5 December 2013
NASA Earth data centers release Sensing Our Planet 2013, a collection of in-depth science stories that reveal the surprising ways that scientists use satellite data to study our planet.
2 December 2013
NSIDC science at AGU highlights Landsat 8, Arctic sea ice, Antarctic ice shelves, snow cover, and permafrost carbon feedback
NSIDC Scientists will present new research on Arctic sea ice, Antarctic ice shelf disintegration, snow cover measurement, glaciers in High Asia’s Himalaya-Karakoram region, and new findings in Antarctica's cold regions using the recently-launched Landsat 8 at next week’s American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco, California.
3 October 2013
NSIDC researchers release the final analysis for the 2013 Arctic sea ice melt season.
20 September 2013
Arctic sea ice cover likely melted to its minimum extent for the year on September 13, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
7 August 2013
NASA has selected NSIDC for continuation of the NASA Snow and Ice Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC).
25 March 2013
Arctic sea ice reached its maximum extent for the year on March 15 at 15.13 million square kilometers, the sixth lowest in the satellite record.
The NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis Web site provides year-round monthly updates on Arctic sea ice conditions, along with daily data.
IceLights: Your Burning Questions About Ice & Climate
The changing Arctic conditions have prompted many questions from our readers. On this site, we share those questions and our answers.
NSIDC scientists travel far and wide to study the Earth's frozen regions. Find information on upcoming expeditions and past field work.
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5 February 2013
NSIDC scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder launch a Web site that offers the latest satellite data and periodic scientific analysis on surface melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, a significant climate indicator watched by climate scientists worldwide.
27 November 2012
NSIDC scientists will present new research on permafrost, Arctic sea ice, ice sheet mass balance in Antarctica, glaciers in High Asia’s Himalaya-Karakoram region, and dust on snow at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.
27 November 2012
The UN Environment Program (UNEP) releases a report recommending that the IPCC assess the impact of emmissions from thawing permafrost. NSIDC scientist Kevin Schaefer is lead author of the report.
13 November 2012
NASA Earth data centers have just released Sensing Our Planet 2012, a collection of in-depth science stories that reveal the surprising ways that scientists use satellite data to study our planet.
26 October 2012
NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey have selected NSIDC lead scientist Ted Scambos to provide technical and scientific input to the Landsat Earth-observing mission on issues critical to the study of the cryosphere.
2 October 2012
NSIDC releases its final analysis of the 2012 Arctic sea ice melt season.
19 September 2012
Arctic sea ice cover likely melted to its minimum extent for the year on September 16, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
27 August 2012
Arctic sea ice cover melted to its lowest extent in the satellite record yesterday, breaking the previous record low observed in 2007.
30 July 2012
A new scientific study indicates the turn-of-the-century drought in the North American West was the worst of the last millennium—with major impacts to the carbon cycle and hints of even drier times ahead.
20 June 2012
If warming trends in global climate continue, thinning and shrinking Antarctic sea ice could push Emperor penguin populations toward extinction.
17 April 2012
NSIDC's Green Data Center Project won a 2012 Green Enterprise IT (GEIT) Award for the innovative redesign of our data center cooling system, which slashed energy usage by more than 90 percent.
1 May 2012
The NSIDC Green Data Center project installed technologies that have slashed NSIDC’s energy footprint by more than 70 percent. Media are invited to attend the event on May 4.
17 April 2012
NSIDC's Green Data Center Project won a 2012 Green Enterprise IT (GEIT) Award for the innovative redesign of our data center cooling system, which slashed energy usage by more than 90 percent.
12 April 2012
National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) scientists will present new research at the 2012 International Polar Year (IPY) Conference in Montreal, Canada, from April 23 to 27.
4 April 2012
Carbon dioxide released from thawing permafrost may have contributed to a major global warming events about 55 million years ago, suggests a new study in the journal Nature.
20 March 2012
In February, NSIDC scientist Shari Gearheard traveled to Nepal with a group of Inuit from Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada, to exchange knowledge and ideas with Nepalese residents of high alpine regions.
23 January 2012
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development seeks a glacio-hydrologist to work on a project monitoring Himalayan glaciers.
7 December 2011
NSIDC scientist Richard Armstrong, and Mark Williams of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at CU, are leading a study to assess snow and glacier contributions to water resources originating in the high mountains of Asia.
