December 20, 2006 NASA Scientist to Discuss Climate Changes in Polar Regions at Library of Congress, Jan. 24

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639,,
Contact: Jeannie Allen, SSAI at NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, (301) 614-6627,

NASA scientist Robert A. Bindschadler will discuss the latest space-based observations on the warming of the polar regions in a lecture next month at the Library of Congress.

Bindschadler will deliver his talk, titled “Who Left the Freezer Door Open? What the Poles Are Telling Us About Climate Change,” at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24, in the West Dining Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The lecture is the first in a series of programs about cutting-edge science presented through a partnership between the Library’s Science, Technology and Business Division and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

Bindschadler is chief scientist of the Hydrospheric and Biospheric Science Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He will explore the latest thinking on what’s happening with the ice sheets at both poles, including the recent acceleration of ice loss throughout much of coastal Greenland and the sudden disintegration of ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula. Large-scale environmental changes are underway. What is actually taking place, and what’s next?

Next year, 2007, marks the beginning of the International Polar Year (IPY), an intense scientific campaign to explore new frontiers in polar science, improve our understanding of the critical role of the polar regions in global processes and support education about the polar regions and their importance to the global system. Bindschadler served on both the international and national committees planning for IPY. His presentation will feature the history and opportunities associated with this major scientific milestone.

Bindschadler has been an active Antarctic field researcher for the past 25 years. He has led 14 field expeditions to Antarctica and has participated in many other expeditions to glaciers and ice caps around the world. He maintains an active interest in the dynamics of glaciers and ice sheets, primarily on Earth, investigating how remote sensing can be used to improve our understanding of the role of ice in the Earth’s climate.

Applications developed by Bindschadler include measuring ice velocity and elevation using both visible and radar imagery, monitoring melt of and snowfall on ice sheets by microwave emissions and detecting changes in ice-sheet volume by repeat space-borne radar altimetry.

Bindschadler has advised the U.S. Congress and Vice President Al Gore on the stability of ice sheets and ice shelves and has served on many scientific commissions and study groups as an expert in glaciology and remote sensing of ice. He has won many awards, has published more than 130 scientific papers and numerous review articles and has appeared on television and radio commenting on glaciological impacts of the climate on the world’s ice sheets and glaciers.

The Library of Congress maintains one of the largest and most diverse collections of scientific and technical information in the world. The Science, Technology and Business Division provides reference and bibliographic services and develops the general collections of the Library in all areas of science, technology, business and economics. For more information, visit

For more information on the Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, visit For NASA, visit


PR 06-233
ISSN 0731-3527