Polar caps

Minimum extent of the Arctic sea ice in 2007.

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

  • Earth's Changing Ice Cover Featured Article Earth's Changing Ice Cover Earth's Changing Ice Cover

    This article, written by Charles W. Schmidt, a freelance writer specializing in science, medicine and technology, appeared first in Environmental Health... More »

  • Arctic sea ice and climate Featured Article Arctic sea ice and climate Arctic sea ice and climate

    Introduction This article reviews and synthesizes our current knowledge about the impact of Arctic sea ice on climates in the high-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere... More »

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Antarctic ice shelf rift: Pine Island Glacier Last Updated on 2011-11-05 00:00:00 Watching the Birth of an Iceberg After discovering an emerging crack that cuts across the floating ice shelf of Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica, NASA's Operation IceBridge flew a follow-up mission and made the first-ever detailed airborne measurements of a major iceberg calving in progress. NASA's Operation Ice Bridge, the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice ever flown, is in the midst of its third field campaign from Punta Arenas, Chile. The six-year mission will yield an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice. Pine Island Glacier last calved a significant iceberg in 2001, and some scientists have speculated recently that it was primed to calve again. But until an Oct. 14 IceBridge flight of NASA's DC-8, no one had seen any evidence of the ice shelf beginning to break apart. Since then, a... More »
Earth's Changing Ice Cover Last Updated on 2011-03-11 00:00:00 This article, written by Charles W. Schmidt, a freelance writer specializing in science, medicine and technology, appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by Encyclopedia of Earth editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the Encyclopedia of Earth.   Out of Equilibrium? The World's Changing Ice Cover In August 2010 an iceberg four times the size of Manhattan broke off Greenland’s northwestern coast and began drifting out to the sea. At nearly 100 square miles, this was the largest iceberg to appear in Arctic waters since 1962 and a fresh indicator that Greenland’s frozen landscape is... More »
Video: AAAS Global Climate-Change Video - CLEAN Last Updated on 2011-02-17 00:00:00 This video has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN Collection. Residents of Shishmaref, Alaska, and experts like John Holdren, exploring the human impacts of global climate change. More »
Arctic sea ice and climate Last Updated on 2010-08-03 00:00:00 Introduction This article reviews and synthesizes our current knowledge about the impact of Arctic sea ice on climates in the high-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere (Figure 1).The Arctic cryosphere is rapidly changing and such modifications are projected to continue into the future as outlined in the Section Sea ice in the Arctic in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report (ACIA 2005) and more recently by Deser and Teng (2008). While the variation in sea ice cover also are significantly influenced by changes in the state of the overlying atmosphere, evidence continues to mount regarding the importance of sea ice in driving climate variability in low, middle, and high latitudes because of its capacity to influence the exchange of radiation, sensible heat, and momentum significantly between the atmosphere and the ocean were among the first to examine the climatic... More »