19 Jul '11, 11pm

Poças no oceano (via @NASA)

If you have never been north of the Arctic Circle, it is easy to imagine that the “ice cap” at the top of the world is a uniform sheet of white. The reality, particularly during the spring and summer melt, is a mottled landscape of white, teal, slate gray, green, and navy. The sea ice atop the Arctic Ocean can—as shown in this photograph from July 12, 2011—look more like swiss cheese or a bright coastal wetland. As ice melts, the liquid water collects in depressions on the surface and deepens them, forming melt ponds. These fresh water ponds are separated from the salty sea below and around it, until breaks in the ice merge the two. Researchers on the NASA-funded ICESCAPE mission —Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment—have been examining melt ponds, the ice around them, and the waters below for three weeks, with three more to go. ...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=51335&s...

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