Sea Ice in its Ever-Changing Forms

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Cassandra Brooks, Stanford University

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 front of the ship recorded the ship’s travels, and the ever-changing sea ice.

Sea ice isn’t just a solid layer covering the water’s surface. Sometimes the ice looks like shining glass. Sometimes it forms a thin, greasy-looking layer, or small “pancakes” covered in algae. These pancakes can freeze together to form pack ice, which the ship can break through with its reinforced hull—though sometimes it had to push a lot harder to break through thick ice!

Read more about Cassandra’s explorations in the Ross Sea on her National Geographic blog.