Google Earth Activities
The National Snow and Ice Data Center offers some of our data in the form of images. From these, we have created Google Earth files that enable you to view them on a virtual globe. Our goal is to help people better understand the cryosphere—where the world is frozen—by making our data more visible and interactive. Featured Data highlights some of our most requested data, as well as our newest Google Earth files.
September Sea Ice Minimum and March Maximum Extents, 1979 to 2021
View Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents from 1979 through present for the months September (minimum sea ice extents) and March (maximum sea ice extents).
Download: Sea Ice: Minimum and Maximum Extents (KMZ)
Data Source: Sea Ice Index, Version 3
Note: September is the default month when the file is opened. To see March, click on the March layer in the Google Earth side panel.
A Climate Change Tour of Cold Places
A narrated tour of the snowy and icy regions of the world covering sea ice, glaciers, ice shelves, and permafrost.
Download: Climate Change Tour of Cold Places (KMZ)
About: A Climate Change Tour for a K-12 Audience
Note: This was a collaborative project between NSIDC and the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Education in 2009. The tour was reviewed and some content was updated in 2022.
Also see: Scientists Answer Student's Questions about the Cryosphere
Glaciers and Climate Change
View Glacier photograph pairs showing how some glaciers have changed over time.
Download: Glaciers and Climate Change (KMZ)
Data Source: Glacier Photograph Collection