Couldn't find element LayerAd

Error finding content

Animation of Annual Variation in Sea Ice Extent in the Southern Hemisphere - Windows to the Universe

Shop Windows to the Universe

Dig into Montana Before History: 11K Years of Hunter-Gatherers in the Rockies and Plains by D. H. MacDonald, Ph.D. See our online store book collection.

Movie of Yearly Changes in Sea Ice around Antarctica

Images courtesy the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Animation by Windows to the Universe staff (Randy Russell).

This movie shows how the sea ice around Antarctica and the South Pole changes from season to season throughout the year. During the winter the cold temperatures freeze more and more of the water in the Southern Ocean. The sea ice pack gets bigger and bigger. When is there the most sea ice? There is usually a lot of sea ice in early spring, right after winter ends, around September.

In late spring the weather gets warmer. The sea ice starts to melt. All through the summer more and more of the ice melts. When is there the least sea ice? Since a lot of ice melts in the summer, there is usually much less sea ice in early fall around February, right after the end of summer.

The freezing and melting of the sea ice happens year after year. It is one of the cycles that come with the changing seasons.

This movie shows seven years of this cycle, from January 2002 through December 2008.

(Note: If you cannot see the movie you may need to download the latest QuickTime player.)

If you want to see more movies and pictures of sea ice, go to the NSIDC web site to:

Last modified February 23, 2009 by Randy Russell.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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

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

What Causes the Seasons?

The Earth's orbit is in the shape of an ellipse (a stretched out circle), so that sometimes the Earth is closer to the Sun than at other times. Is this the cause of the seasons? You can imagine that if...more

The Southern Ocean

The Southern Ocean is sometimes known as the Antarctic Ocean or South Polar Ocean. It surrounds Antarctica in the South Polar Region. The Southern Ocean is a bit different from other oceans. Other oceans...more

North and South: Opposite Seasons

NASA now makes images of the whole Earth every month. There are no clouds in the images. They combine many pictures taken at different times. The polar ice caps look bigger than they really are. The movie...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

Polar Games and Activities

Dive into one of our new polar activities or games! Animation showing Yearly Changes of Sea Ice in the Arctic Animation showing Yearly Changes of Sea Ice in the Antarctic Compare Pictures of Arctic Sea...more

Climate Change Teacher Resources

Many educators are now finding opportunities to teach about Earth's climate and climate change in their classrooms.  Windows to the Universe provides an interlinked learning ecosystem to a wealth of resources...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