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B 9282 C 2 E Apr 24, 2014 F Apr 24, 2014
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Though North America is a full month into astronomical spring, the Great Lakes have been slow to give up on winter. As of April 22, 2014, the Great Lakes were 33.9 percent ice covered. The lake they call Superior dominated the pack.
In the early afternoon on April 20, 2014, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image of Lake Superior, which straddles the United States–Canada border. At the time Aqua passed over, the lake was 63.5 percent ice covered, according to the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (GLERL). Averaged across Lake Superior, ice was 22.6 centimeters (8.9 inches) thick; it was as much as twice that thickness in some locations.
GLERL researcher George Leshkevich affirmed that ice cover this spring is significantly above normal. For comparison, Lake Superior had 3.6 percent ice cover on April 20, 2013; in 2012, ice was completely gone by April 12. In the last winter that ice cover grew so thick on Lake Superior (2009), it reached 93.7 percent on March 2 but was down to 6.7 percent by April 21.
Average water temperatures on all of the Great Lakes have been rising over the past 30 to 40 years and ice cover has generally been shrinking. (Lake Superior ice was down about 79 percent since the 1970s.) But chilled by persistent polar air masses throughout the 2013-14 winter, ice cover reached 88.4 percent on February 13 and 92.2 percent on March 6, 2014, the second highest level in four decades of record-keeping.
Air temperatures in the Great Lakes region were well below normal for March, and the cool pattern is being reinforced along the coasts because the water is absorbing less sunlight and warming less than in typical spring conditions. The graph below, based on data from Environment Canada, shows the 2014 conditions for all of the Great Lakes in mid-April compared to the past 33 years.

Lake Superior ice cover got as high as 95.3 percent on March 19. By April 22, it was reported at 59.9 percent; Lake Huron was nearly 30.4 percent. News outlets noted that as many as 70 ships have been backed up in Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie, waiting for passage into ports on Lake Superior. The U.S. Coast Guard has been grouping ships together into small convoys after they pass through locks at Sault Ste. Marie, in order to maximize ice-breaking efficiency and to protect ships from damage.
Superior is the world’s largest freshwater lake by area (82,100 square kilometers or 31,700 square miles) and the third largest by volume. The waters average 147 meters (483 feet) in depth, and the basin is believed to hold about 10 percent of the world’s liquid fresh water.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Mike Carlowicz.

Read more: earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=83541&eocn...

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.

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Tags:   NASA Lake Superior winter ice weather cold

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A team member from South African research station, SANAE IV, helps unwrap the balloon from its protective yellow plastic cover just prior to inflation.


Credit: NASA/Goddard/BARREL/Nicky Knox

Read more: www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasas-barrel-returns-success...

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Three months, 20 balloons, and one very successful campaign. The team for NASA's BARREL – short for Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses -- mission returned from Antarctica in March 2014. BARREL's job is to help unravel the mysterious Van Allen belts, two gigantic donuts of radiation that surround Earth, which can shrink and swell in response to incoming energy and particles from the sun and sometimes expose satellites to harsh radiation.

While in Antarctica, the team launched 20 balloons carrying instruments that sense charged particles that are scattered into the atmosphere from the belts, spiraling down the magnetic fields near the South Pole. Each balloon traveled around the pole for up to three weeks. The team will coordinate the BARREL data with observations from NASA's two Van Allen Probes to better understand how occurrences in the belts relate to bursts of particles funneling down toward Earth.

BARREL team members will be on hand at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in DC on April 26 and 27, 2014 for the exhibit Space Balloons: Exploring the Extremes of Space Weather.


NASA image use policy.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.

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Tags:   antarctica BARREL Balloon South Pole NASA NASA Goddard

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The BARREL team at Halley Research Station in Antarctica, work to inflate a balloon. The long tube on the left is the inflation tube used to fill the top of the balloon with helium.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/BARREL

Read more: www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasas-barrel-returns-success...

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Three months, 20 balloons, and one very successful campaign. The team for NASA's BARREL – short for Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses -- mission returned from Antarctica in March 2014. BARREL's job is to help unravel the mysterious Van Allen belts, two gigantic donuts of radiation that surround Earth, which can shrink and swell in response to incoming energy and particles from the sun and sometimes expose satellites to harsh radiation. While in Antarctica, the team launched 20 balloons carrying instruments that sense charged particles that are scattered into the atmosphere from the belts, spiraling down the magnetic fields near the South Pole. Each balloon traveled around the pole for up to three weeks. The team will coordinate the BARREL data with observations from NASA's two Van Allen Probes to better understand how occurrences in the belts relate to bursts of particles funneling down toward Earth. BARREL team members will be on hand at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in DC on April 26 and 27, 2014 for the exhibit Space Balloons: Exploring the Extremes of Space Weather.

NASA image use policy.NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.Follow us on TwitterLike us on FacebookFind us on Instagram

Tags:   BARREL Balloon South Pole NASA NASA Goddard Antarctica

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A view looking over the payload – the instruments that fly under a balloon – while the BARREL balloon inflates. The orange parachute lies on the ground in front of the payload, while most of the balloon length can be seen stretched along the ground toward the part being inflated.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/BARREL

Read more: www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasas-barrel-returns-success...

--

Three months, 20 balloons, and one very successful campaign. The team for NASA's BARREL – short for Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses -- mission returned from Antarctica in March 2014. BARREL's job is to help unravel the mysterious Van Allen belts, two gigantic donuts of radiation that surround Earth, which can shrink and swell in response to incoming energy and particles from the sun and sometimes expose satellites to harsh radiation. While in Antarctica, the team launched 20 balloons carrying instruments that sense charged particles that are scattered into the atmosphere from the belts, spiraling down the magnetic fields near the South Pole. Each balloon traveled around the pole for up to three weeks. The team will coordinate the BARREL data with observations from NASA's two Van Allen Probes to better understand how occurrences in the belts relate to bursts of particles funneling down toward Earth. BARREL team members will be on hand at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in DC on April 26 and 27, 2014 for the exhibit Space Balloons: Exploring the Extremes of Space Weather.

NASA image use policy.NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.Follow us on TwitterLike us on FacebookFind us on Instagram

Tags:   BARREL Balloon South Pole NASA NASA Goddard Antarctica

B 2796 C 1 E Jan 19, 2014 F Apr 24, 2014
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Recovery of a BARREL balloon payload after its flight. The recovery was carried out by helicopter. This area is known to be heavily crevassed so the base mountaineer is seen here with a safety rope.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/BARREL/Brett Anderson

Read more: www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasas-barrel-returns-success...

--

Three months, 20 balloons, and one very successful campaign. The team for NASA's BARREL – short for Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses -- mission returned from Antarctica in March 2014. BARREL's job is to help unravel the mysterious Van Allen belts, two gigantic donuts of radiation that surround Earth, which can shrink and swell in response to incoming energy and particles from the sun and sometimes expose satellites to harsh radiation.

While in Antarctica, the team launched 20 balloons carrying instruments that sense charged particles that are scattered into the atmosphere from the belts, spiraling down the magnetic fields near the South Pole. Each balloon traveled around the pole for up to three weeks. The team will coordinate the BARREL data with observations from NASA's two Van Allen Probes to better understand how occurrences in the belts relate to bursts of particles funneling down toward Earth.

BARREL team members will be on hand at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in DC on April 26 and 27, 2014 for the exhibit Space Balloons: Exploring the Extremes of Space Weather.


NASA image use policy.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Find us on Instagram

Tags:   BARREL Balloon South Pole NASA NASA Goddard Antarctica


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