1 December 2011
NSIDC scientist Walt Meier contributed to the NOAA 2011 Arctic Report Card, an annual compilation of scientific observations of the changing Arctic region.
30 November 2011
In an editorial piece published today in the journal Nature, NSIDC scientist Kevin Schaefer joins a group of experts working to predict the amount of carbon release from thawing permafrost.
28 November 2011
NSIDC scientists present new findings on permafrost and Arctic sea ice, at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
3 November 2011
An NSIDC team received the Colorado 2011 Governor's Award for High-Impact Research, for a new design that slashed energy consumption for data center cooling by more than 90%.
19 October 2011
NSIDC scientists will present new research at the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Open Science Conference in Denver, Colorado, from October 24 to 28.
4 October 2011
This September, sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean reached near-record lows, continuing the trend of sea ice loss.
15 September 2011
Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its lowest extent for the year. The minimum ice extent was the second lowest in the satellite record, after 2007.
25 July 2011
New data provide the clearest account yet of how much glacial ice surges into the sea following the collapse of Antarctic ice shelves.
24 June 2011
On Tuesday, June 28, Walt Meier will participate in a webinar to discuss the highlights of the 2010 State of the Climate report.
4 May 2011
The new report from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program highlights observed changes in snow cover, sea ice, and permafrost.
29 March 2011
NSIDC researchers contributed to an International Polar Year summary report describing research and data results from the largest ever polar research project.
16 February 2011
New models suggest that one- to two-thirds of Earth's permafrost will disappear by 2200, unleashing carbon into the atmosphere.
10 December 2010
NSIDC Lead Scientist and Antarctic expert Ted Scambos will join a panel of scientists on December 15 for a press briefing on changes on the Antarctic Ice Sheet.
2 December 2010
NSIDC scientists will present new data on ice shelf loss, Himalayan glaciers, and permafrost carbon feedbacks at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, December 13 to 17.
4 October 2010
This September, Arctic sea ice extent was the third-lowest in the satellite record.
20 September 2010
Dark-colored dust that settles on snow in the Upper Colorado River Basin robs the Colorado River of about five percent of its water each year, according a new study.
15 September 2010
The Arctic sea ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent for the year. It was the third-lowest extent recorded since satellites began measuring minimum sea ice extent in 1979.
1 September 2010
Operation IceBridge embarks on its fourth field season in October. The mission is now paralleled by a campaign to bring data to researchers as quickly as possible.
30 August 2010
The NASA Ice, Cloud, and Elevation satellite (ICESat) re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere today, ending a seven-year operation. But the data from the mission will live on at NSIDC.
13 July 2010
NSIDC will modify its computing center to become one of the most energy-efficient data centers in the United States.
9 June 2010
NSIDC contributed tools and services for the launch of the Polar Information Commons (PIC), a resource for archiving and sharing data.
7 April 2010
A new study in the journal Global Environmental Change combines indigenous environmental knowledge with the practice of statistical weather analysis.
6 April 2010
NSIDC has issued an update to Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis describing winter sea ice conditions in the Arctic Ocean. Arctic sea ice reached its maximum extent for the year on March 31 at 15.25 million square kilometers (5.89 million square miles).
10 March 2010
NASA has selected the National Snow and Ice Data Center to manage and distribute data for the IceBridge project, which will run from 2009 to 2015.
8 December 2009
NSIDC researchers contributed to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) this December.
1 December 2009
NSIDC researchers will present new research on Arctic change, permafrost tipping points, and more, at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, from December 14 to 18, 2009.
19 November 2009
Ted Scambos and two other NSIDC researchers will conduct research in Antarctica this winter, as part of an NSF-funded project to study the impact of ice shelf collapse.
6 October 2009
At the end of the Arctic summer, more ice cover remained this year than during the previous record-setting low years of 2007 and 2008. However, sea ice has not recovered to previous levels.
17 September 2009
Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its lowest extent for 2009. This year's minimum is the third-lowest extent since the start of satellite measurements in 1979.
30 June 2009
Earlier mountain snowmelt, caused by increased dust deposition, leads to changes in alpine plant growth and flowering.
11 June 2009
NSIDC program manager Mark Parsons has won the Charles S. Falkenberg Award for his leadership in Earth science research and data management.
