Shop Windows to the Universe

Please help support Windows to the Universe, and our activities to help Earth and space science teachers, with a tax-exempt donation today!

Under the Arctic Sea Ice

In 2005, thirty-five scientists spent a month in the Arctic Ocean studying the marine life that exists within and below the sea ice and on the seafloor. The scientists found amazing marine life, some of which had never been seen by people before.

As part of their studies, specially trained scuba divers, called ice divers, collected incredible photographs and video that show what it is like to be under the Arctic sea ice. Take a look at some of their photos below!

Ice divers Katrin Iken (left) and Elizabeth Calvert (right) get into the chilly waters of the Arctic Ocean. The icebreaker, a US Coast Guard Cutter, that got them out to this location is in the background. Do you see the ice behind the divers?

This diver is holding an underwater camera. The sea ice is above the divers head. Do you see the bubbles? This is the air that the divers has exhaled.

Sea ice moves on the ocean surface. These pieces of sea ice have pushed together, forming a pressure ridge. Below the pressure ridge, there is a somewhat protected habitat for marine life.
These arctic cod are living under the sea ice. Arctic cod prefer temperatures around freezing or just above freezing. Arctic cod are a very important part of the diet of Arctic marine mammals, birds and other fish.
Here's an amphipod, a small shrimp-like animal that lives on the underside of the sea ice.
Images courtesy of NOAA Hidden Ocean Expedition
Last modified January 8, 2007 by Lisa Gardiner.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Cool It! is the new card game from the Union of Concerned Scientists that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change—and how policy and technology decisions made today will matter. Cool It! is available in our online store.

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

The Arctic: Earth's North Polar Region

In the Arctic, you will find the Arctic Ocean surrounded by the continents of Europe, Asia, and North America. You will find the geographic North Pole and the magnetic North Pole there; both are in the...more

Polar Oceans

The oceans that are in the polar regions are a bit different from other oceans on Earth. There is often sea ice at the surface, especially during the winter months. And those chilly waters are home to...more

Arctic Ocean Currents

Do you want to learn about how water moves through the Arctic Ocean? Then put your finger on the map on this page. Start on the blue line to the far left of the map. This is where water enters the Arctic...more

Ocean Gyres

Have you ever played with a toy called a gyroscope? It spins around and around. Scientists use the similar word gyre to explain something that moves in a circle. There are gyres in the ocean that are huge...more

Sea Ice in the Arctic and Antarctic

Sea ice is frozen seawater. It floats on the oceans that are in Earth's polar regions. The salt in the seawater does not freeze. Very salty water gets trapped in the sea ice when it forms. The pockets...more

Exploring the Poles

Polar exploration includes the exploration of the Arctic and the Antarctic. The Arctic is the area around the Earth's north pole. Antarctica is a continent that surrounds the South Pole. When you think...more

Content for Climate Change Education Courses

Looking for online content that can be used for a climate change education course or module? Pages linked below can be used to support an introductory climate change education for either a unit or a full...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF