Four Decades of Sea Ice From Space: A Decline
by Maria-José Viñas,
NASA’s Earth Science News Team
By the end of last century, scientists had painstakingly developed and tested the remote sensing techniques that allowed them to monitor sea ice from space.
In the 1980s, the scientific community started becoming more interested in watching for signs of climate change in various Earth systems — but through that decade, sea ice showed very little in the way of clear-cut trends. The drastic changes of the past 15 years weren’t even imagined back then.
“It was like watching paint dry,” said Jay Zwally, a senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., one of a handful of scientists who began in the early 1970s intensively working with satellite imagery to study sea ice.
Still, the new data allowed researchers to start analyzing the long-term behavior of the Arctic Ocean’s icy cap…
(read more and see video: Climate.NASA.gov)
images: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center