9 June 2009
BBC filmmakers visited NSIDC Scientist Shari Gearheard last week to film her research for the documentary, Frozen Planet.
19 May 2009
The University of Colorado's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences has named Mark Serreze as the new NSIDC director.
29 April 2009
The CIRES Innovative Research Program has funded NSIDC researchers to re-examine satellite data from the 1960s, which may hold information about historic sea ice extent.
8 April 2009
An ice bridge connecting the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula to Charcot Island has disintegrated, leaving the remainder of the ice shelf vulnerable to further collapse.
6 April 2009
NSIDC has issued an update to Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis describing winter sea ice conditions in the Arctic Ocean.
1 April 2009
NASA and NSIDC will hold a media teleconference on Monday, April 6, to present the latest observations of sea ice conditions in the Arctic.
4 March 2009
NSIDC data managers played an advisory role in developing the Committee on Data and Science and Technology's (CODATA) long-term management strategy for IPY data.
2 February 2009
NSIDC data is included in the newest version of Google Earth, launched today. The new “Ocean in Google Earth” feature contains NSIDC sea ice extent data and photographs showing glaciers shrinking through time.
26 January 2009
NSIDC Scientist Julienne Stroeve contributed to a study suggesting that global warming will lead to the decline of an emperor penguin population in Antarctica.
9 January 2009
NSIDC Lead Scientist and Antarctic Ice Sheet expert Ted Scambos is one of a group of scientists conducting a traverse beginning at the South Pole.
5 January 2009
NSIDC Scientist Tingjun Zhang has received a Reviewers Certificate award from the Elsevier journal, Cold Regions Science & Technology.
10 December 2008
NSIDC's newest education offering, All About Frozen Ground, provides comprehensive information about the importance of frozen ground.
9 December 2008
Julienne Stroeve will join a panel of scientists to discuss Arctic change; her focus will be the emergence of stronger warming in the Arctic, a process tied to summer ice loss.
1 December 2008
The online NSIDC Glacier Photograph Collection has doubled in size since January 2008, with more than 10,000 high-resolution photographs of glaciers worldwide available for free.
20 November 2008
Learn more about changing permafrost, Arctic amplification, international challenges in the Arctic, and more at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting.
17 November 2008
From changing polar bear habitat to wind energy to the rise and fall of water level, this year's publication reveals the surprising ways that scientists use NASA satellite data to study our planet.
11 November 2008
NSIDC's Roger Barry will use his fellowship to work and write at the Commission for Glaciology at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences from May through November 2009.
11 November 2008
International scientific organizations from more than one hundred nations agreed to rework the 40-plus World Data Centers (WDC) to create a World Data System. NSIDC currently maintains the WDC for Glaciology, Boulder.
2 October 2008
Despite cooler temperatures and ice-favoring conditions, the long-term decline continues.
16 September 2008
The Arctic sea ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent for the year. The near-record low reinforces the strong negative trend observed over the past thirty years.
26 August 2008
Sea ice extent has fallen below the 2005 minimum, previously the second-lowest extent recorded since the dawn of the satellite era.
13 August 2008
"Meeting the Global Energy and Climate Challenge," August 22 to 23, will focus on climate change science and solutions.
17 June 2008
NASA has announced a search for a Physical Scientist in the Cryospheric Science Program.
10 June 2008
A new study from NSIDC and NCAR scientists explores the relationship between rapid sea ice melt and temperatures on land.
30 May 2008
NASA has selected the University of Colorado at Boulder for its Snow and Ice Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC), a five-year contract valued at more than $30 million.
6 May 2008
The CIRES Innovative Research Program has funded NSIDC scientist Ted Scambos to explore the causes of ice shelf breakup in Antarctica.
16 April 2008
A new NSIDC-CU museum exhibit opens, sharing Inuit knowledge of climate change.
15 April 2008
Senior research scientist Tingjun Zhang has been elected to the CIRES Council of Fellows.
7 April 2008
MEDIA ADVISORY: NSIDC Launches Year-Round Sea Ice Site with Maximum Report
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has launched Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis. The site provides year-round monthly updates on Arctic sea ice conditions; the April 7 entry details maximum sea ice extent and conditions as we enter the melt season.
