TITLE: My Winter in Greenland & Summer in Antarctica
SPEAKER: Lora Koenig
EVENT DATE: 09/12/2012
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 55 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
The Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets contain 99 percent of the Earth's fresh-water ice, according to NASA scientist Lora Koenig. Changes to these regions can profoundly affect sea level and the rate at which the Earth's climate warms or cools, placing them at the heart of research into the planet's future. To understand the current state of the ice sheets and to model the future, scientists spend months at a time on the ice in challenging darkness, frigid temperatures and high winds. Koenig, who is one of these scientists, will discuss how they must learn to solve practical problems of survival and travel through extreme environments while they take precise measurements with specially-designed instruments.
Speaker Biography: Dr. Lora Koenig is a physical scientist in the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. She is an expert in remote sensing of ice sheets and snow. Dr. Koenig is interested in detecting accumulation rate changes over ice sheets using passive microwave satellite sensors, which stand out for their long temporal record of over three decades. She studies the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets on very small scales, using field techniques like snow pits and ice cores, and over broad scales, using airborne and space-borne sensors. Her ground-based studies have included spending over 12 months in the Arctic and Antarctic to validate satellite measurements and expand algorithms over large areas where ground data are lacking due to harsh conditions.