Cold, white or clear, and glistening. Ice can be found in many forms, from the Antarctic, to Arctic, or simply floating along in the form of an iceberg. The world’s ice is changing due to human influence, so watching and learning from those changes is even more important than ever.


A team of scientists explore the Arctic ocean.


Under Arctic Ice

Hidden beneath Arctic ice is a world few have ever seen. Take the icy plunge with a team of ice-loving scientists.

Dr. Jan Backman, Marine Geologist

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 .
A team of scientists explore the Arctic ocean.

Under Arctic Ice

Hidden beneath Arctic ice is a world few have ever seen. Take the icy plunge with a team of ice-loving scientists.

Receding Ice Cover

See an animation showing over time, the receding of summer sea ice in the Arctic .

Arctic Exploration

New technology is making it possible for scientists to go where they’ve never gone before, the depths of the icy Arctic Ocean . By collecting organisms and mapping the seafloor, researchers can discover the...

National Ice Center Monitors the Arctic and Antarctic

The National Ice Center’s work is focused on ensuring safe and efficient navigation, but it also supports scientific research and provides crucial information used by scientists to better monitor and understand climate change ...
A graph of arctic ice coverage from 2011, showing data through September 7, 2011.

Arctic Sea Ice: A New Low?

This graph of the Arctic sea ice coverage shows how close the year 2011 is to reaching a record-low. The graph contains data through September 7, 2011. The National Snow and Ice Data Center...

Sea Ice in its Ever-Changing Forms

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 hooked to the...

A Trip South to Antarctica’s Ross Sea

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...

Ice-Loving Seals and the Loss of Sea Ice

In 2011, storms and lack of ice-cover due to a warmer winter climate resulted in hundreds of seal pups being washed up on the shore of Prince Edward Island. Like many, this young seal...
A walrus sits on top of ice.

The Cultural Icescapes of the Arctic

<p>The Inupiaq people of Alaska have more than 100 words for different kinds of sea ice, illustrated here. A female walrus and her calf (<em>isavgalik</em>) rest on ice (<em>nunavait</em>) in the midst of scattered...

The Arctic and The Antarctic

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 night. The...

Up Close and Personal With the Fastest Glacier in the World

The Greenland glacier Jakobshavn Isbrae is massive, at around 40 miles long and more than a mile thick. Credit: Nik Gaffney, <a href="">Flickr</a> . by Hannah Waters To really see a glacier move,...
On average, Arctic sea ice has decreased by four percent per decade since the late 1970s.

Sea Level Rise

The ocean never stops moving. When you visit the beach, waves roll in and recede and the tides rise and fall. These are small daily changes that balance out over time. But over the...
A large red research vessel among icy waters and snowy mountains

Shipboard Life in the Antarctic

The R/V Laurence M. Gould amid icy waters in Antarctica Credit: Danielle Hall Strapped in to a harness on the back deck of a 230-foot research vessel off the coast of Antarctica , I...

Animals of the Ice

Watch animals of the ice run, swim, slide, waddle, and fly. Polar bears, penguins, seals, fish, krill and birds, all live on or under the ice. How they survive in the harsh extremes of...

Climate Change Effects on Glaciers and Ice Sheets

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 melted ice travels...