25 March 2008
Satellite imagery from the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder reveals that a 13,680 square kilometer (5,282 square mile) ice shelf has begun to collapse because of rapid climate change in a fast-warming region of Antarctica.
14 March 2008
A panel of scientists from NSIDC and NASA will hold a media teleconference on Tuesday, March 18, at 10:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time (MDT). NSIDC will release full analysis of winter sea ice extent and conditions during the first week of April.
19 February 2008
NSIDC scientist Ted Scambos is one of a team of international collaborators who have been funded to begin a multi-disciplinary study focusing on the rapid effects of climate change now occurring on the Antarctic Peninsula.
7 February 2008
A new study co-authored by NSIDC Research Scientist Ted Scambos and published in Volume 54 of the Journal of Glaciology sheds light on the 2002 collapse of a massive Antarctic ice shelf.
16 January 2008
NSIDC and CIRES invite applications for the position of Director, NSIDC. Review of applications begins February 15, 2008. See About NSIDC: Jobs for a job description and instructions.16 October 2007
The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and to former U.S. Vice President Al Gore for informing the world about the important issue of human-caused climate change. NSIDC scientists were among the many experts who contributed to the IPCC's efforts.
4 October 2007
NSIDC hosted former U.S. Vice President Al Gore for a private science briefing, yesterday, at the request of Mr. Gore.
1 October 2007
The melt season has come to a close; read the full analysis and download high-resolution images.
10 August 2007
The National Snow and Ice Data Center has launched this year's news and commentary Web site as we follow the Arctic sea ice melt season. From August 10, 2007, through the end of the summer melt season, we will post updates as events warrant.
25 June 2007
According to a new study led by National Snow and Ice Data Center scientist Tom Painter, wind-blown dust from drought-stricken and disturbed lands can shorten the duration of mountain snow cover hundreds of miles away by one month.
7 June 2007
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded funding to NSIDC to help manage scientific data taken during the International Polar Year (IPY).
9 May 2007
Roger Barry is this year's recipient of the Founders Medal.
7 May 2007
We have changed our online look as part of an ongoing project to make our site easier to navigate.
30 April 2007
Arctic sea ice is melting at a significantly faster rate than projected by the most advanced computer models.
4 April 2007
NSIDC scientists announced that the winter 2007 Arctic sea ice maximum was the second-lowest in the satellite record.
27 March 2007
Canada Post has released a commemorative stamp series in celebration of the International Polar Year (IPY).
8 March 2007
NSIDC Senior Scientist Mark Serreze is first author on a March 16 Science article that reviews current scientific knowledge of the Arctic sea ice system.
5 March 2007
NSIDC is participating in Ice Fest, a free event being held from March 8 through March 11 at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
29 March 2007
Roger Barry is the first recipient of the new Francois Emile Matthes Award, given to recognize his accomplishments in the field of cryospheric science spanning fifty years.
26 February 2007
NSIDC is one of hundreds of international organizations that are participating in the International Polar Year (IPY).
19 February 2007
Senior Research Scientist Tingjun Zhang has been invited to be the first Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) 2007 Arctic Visiting Speaker.
14 February 2007
NSIDC Lead Scientist Ted Scambos has contributed to two studies that discuss new discoveries from Antarctica and glacier surge and recovery in Greenland.
23 January 2007
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release a new report concerning global warming on February 2, 2007.
18 December 2006
NSIDC releases NASA: Supporting Earth System Science 2006
The annual publication highlights research that uses NASA Earth-observing data. Articles explore research on habitat mapping, sea and lake ice, hurricanes, pollution drift, and more. Access the publication from the NASA Earth System Science Data and Services Web site.
9 December 2006
Senior Scientist Mark Serreze will participate in a press conference on Monday, December 11.
3 October 2006
Despite cool temperatures in August, summer sea ice falls below normal for fifth year.
14 September 2006
Roger Barry has received the Byrd Polar Research Center's prestigious award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to polar research. Barry will present the Goldthwait Lecture on October 13, 2006, in Columbus, Ohio.
14 September 2006
Discovery, Access, and Delivery of Data for IPY (DADDI) Web site released
DADDI was a NASA-supported project to improve the availability of Arctic coastal data and develop a system that can be readily extended to support the International Polar Year (IPY).
