WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. space agency plans Monday in Greenland to start a second year of polar ice cap surveys to examine global climate change.
NASA will send its aircraft Monday to Greenland to start Operation IceBridge, which the space agency hails as the largest airborne survey of the polar ice caps.
Tom Wagner, cryosphere program manager for NASA, said the mission is to monitor fluctuations in the world's polar ice sheets.
"The mission's goal is to collect the most important data for improving predictive models of sea level rise and global climate change," he said.
Arctic sea ice peaks every year in March or early April, NASA said. Antarctic missions are conducted in October and November.
NASA said it would focus on unusual patterns in the glaciers in Greenland. Some have thinned at a rate of 40 feet per year while others have thickened.
The space agency said it plans to log roughly 200 science flight hours for the IceBridge mission during the spring.