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The Frozen Frontier: Monitoring the Greenland Ice Sheet from Space

Learn how the Greenland ice sheet is monitored from space and the ground, to understand our past, present and future climate.

2,374 enrolled on this course

The Frozen Frontier: Monitoring the Greenland Ice Sheet from Space
  • Duration3 weeks
  • Weekly study4 hours

Discover how climate change is impacting the Greenland Ice Sheet

Made up of layers of compressed snow from over the last 100,000 years, the vast Greenland ice sheet acts as both a valuable record of our past climate and a bellwether for future climate change.

This online course highlights how the Greenland ice sheet is monitored from space and the ground. You’ll look at the measurements made possible by Earth Observation (EO) satellites like Cryosat, the technologies and techniques involved, the data generated, and its uses and challenges.

You’ll also explore the role of ice in the climate system, and the impact of climate change on the Greenland ice sheet.

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What topics will you cover?

  • Satellite Earth Observation technology, terminology and the types of data products available when monitoring ice sheets
  • Understanding the unique measurements of ice thickness and dynamics which satellite data can provide
  • How to access process and work with Earth observation data and ice sheet measuring tools
  • The use of Earth observation data in a range of scientific, policy and decision-making areas, in conjunction with models

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore how we observe and measure ice sheets in situ and from satellites
  • Explore the operational elements of satellite missions like Cryosat, which monitor the Greenland ice sheet
  • Understand the complexity of the dynamics involved in melting ice sheet systems
  • Data processing methods from Cryosat and other satellite missions
  • Investigate how satellite data models enable a complete picture of changes in the ice sheet and how this is used in policy decision making

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for people who want to learn more about Earth observation, climate change and monitoring climate from space.

The course can also help decision makers, policy makers, educators and communicators, to gain a better insight into how satellite data can help them assess the state of our climate and its changes, in order to support climate science, and adaptation and mitigation decisions.

Although the ‘live’ run of the course has now ended, new enrolments for this run will remain open until 11th November 2017, so if you have friends or colleagues who may be interested in accessing this course, do let them know.

Those of you who would like to learn more about satellite Earth Observation may also be interested in the upcoming re-runs of the ESA Earth Observation from Space: the Optical View course (4th September), and the EUMETSAT Monitoring The Oceans from Space course (16th October). Both courses are now open for enrolment on FutureLearn.

Who will you learn with?

Director, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL). Leading glaciologist and expert on climate change.

Who developed the course?

European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. With over 20 Member States, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.