Alaska Satellite Facility - Distributed Active Archive Center

Sea Ice MEaSUREs

Northwest Passage sea ice contrasts with the coast of Baffin Island, Canada, in this ALOS-PALSAR image taken 8 March 2011. © JAXA, METI 2011

Sea ice is the central player in a dynamic system that affects the planet’s oceans and climate. Sea ice is also a force to be reckoned with as polar waters open to human activity, such as shipping that is already taking place through the Northern Route along the coast of Russia and is potentially slated for the fabled Northwest Passage along the coast of Canada. Sea-ice motion, revealed in the data available here, is a critical factor in the thinning and melting of Arctic sea ice as it forms, rafts, ridges, and opens into leads and polynyas — and as winds and currents move it through and out of the Arctic.

The sea-ice imagery and data products available through the ASF DAAC are supported under NASA’s Making Earth Science Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program.