23 August 2006
In September 2005, sea ice melted to lows not seen in at least 100 years. This year, will the ice hold? Check this special news section for ongoing updates on sea ice conditions through the end of the melt season.
7 July 2006
People have asked us if the science presented in An Inconvenient Truth is correct. NSIDC scientists Walt Meier and Ted Scambos answered some Frequently Asked Questions about the snow and ice science presented in the movie. 1 June 2006 International Polar Year Data Management Report Released A report that compiles recommendations from a data management workshop for the International Polar Year is now available.
1 June 2006
A report that compiles recommendations from a data management workshop for the International Polar Year is now available.
22 May 2006
The United Nations has declared that 2006 is the International Year of Deserts and Desertification; NSIDC scientists are working on several projects related to deserts.
18 May 2006
Mark Serreze will be one of three speakers at a May 23 Congressional Briefing, "Recent Scientific Findings of Arctic Environmental Change."
18 May 2006
NSIDC has made a select set of data viewable through the popular interactive desktop application, Google Earth.
14-16 May 2006
The "Antarctic Peninsula Climate Variability: Observations, Models, and Plans for IPY Research" Workshop
The meeting, held at NSIDC May 14-16, will include presentations of recent climatological, oceanographic, and glaciological research in the Antarctic Peninsula.
27 April 2006
On April 28, more than 180 eighth-graders from Boulder's Southern Hills Middle School will visit NSIDC as part of an open house.
21 April 2006
Arctic explorers Lonnie Dupre and Eric Larsen will collaborate with NSIDC scientists Walt Meier and Thomas Painter to take scientific snow and ice measurements. 5 April 2006 Winter Sea Ice Fails to Recover, Down to Record Low Scientists at NSIDC announce that March 2006 shows the lowest Arctic winter sea ice extent since the beginning of the satellite record in 1979.
5 April 2006
Scientists at NSIDC announce that March 2006 shows the lowest Arctic winter sea ice extent since the beginning of the satellite record in 1979.
1 February 2006
Mark Serreze and Roger Barry received the award for Best Book of 2005 from the Atmospheric Science Librarians International (ASLI) for their book The Arctic Climate System.
30 January 2006
NSIDC scientist Tingjun Zhang's invited overview of snow cover and frozen ground was published December 31, 2005, in the journal Reviews of Geophysics.
24 January 2006
NSIDC scientists Walt Meier and Julienne Stroeve will discuss the decline of Arctic sea ice at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science tomorrow.
24 January 2006
NSIDC scientist Oliver Frauenfeld has received the CSG Paper of the Year award from the Association of American Geographers.
20 December 2005
Recent analysis of model results by NCAR and NSIDC scientists suggests that global warming may decimate the top 10 feet (3 meters) or more of perennially frozen ground across the Northern Hemisphere.
20 December 2005
A team led by British explorer Jim McNeill will take scientific snow and ice measurements in collaboration with NSIDC scientists Ted Scambos and Walt Meier.
13 December 2005
Mark Serreze, Senior Scientist, and Roger Barry, NSIDC Director, announced the publication of their textbook, The Arctic Climate System.
30 November 2005
NSIDC has just released a new, high-resolution image mosaic of the Antarctic continent and surrounding islands.
30 November 2005
NSIDC is working with Google in the testing of Google Base, a free extension of Google's existing content collection efforts.
30 November 2005
More than twenty-five people from NSIDC are attending AGU, this year. They are presenting a variety of posters and oral presentations, as well as presiding over several sessions.
28 September 2005
Summer Arctic sea ice falls far below average for fourth year, winter ice sees sharp decline, spring melt starts earlier.
28 September 2005
NSIDC scientists Mark Serreze and Ted Scambos answer some questions about the connection between the Arctic, sea ice, and hurricanes.
14 September 2005
As arctic temperatures rise, shrubs along Alaska's North Slope are increasing in size and abundance. This new study cites snow and vegetation data that are housed at NSIDC.
2 August 2005
When sea ice and ice shelves melt, water level doesn't rise because the freshwater ice displaces the same volume of water that it would contribute once it melts…right? A visitor to NSIDC suggests otherwise.
27 July 2005
Studying historic glacier photographs helps experts understand climate change. The Glacier Photograph Collection, housed at NSIDC, has tripled in size and now offers users 2,914 photographs to search and download.
