Publisher: Direction– Updated on 22/03/2021
Four “flavours” of ice are studied at LEGOS:
- Sea ice, a fragile layer a few meters thick, which floats on the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean around Antarctica,
- the two Antarctic and Greenland polar ice sheet, several thousand meters thick, our largest reserves of fresh water on Earth
- the 220,000 glaciers, sensitive indicators of climate fluctuations distributed over all the continents of the globe
- the seasonal ice of Arctic lakes and rivers, also impacted by the amplified warming of the polar regions.
We study these ice masses because they all represent important climate indicators. They induce strong feedbacks on the other components of the earth system, contribute to nearly two thirds of the sea level rise, affect water resources, ocean circulation and navigation in the polar regions.
Our research relies mainly on a wide range of satellite observations with a predilection for data from radar altimeters and stereoscopic imagers. Field campaigns support our work from space.