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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
ELOKA

ELOKA

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
The NASA DAAC at NSIDC

The NASA DAAC at NSIDC

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

News

Arctic sea ice has likely reached its maximum extent for the year, at 14.77 million square kilometers (5.70 million square miles) on March 21, 2021, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder. The 2021 maximum is tied with 2007 for seventh lowest in the 43-year satellite record. 

11 March 2021

Since 2006, the Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA) program at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has worked with Indigenous organizations, community partners, and researchers across the Arctic to facilitate the collection, preservation, exchange and use of Indigenous Knowledge and community-based observations of the Arctic. This year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has renewed funding for the program with a five-year collaborative award to ELOKA, Calista Education and Culture (CEC), the Alaska Arctic Observatory and Knowledge Hub (AAOKH) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council to continue their work with Indigenous partners. 

24 February 2021

QGreenland, an open-source mapping tool that aids in the discovery and teaching about Greenland, is now available from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and its partners. This free geographic information systems (GIS) tool allows for the exploration of data on Greenland’s ocean, land, ice sheet, biology, communities and more, and can be used by a diverse range of users to examine the data available about Greenland’s landscape, ecosystem and communities. QGreenland is the first GIS data-viewing tool of its kind to focus on Greenland.

1 February 2021

As climate change warms the Arctic more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet, new challenges abound for the communities that live in the region, including food sovereignty, coastal erosion, increasing shipping traffic and more. The National Science Foundation’s Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) initiative aims to improve our understanding of the rapid, dramatic changes taking place in the region in order to better mitigate these challenges. Beginning February 1, 2021, Alaska Pacific University (APU), the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), and the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) will host the Navigating the New Arctic Community Office (NNA-CO). Over the next five years, these universities will work together to provide leadership and support to researchers and Arctic communities to address this region’s biggest climate-related threats.

13 January 2021

Red and green algae that grow on snow in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) cause significant extra snowmelt on par with melt from dust on snow in the Rocky Mountains, according to a first-of-its-kind scientific research study led by Alia Khan, affiliate research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and assistant professor at Western Washington University. Algal blooms are likely to increase in Antarctica as the planet continues to warm, which will further exacerbate seasonal snowmelt and contribute to the expansion of ice-free areas in the AP region. This could have serious impacts on regional climate, snow and ice melt, freshwater availability and ecosystems, yet is not accounted for in current global climate models. Results of the research were published on January 13, 2021, in the European Geosciences Union’s The Cryosphere.

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The Latest on Snow and Ice

6 April 2021

The seasonal maximum extent of Arctic sea ice has passed, and with the passing of the vernal... read more

6 April 2021
Since our last post in March, snow-covered area in the western United States declined from its peak... read more
30 March 2021

Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its maximum extent on March 21, 2021, tying for seventh... read more

9 March 2021

Sea ice extent for February 2021 tracked well below average, but at month’s end was still higher... read more

9 March 2021
Snow-covered area in the western United States increased from 54 percent of average in January to... read more