12 May 2005
NSIDC researchers are leading or contributing to three proposals funded under the 2005 CIRES Innovative Research Program. The awards will help explore Mars sea ice, climate change in Tibet, and the use of economical new temperature gauges.
18 March 2005
The past three years have witnessed a strong decline in summer ice extent in the Arctic, but ice concentration has rebounded in the winters of 2002-2003 and 2003-2004. The winter of 2004-2005 has been different. Besides a strong summer decline in ice concentration, the Arctic now shows a winter decline as well.
16 March 2005
In the Hindu Kush Mountain Range in southwest Asia, severe snow has devastated Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. Heavy snow that has already crushed homes and spawned avalanches threatens to flood the region with meltwater when temperatures rise. NSIDC scientists are developing innovative tools to monitor catastrophic events such as the severe snowfall in the Hindu Kush.
18 February 2005
NASA DAAC Annual Celebrates 10 Years
This multidisciplinary volume, which highlights new uses of data from NASA's Earth Observing System, features a 10th anniversary section highlighting 10 years of publishing research uses of Earth Science data and information. Access the publication from the NASA Earth System Science Data and Services Web site.
16 November 2004
On 16 November, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing about Global Climate Change to hear testimony on the assessment recently released by the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Sciences Committee. NSIDC's Mark Serreze participated in the first of two panels, presenting information about findings in the Arctic. Serreze highlighted changes in sea ice concentration, and the acceleration in sea ice losses, noting in particular the record or near-record lows of the last three years.
4 October 2004
The extent of Arctic sea ice — the floating mass of ice that covers the Arctic Ocean — is continuing its rapid decline. Records of the extent of Arctic sea ice extend back to the early 1950s, with the most accurate information starting in 1979, when systematic monitoring with satellites began. Satellite information shows a general decline in sea ice extent of about 8 percent over the last two and a half decades, with the greatest losses in the last three years. This year's sea ice extent is a very close second to the record-setting low of September 2002. See the short official Press Release.
21 September 2004
Antarctic glaciers respond rapidly to climate change, according to new evidence found by NSIDC scientists. In the wake of the Larsen B Ice Shelf disintegration in 2002, glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula have both accelerated and thinned en route to the Weddell Sea. The findings indicate that ice shelf breakup may rapidly lead to sea level rise.
19 June 2004
Is the Arctic in for another record low sea ice year? It is starting to look like it. The recently released June 2004 ice extent and concentration are much lower than normal, indicating that annual minimum ice extent and concentration, which occurs in September, is likely to be well below normal. If so, this would be the third year in a row with substantial below-normal ice conditions in the Arctic, an unprecedented event in the 30+ year record of satellite observations of Arctic sea ice.
26 May 2004
"The Day After Tomorrow"
The motion picture The Day After Tomorrow may leave many viewers with questions about climate change. In the movie, recent events on Earth's ice sheets and hypothetical future events based on what is known about how climate, oceans, and ice sheets interact, are woven into an exciting but fictitious story about a future climate disaster. The kind of disaster portrayed in the movie is impossible, but the patterns described by the movie have a distant basis in real concepts being discussed by climate scientists, oceanographers, and glaciologists.Read NASA's official response to the movie with additional information from NSIDC.
1 May 2004
NSIDC and the Arctic System Science (ARCSS) Data Coordination Center have released a new multi-media, interactive CD, entitled "When the Weather is Uggianaqtuq: Inuit Observations of Environmental Change." Uggianaqtuq (pronounced OOG-gi-a-nak-took) is a North Baffin Inuktitut word that means to behave unexpectedly, or in an unfamiliar way. From the perspective of many Inuit in the Arctic, the weather has been uggianaqtuq in recent years. In this CD, Inuit from two communities in Nunavut, Canada (Baker Lake and Clyde River), share their observations and perspectives on recent environmental changes. Maps, text, photos, video and music are integrated to help illustrate the changes Inuit have observed in their environment and the impacts on their livelihoods.The CD, authored by Shari Fox Gearheard, is available free of charge. To read more about the project or to order a copy of the CD, please see the the product page.
21 April 2004
Steven Chan of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory used AMSR-E soil moisture data available from NSIDC to quantify the extent of flooding after a large-scale thunderstorm swept through the midwestern U.S. in March 2004. Chan created maps that show a gradual buildup and reduction of soil wetness as the storm moved through the region.
