Scientific Data for Research






Ice Sheets


Sea Ice


Ice Shelves


Soil Moisture


Frozen Ground

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Advancing knowledge of Earth's frozen regions

NSIDC manages and distributes scientific data, creates tools for data access, supports data users, performs scientific research, and educates the public about the cryosphere.

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Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis

Scientific analysis of Arctic sea ice conditions plus daily images


Working together to understand the changing Arctic system
Snow Today

Snow Today

Scientific analysis of snow conditions in the Western United States plus daily images


NASA Earth science data on snow, ice, cryosphere, and climate
Visit the Cryosphere

Visit the Cryosphere

Facts, photos and educational resources about Earth's frozen regions
Greenland Today

Greenland Today

Daily surface melt images from NASA data, and scientific analysis


21 September 2020

Arctic sea ice has likely reached its minimum extent for the year, at 3.74 million square kilometers (1.44 million square miles) on September 15, 2020, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder. The 2020 minimum is the second lowest in the nearly 42-year satellite record. 

16 September 2020

The concentration of mercury in fish in Alaska’s Yukon River may exceed EPA mercury criterion by 2050 if greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming are not constrained, according to new scientific research led by the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s (NSIDC) Kevin Schaefer. This first of its kind research estimates potential releases of mercury from thawing permafrost in high and low emissions scenarios. The researchers predict that by 2200, the mercury emitted into the atmosphere annually by thawing permafrost could compare with current global anthropogenic emissions under a high emissions scenario. Their results were published on September 16 in Nature Communications. 

31 July 2020

How is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) affecting Indigenous Peoples’ access to food? National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) research scientist Noor Johnson, along with colleagues from the University of Arizona and the Indigenous Food Knowledges Network (IFKN), aims to find out. Johnson is a co-principal investigator on a new National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project, entitled “Impact of COVID-19 on Food Access in Indigenous Communities in the Arctic and US Southwest: A Comparative Landscape Analysis,” that focuses on how COVID-19 has affected food security and sovereignty in these two regions.

30 July 2020

The St. Patrick Bay ice caps on the Hazen Plateau of northeastern Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Canada, have disappeared, according to NASA satellite imagery. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) scientists and colleagues predicted via a 2017 paper in The Cryosphere that the ice caps would melt out completely within the next five years, and recent images from NASA’s Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) have confirmed that this prediction was accurate.

29 July 2020

After drifting four and a half months on a ship in an Arctic winter, NSIDC research scientist Julienne Stroeve reflects on her experience and research. This is the second piece of a two-part story.


4 December 2020

Hands-on demonstrations of NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System evolution to the cloud.

The Latest on Snow and Ice

5 October 2020

Following the sea ice extent minimum on September 15, 2020, expansion of the ice edge has been... read more

21 September 2020

On September 15, Arctic sea ice likely reached its annual minimum extent of 3.74 million square... read more

16 September 2020

In the first week of September, sea ice extent took a sharp downward turn, exceeding the pace of... read more

2 September 2020

After a period of rapid sea ice loss extending into the last week of August, the rate has slowed... read more

18 August 2020

While the Arctic summer is waning, sea ice extent continues to drop. In early August, ice-free... read more