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Drilling near the North Pole, Dr. Jan Backman reveals a brief moment in time when the Arctic was subtropical. More about world climate change can be found in our Climate Change featured story .
The National Ice Center’s work is focused on ensuring safe and efficient...
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At a recent staff meeting a Smithsonian colleague mentioned that one of his...
How will changes in temperature affect glaciers and ice sheets? Dr. Sarah Das...

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Looking through this iceberg's reflection in the Antarctic water, you can see the iceberg below the surface—some 90% of its total volume. Icebergs are pieces of freshwater ice broken off of glaciers or ice shelves, left to float...
How will changes in temperature affect glaciers and ice sheets? Dr. Sarah...
Harp seals are protected in the United States by the Marine Mammal...

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Hidden beneath Arctic ice is a world few have ever seen. Take the icy plunge with a team of ice-loving scientists.
Weddell seals grind their teeth on holes in the ice to keep them open to their comings and goings between ocean and air. Their dives can last over an hour when they are looking for an opening in the...
Drilling near the North Pole, Dr. Jan Backman reveals a brief moment in time when the Arctic was subtropical. More about world climate change can be found in our Climate Change featured story .
Harp seals are protected in the United States by the Marine Mammal Protection Act . Although they are not considered endangered, as sea ice melting earlier and earlier each year, available harp seal...
Looking through this iceberg's reflection in the Antarctic water, you can see the iceberg below the surface—some 90% of its total volume. Icebergs are pieces of freshwater ice broken off of glaciers...
Hidden beneath Arctic ice is a world few have ever seen. Take the icy plunge with a team of ice-loving scientists.
It’s confirmed: both Antarctica and Greenland are losing ice —around 350 billion tons each year—and, as a result, sea level has risen 11.1 millimeters worldwide since 1992. This photo shows a...
The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of ocean off the coast of Antarctica, has been nicknamed “ The Last Ocean .” And it’s not just a ploy to get your attention. In...
The white body of the snow petrel blends in with the stark Antarctic landscape, accentuating the beautiful black eyes and beak of this seabird. They hunt in the sea ice, feeding on krill and fish...
Small Adélie penguins live throughout the Antarctic, but are most abundant in the area of the Ross Sea. They lay eggs on the few rocky outcrops of land not covered in ice. Scientists have determined...
For two months, Cassandra Brooks , a marine scientist with Stanford University, travelled on an ice-breaking ship through the Ross Sea in the Antarctica—and she filmed the whole thing. A camera...
At a recent staff meeting a Smithsonian colleague mentioned that one of his pastimes this summer has been keeping tabs on the Arctic sea ice. The question that's on many Arctic-watchers' minds is...
Marine biologist Mette Kaufman measures the temperature of a recently-drilled ice core . Variations in temperature at different points of the ice core provide information about the living conditions...
Antarctica is almost entirely covered by ice sheets up to two miles (3 km) thick, which contain roughly 70% of the world’s freshwater. The great ice sheets spill out to sea as floating ice-shelves...
Travel to the ends of the earth—literally—and discover the polar ocean basins. Both the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean are defined by ice and dramatic shifts between endless day and endless...
On average, Arctic sea ice has decreased by four percent per decade since the late 1970s. But at the same time, Antarctic ice has increased by 1 percent. Scientists are investigating why . More about...
The threat that climate change poses to polar bears has received a lot of attention, but they are not the only Arctic species at risk. Ice-loving seals, such as harp, hooded and ringed seals, are...
Standing at twice the height of the Adélie penguins, emperor penguins are the largest of the penguin species and can grow to be 100 pounds. This species breeds directly on the ice: a female lays her...
How will changes in temperature affect glaciers and ice sheets? Dr. Sarah Das from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution explores this phenomenon first hand in Greenland, where she studies how the...
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