water impacted the ice melting in Greenland.

Why was the mission launched?

Satellites could only provide the sea surface temperature. Based on this data, the entire impact of global warming in Greenland could not be studied. The researchers wanted to know how much ice is being lost. They wanted to measure the quantity. For this they had to dive into the sea.

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