4 March 2004NSIDC Director Roger Barry named Distinguished Professor
Roger Barry, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center for the past 27 years, was named Distinguished Professor by the University of Colorado Board of Regents. The designation of distinguished professor is bestowed on members of the university faculty who have distinguished themselves as exemplary teachers, scholars and public servants and who are individuals having extraordinary international importance and recognition. President Elizabeth Hoffman and Chancellor Richard Byyny praised Barry's work, recognizing his research in the climates of arctic and alpine environments as well as his contributions to NSIDC. Read more about Barry's accomplishments in the Colorado Daily and the University of Colorado press release; or, see NSIDC Director.
5 February 2004
USA Today's Web Guide Features NSIDC's "All About Snow"
NSIDC's All About Snow section of its newly redesigned web site was featured as a "Hot Site" in USA Today's Web Guide. The site features quick facts about snow, answers to frequently asked questions, a gallery of historic photographs, and various related links.
24 January 2004
On 23 January 2004, Dr. Mark Serreze, Research Scientist at NSIDC/CIRES, presented a Cryospheric and Polar Processes Division Seminar/coffee.The seminar examined the role of human impacts and natural variability affecting climate, ice cover, vegetation, and oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns in the Arctic region.
9 December 2003
Scientists at NSIDC have found that glaciers around the area of the Larsen B Ice Shelf accelerated immediately after it collapsed early in 2002, and are still speeding up.The findings, presented at the AGU Fall 2003 Meeting in San Francisco, support earlier hypotheses that the ice shelf acted as a barrier, slowing the glaciers as they pushed up against the ice shelf, and that removing the barrier would cause the glaciers to speed up. This finding is significant, because it provides a smaller scale preview of what could occur if larger ice shelves, such as the Ross Ice Shelf, were to collapse.
8 December 2003
Last year's sea ice extent and concentration set a new record low in the Arctic. 2003 was a close second, according to remote sensing data from September, when sea ice in the northern latitudes is typically at its lowest, after the summer melt season.The near-record low in 2003, accompanied by sea ice trends showing a steady decline over the last decade, is significant to scientists researching global warming. Not only is sea ice an indicator of possible climate change, but the loss of sea ice itself may further compound the problem. Because ice reflects the sun's energy, less ice means that more of the sun's energy is absorbed, rather than reflected, causing temperatures to rise even further. While sea ice floats, and therefore does not directly contribute to sea-level rise, increasing temperatures around the Arctic may cause areas of the Greenland ice sheet to melt, which could contribute to a rise in sea level.
21 October 2003
Warming Arctic Temperatures, Retreating Sea Ice Topic of NASA Panel Discussion
Image Source: NOAA at NSIDC Sea Ice Index NSIDC's Mark Serreze will participate in a discussion of satellite observations that show Arctic warming and retreating sea ice. The "Earth Science Update: Changes in Arctic Ice Affect Life Around the Globe" will be carried live on NASA Television with two-way question-and-answer capability for reporters covering the event, Thursday, Oct. 23, 1 p.m. EDT in NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. Graphics from NOAA at NSIDC's Sea Ice Index were provided for print distribution. For more information, visit Dwindling Arctic Ice, a feature of NASA's Earth Observatory.
23 September 2003
Largest Ice Shelf in the Arctic Breaks Apart Ellesmere Island
Image courtesy of Mark Serreze/NSIDC. The largest ice shelf in the Arctic, located on the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada's Nunavut territory, has broken apart. Researchers at Laval University and the University of Alaska Fairbanks studying the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf say the breakup is likely evidence of ongoing and accelerated climate change in the Arctic.The ice shelf, which acted as a dam to a large freshwater lake, ruptured in August of last year, resulting in the loss of the lake and affecting unique ecosystems. The report is entitled "Break-up of the largest Arctic ice shelf and associated loss of an epishelf lake," and will be published in Geophysical Research Letters.See the NASA Earth Observatory for new images of the ice shelf breakup
11 August 2003
A team of researchers at the National Snow and Ice Data Center will receive $1.8 million in funding from NASA for a benchmark project to monitor glaciers on a global scale. The project will combine satellite imagery, historical records and field measurements from research facilities around the world into an online database, giving scientists a never-before seen global picture of glacier conditions that could be key in monitoring climate change.
