Publisher: Direction– Updated on 22/03/2021
Four “varieties” of ice are studied at LEGOS:
- the pack 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 caps, ice behemoths 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 warming of the polar zones.
We study these ice sheets 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 zones.
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.