Can changes underway at Earth’s poles foretell our
climatic future? Find out at two free, public lectures
entitled, “The Ends of the Earth: Examining the Arctic and
Antarctic Ice Covers,” at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on
Thurs., Dec. 13, and Pasadena City College on Fri., Dec. 14.

Benjamin Holt, research scientist for JPL’s polar
oceanography group, will discuss effects of the poles on
Earth’s climate system and current findings on changes in
polar ice cover. Scientists have long suspected changes to
Earth’s climate will first be seen at the poles, particularly
the Arctic. Recent reports from the Arctic confirm the
continuing retreat of glaciers and thinning of sea ice.

The last decade has seen a significant increase in the
formation of new icebergs in Antarctica. Just last month, the
Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer instrument aboard NASA’s
Terra spacecraft captured the formation of a 714-square-
kilometer (286-square-mile) iceberg from Pine Island Glacier
in West Antarctica.

Terra and other Earth-observing spacecraft provide an
excellent means of monitoring ice in the polar regions. JPL
researchers, including Holt, are using a broad range of
satellite data to examine the poles, seeking early clues to
help predict future global and regional climate change.

Holt analyzes satellite imagery for sea ice and
oceanography applications. He is a principal investigator on
NASA grants examining the roles of sea ice in Arctic Ocean
circulation and coastal circulation off California. He has
participated in four field experiments on sea ice in the
Arctic. He was on the science staff for the Seasat, Shuttle
Imaging Radar B and Shuttle Imaging Radar C/X-band Synthetic
Aperture Radar missions. He is currently the task scientist
for the Alaska Synthetic Aperture Radar Facility Development
project, under which he worked on two Antarctic mapping
missions. He received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford
University, Stanford, Calif., and a master’s degree in
physical oceanography from the University of Southern
California, Los Angeles.

Both lectures begin at 7 p.m. Seating is on a first-
come, first-served basis. The lecture will be webcast live and
will be available after the event on the JPL Web site. The
lecture at JPL, located at 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, off
the Oak Grove Drive exit of the 210 (Foothill) Freeway, will
be held in the von Karman Auditorium. The Friday lecture will
be held in Pasadena City College’s Forum at 1570 E. Colorado

For more information, call (818) 354-5011. Information
on the von Karman lecture and webcast is available at JPL is a
division of the California Institute of Technology in