ecutive magazine to recognize information/communi- are up to 100 times better than those taken by previ- cations technology projects that have made excep- ous satellites. Using this new information, scientists at NASA's tional contributions to mission accomplishment, cost Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, California, effectiveness, and service to the public. can generate comprehensive maps of Arctic sea ice Scientists Cut through the Clouds to the thickness for the first time. "Before we knew only the Shifting Arctic Ice extent of the ice cover," said Ronald Kwok, JPL prin- cipal investigator of a project called Sea Ice Thickness NASA researchers have new insights into the mys- Derived From High Resolution Radar Imagery. "We teries of Arctic sea ice, thanks to the unique abilities of Canada's RADARS A T satellite. The Arctic is the also knew that the sea ice extent had decreased over smallest of the world's four oceans, but it may play a the last 20 years, but we knew very little about ice large role in helping scientists monitor earth's climate thickness." shifts. "Since sea ice is very thin, about 10 feet (3 m) or less," Using RADARSAT's special sensors to take im- Kwok explained, "it is very sensitive to climate change." ages at night and to peer through clouds, NASA re- Until now, observations of polar sea ice thickness searchers can now see the complete ice cover of the have been available for specific areas, but not for the Arctic. This allows tracking of any shifts and changes, entire polar region. in unprecedented detail, over the course of an entire The new radar mapping technique has also given winter. The radar-generated, high-resolution images scientists a close look at how the sea ice cover grows A Wintery October Mr. John R. Weeks, Meteorologist, U.S. Weather Bureau, Binghamton, N.Y., has sent a list of twenty-five records for his station broken by the weather of Octo- ber, 1925. The period of record is generally 30-35 years. Much of the northern and eastern portion of the country was similarly afflicted. From Helena, Montana, for example, comes a record of over two feet of snowfall in October, after one foot in September. At Binghamton, the past October was the coldest, cloudiest, stormiest, and snowi- est October on record at that station. On one day the temperature did not even get as high as the freezing point. But on another the 8 A.M. temperature was 70, the highest known for this hour in October. There were 24 cloudy days and but two clear ones. Precipitation fell on 23 days and snow on 10. The daily range of temperature was the smallest on record. Mr. C. J. Root's Illinois Section report (Climat'l Data) for October shows even worse conditions in Illinois. Corn was practically all safe by the time of the killing frost of Oct. 10, but unharvested apples and potatoes were frozen towards the end of the month, "with temperatures near zero in places and snow depths up to 6 inches." On the 29th the maximum temperature at Springfield was but 22.8°F, as compared with a previous low daily maximum of 37.5°F in the 47 years of record. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 6, 172. 2700 Vol. 81, No. 7 7, November 2000
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Nov 1, 2000
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