Recently in the Arctic Category


Greenland set a new record for ice loss in 2019, shedding the most mass from its giant ice sheet in any year since at least 1948.

Scientists have gained new insights into the processes that have driven ocean level variations for over a century, helping us prepare for the rising seas of the future.

In the early 1900s, Ernest Shackleton attempted to travel across Antarctica, but as they neared the continent his ship became stuck in an pack of sea ice and was slowly crushed before it reached the landmass.

Using the most advanced Earth-observing laser instrument NASA has ever flown in space, a team of scientists led by the University of Washington has made precise measurements of how the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have changed over 16 years.

CryoSat Is Still Cool At 10

Today marks 10 years since a Dnepr rocket blasted off from an underground silo in the remote desert steppe of Kazakhstan, launching one of ESA's most remarkable Earth-observing satellites into orbit.

The two regions have lost 6.4 trillion tons of ice in three decades; unabated, this rate of melting could cause flooding that affects hundreds of millions of people by 2100.

According to a new report, Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice six times faster than in the 1990s - currently on track with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's worst-case climate warming scenario.

A major ocean current in the Arctic is faster and more turbulent as a result of rapid sea ice melt, a new study from NASA shows.

Designed to collect data during the years between NASA's two Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellites, ICESat and ICESat-2, IceBridge made its final polar flight in November 2019, one year after ICESat-2's successful launch.

The skies were clear, the winds were low, and the lasers aligned.

As millions of people around the world marched for urgent action on climate change ahead of this week's UN Climate Action Summit, an icebreaker set sail from Norway to spend a year drifting in the Arctic sea ice.

The extent of Arctic sea ice at the end of this summer was effectively tied with 2007 and 2016 for second lowest since modern record keeping began in the late 1970s.

Heatwave conditions catapulted Greenland into an early Arctic summer in June, prompting widespread melting across its icesheet surface, according to researchers at the Danish Meteorological Institute.

In the next 200 years, the ice sheet model shows that melting at the present rate could contribute 19 to 63 inches to global sea level rise, said the team led by scientists at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

More than a trillion new measurements of Earth's height - blanketing everything from glaciers in Greenland, to mangrove forests in Florida, to sea ice surrounding Antarctica - are now available to the public.

This is the last year for Operation IceBridge, NASA's most comprehensive airborne survey of ice change.

Sea ice in the Arctic appears to have hit its annual maximum extent after growing through the fall and winter.

Only seven months after NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission wrapped its last field campaign on the world's largest island, an OMG crew is back in Greenland to collect more data.

Desperately cold weather is now gripping the Midwest and Northern Plains of the United States, as well as interior Canada. The culprit is a familiar one: the polar vortex.

New NASA-funded research has discovered that Arctic permafrost's expected gradual thawing and the associated release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere may actually be sped up by instances of a relatively little known process called abrupt thawing.

This satellite image, captured by Sentinel-2A on 9 July 2018, shows a huge iceberg perilously close to the village of Innaarsuit on the west coast of Greenland.

Icebergs and Sea Ice

An iceberg surrounded by sea ice just north of Venable Ice Shelf, as seen during an Operation IceBridge flight on Nov. 16, 2017.

The Dark Zone of Greenland ice sheet is a large continuous region on the western flank of the ice sheet; it is some 400 kilometers wide stretching about 100 kilometres up from the margin of the ice.

A new video features a visualization of the first three-dimensional numerical model of melting snowflakes in the atmosphere, developed by scientist Jussi Leinonen.

Permafrost in the coldest northern Arctic -- formerly thought to be at least temporarily shielded from global warming by its extreme environment -- will thaw enough to become a permanent source of carbon to the atmosphere in this century

Atmospheric researchers depart this month on NASA's DC-8 research aircraft on their third survey of the global atmosphere.

A new NASA-funded study has identified which glaciers in West Greenland are most susceptible to thinning in the coming decades by analyzing how they're shaped.

Cloud Streets View By Aqua MODIS

These streets appear far whiter and whole lot more fluffy than their land-bound cousins. So-called "cloud streets" feature trailing parallel bands of water vapor.

The Arctic has been losing sea ice over the past several decades as Earth warms.

New Details of Ice Loss In Greenland

Less than a year after the first research flight kicked off NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland campaign last March, data from the new program are providing a dramatic increase in knowledge of how Greenland's ice sheet is melting from below.

