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By the end of the century, the collapse of Antarctic ice shelves could trigger a meter or more of sea level rise, with profound effects for hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and these ice shelves hold back more than 50 meters of sea-level rise equivalent in total. However, a lack of detailed understanding about how ice shelves will behave in a warming climate remains a primary obstacle to accurate sea level rise projections. Predictive numerical melt models require better constraining ground-truth data near the grounding zones of ice shelves, but the field suffers from a dearth of in-situ measurements because these extreme environments are difficult to access and operate in and cut-off from communication with the outside world. The IceNode platform will enable scaling of this critical measurement by allowing deployment of a fleet of IceNode vehicles from open ocean at the ice shelf front, reducing the cost of each measurement from the cost of a borehole (several $M) to the cost of a single additional vehicle (~$100K). The development of IceNode will represent a unique strategic asset positioning JPL for future EV-S proposal calls targeted towards climate change induced effects on the Antarctic continent.

Point of Contact: Paul Glick

People on this Task

Justin Schachter