News & Stories

Across the globe, snow and ice play a vital role in regulating Earth’s climate and providing freshwater resources to people, plants, and animals.

As Earth’s frozen regions change rapidly, NSIDC is committed to growing its research and open access data to better understand these changes. Read about NSIDC research and its contribution to science and policy making. Check out spotlights on how to use NSIDC data, tools, and resources. Learn about how we steward data and collaborate with scientists and organizations across the world to understand how the frozen parts of Earth affect the rest of the planet and impact society.

News and stories

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Glaciers, or accumulations of ice and snow that slowly flow over land, are disappearing as the planet heats up because of climate change. In this image, melt from a glacier extending from the Juneau Icefield in Alaska forms braided streams as the glacier retreats. The Global Land Ice Measurements from Space initiative is working to document disappearing glaciers.
Melting glaciers and ice sheets are already the biggest contributors to global sea level rise. Yet, of the approximately 200,000 glaciers in the world currently, no database exists to identify which glaciers have disappeared, and when. The Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative, an international project designed to monitor the world's glaciers primarily using data from optical satellite instruments, aims to change that.
Graph of ice sheet mass loss, 1992-2021
Ice Sheet Analysis
NSIDC has launched an upgraded and streamlined Ice Sheets Today website. The new site replaces the site previously known as Greenland Today and Antarctica Today. Ice Sheets Today offers easy access to melt statistics and scientific analysis of ice sheet conditions.
Map of projected Last Ice Area of the Arctic Ocean
Ask a Scientist
The term “ice-free” is based on a threshold for sea ice extent: the area of ocean with at least 15 percent sea ice concentration. A consensus has emerged among scientists that the Arctic Ocean is effectively ice free when its sea ice extent falls below 1 million square kilometers (390,000 square miles).
NASA is moving their Earth science data over to the Earthdata Cloud, a commercial cloud environment hosted in Amazon Web Services. This illustration reflects that move
As NASA moves their Earth science data over to the Earthdata Cloud, a commercial cloud environment hosted in Amazon Web Services, the NASA Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) are shoring up resources to help users adopt a cloud-based workflow as smoothly as possible. One such resource is the NASA Earthdata Cloud Cookbook, a learning-oriented resource to support scientific researchers who use NASA Earth data as NASA migrates data to the cloud.