16 July 2003
Antarctic Features Sport New Names
The Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names, a part of the USGS that assigns names to geographic features on the southern continent, has proposed a host of new names for features, some of them previously unnamed, and some of them with informal names such as Ice Stream "A" or Ridge "B/C." The new names honor glaciologists who participated in a twenty-year study of the dynamic West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Among the honorees is Dr. Ted Scambos of NSIDC. Former honorees also affiliated with the University of Colorado or CIRES are Dr. Mark Meier and Dr. John Behrendt from the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), and Dr. Susan Solomon of NOAA's Aeronomy Laboratory.
25 June 2003
NSIDC's State of the Cryosphere Wins STC Web Award
The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) holds an annual competition for online publications. This year's winner, selected in January, was the State of the Cryosphere site. This site gives an overview of the change in mountain glaciers, ice shelves, sea ice, Northern Hemisphere snow, permafrost, and sea levels, and includes a glossary and references. The SOTC site was produced by Richard Armstrong and the NSIDC Communications Group, with contributions by Mark Dyurgerov, Mark Fahnestock, Christina Hulbe, James Maslanik, Mark Meier, Ted Scambos, Mark Serreze, Julienne Stroeve, and Tingjun Zhang. Congratulations to all who contributed and to Michon Scott for presenting the site. See the State of the Cryosphere.
17 March 2003
The National Snow and Ice Data Center hosted a three-day workshop on global glacier recession. The workshop concentrated on evaluating current methods of determining the worldwide recession of mountain glaciers over the last half-century or longer. Recent evidence suggests an acceleration of glacier mass loss in several key regions around the globe. Such glacier changes are significant due to their impact on global sea level rise and water resources. The workshop included a demonstration of GIS-based mapping techniques using satellite imagery and digital databases.
14 January 2003
ICESat Mission Launches Successfully
The successful launch of ICESat on January 12, 2003, will provide valuable information on how global climate change affects the polar ice sheets and sea level. The satellite, part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, is scheduled to remain in its near-polar orbit for a minimum of three years, measuring changes in ice sheet mass balance as well as sea ice thickness and atmospheric properties. The GLAS instrument on ICESat will provide higher resolution and more precise measurements of the ice sheets than previous missions, greatly improving mass balance models and topographic detail of the ice sheets. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center designed and built GLAS, and ICESat was assembled by Ball Aerospace in Boulder, CO. The spacecraft will be controlled on-orbit by the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). Laser altimetry and atmospheric lidar data from the mission will be among the products distributed by NSIDC beginning in late summer 2003.For more information on the mission, as well as detailed fact sheets and brochures, please see the ICESat pages.
7 December 2002
The floating cover of sea ice over the Arctic Ocean shrank to unprecedented low levels in the late summer of 2002, according to a recent study by scientists at the University of Colorado. This continues a trend of successive record minima in the 1990s. At the same time, the amount of melt water flowing from the Greenland Ice Sheet into the surrounding seas in 2002 broke all known melt records for the island. These events further concerns that climate change is significantly altering the Arctic.
7 December 2002
Scientists and staff members from NSIDC authored or coauthored 31 presentations and posters for the 2002 fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Research scientist, Mark Serreze, will give one of three invited talks. Serreze's talk, titled "Atmospheric Aspects of Recent Arctic Environmental Change" is part of the "Recent Changes in the Polar Latitudes: Evidence of Global Warming?" session. NSIDC posters include those illustrating the potential practical applications of historical data combined with satellite remote sensing to predict natural hazards, such as the North Caucasus mudslide caused by the Kolka Glacier's recent collapse. As always, we will offer an exhibit booth at AGU, where we can meet with data users, news media representatives, and AGU attendees interested in our educational and information products.
5 December 2002
NSIDC Releases New Data Tools Site
As a complement to our data catalog of hundreds of data products, NSIDC formally released a data tools site. The new site provides access to existing data interfaces, downloadable and executable tools, three new Java development tools, and the new MODIS Swath-to-Grid Toolbox. To see the new Tools sub site, visit Tools at NSIDC.
18 March 2002
17 February 2002
10 December 2001
16 January 2001