Friday, July 17, 2009

Spy satellite images of Arctic ice

Federal scientists released hundreds of historical spy satellite images of Arctic sea ice. The U.S. Geological Survey website's opening immediately followed National Research Council report, also released, calling for "immediately" disseminating the spy satellite images to scientists.

For the last decade, scientists have worked through the MEDEA program with spy satellite agencies to send archival high-resolution images of environmental hotspots to scientists.

The NRC report, "Scientific Value of Arctic Sea Ice Imagery Derived Products," a collaboration between scientists and intelligence agency veterans, called for release of images from six Arctic locales most relevant to retreating sea ice. Earlier this year, NASA satellite research confirmed summer Arctic sea ice is thinning, raising prospects of an ice-free region in coming decades, with implications for trade, mineral resources and national security.


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