This year's melt season in the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas started with a bang, with a record low maximum extent in March and relatively rapid ice loss through May.

The Northwest Passage is a famed high-latitude sea route in the Arctic. The route meanders through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, connecting the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Summer usually brings foggy and cloudy conditions to Baffin Island, in the remote reaches of Canada's Nunavut Territory. But on July 5, 2016, nearly-cloud free conditions provided an unusually clear view of the region.

NASA Operation IceBridge captured this view from 500 meters about the North Pole Taken on May 4th.

Many large glaciers in Greenland are at greater risk of melting from below than previously thought, according to new maps of the seafloor around Greenland created by an international research team.

This image of early ice breakup of the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska, was taken by the Suomi NPP satellite's Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument infrared channel, at around 1148 UTC on April 13, 2016.

Arctic sea ice appears to have reached a record low wintertime maximum extent for the second year in a row, according to scientists at the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA.

In Greenland, snow and ice dominate much - but not all - of the landscape. This image mosaic shows an aerial view of a largely ice-free area near the western coast of North Greenland.

Earth's Shifting Ice Sheets

Using data from ESA's CryoSat mission, scientists have produced the best maps yet of the changing height of Earth's biggest ice sheets.

The ice-covered Arctic Ocean is a more important factor concerning the concentration of the greenhouse gas methane in the atmosphere than previously assumed.

It's big. It's cold. And it's melting into the world's ocean.

NASA's Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere, or AIM, spacecraft has spotted a luminous patch of electric-blue drifting across the Arctic Circle. The sighting marks the beginning of the 2015 season for noctilucent clouds (NLCs).

Greenland's Leidy Glacier Seen From Space

Located in the northwest corner of Greenland, Leidy Glacier is fed by ice from the Academy Glacier (upstream and inland).

It is no mystery how Uummannaq Island got its name. In Greenlandic, the word means "heart-shaped," an apt description for the multi-peaked mountain that towers over the 12 square kilometer (5 square mile) island.

Arctic Changes This Summer

As we near the final month of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, NASA scientists are watching the annual seasonal melting of the Arctic sea ice cover. The floating, frozen cap that stretches across the Arctic Ocean shrinks throughout summer until beginning to regrow, typically around mid-September.

Arctic Melt Pond

From above, Arctic ice looks quite different in summer than it does in winter. A sheen of white covers most surfaces in winter due to snowfall and frigid weather. As temperatures rise in the summer, turquoise splotches of color begin to speckle the ice surfaces.

Sea ice in summer looks dramatically different than sea ice in winter, even in the polar Arctic. Summer snowmelt, pools of water on thinning ice and exposed ocean replace vast winter expanses of white snow-covered ice - and this weekend NASA's high-flying laser altimeter begins a campaign to investigate these features.

Researchers with NASA's Operation IceBridge have completed another successful Arctic field campaign. On May 23, NASA's P-3 research aircraft left Thule Air Base, Greenland, and returned to Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia marking the end of 11 weeks of polar research.

IceBridge continued its field campaign with surveys of northern Greenland's ice, flights along paths measured by satellites and a line connecting several ice core drilling sites, and completed the season's last remaining top priority mission.

The length of the melt season for Arctic sea ice is growing by several days each decade, and an earlier start to the melt season is allowing the Arctic Ocean to absorb enough additional solar radiation in some places to melt as much as four feet of the Arctic ice cap's thickness, according to a new study by National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA researchers.

ESA is Preparing for Radar Vision

Sentinel-1A, Europe's first satellite for Copernicus, is almost ready for launch on 3 April. Meanwhile, ESA is showing how its advanced radar will map ice, monitor subsidence and much more.

New results from NASA's MABEL campaign demonstrated that a photon-counting technique will allow researchers to track the melt or growth of Earth's frozen regions.

A high-precision radar instrument left Southern California for Iceland today to create detailed maps of how glaciers move in the dead of winter.

Ellesmere Island As Seen From Orbit

If you were a plant, the Oobloyah Valley on Ellesmere Island would probably not be the first place you'd want to set down roots.

The Polar Vortex Sweeps Into America

The Polar Vortex is a whirling and persistent large area of low pressure, found typically over both north and south poles.

A team of glaciologists serendipitously found the aquifer while drilling in southeast Greenland in 2011 to study snow accumulation.

Recently Greener Arctic - The New Normal

Satellites above the Earth are documenting a striking change in the Arctic.