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Images: Colors of the cryosphere

Geophysicists gathered for annual meeting take a satellite tour of Earth's frozen assets.
By Bill Detwiler, Contributor
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Instantaneous net flux

At the 2005 American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, scientists took a tour of the Earth's frozen assets, or cryosphere, using NASA satellite images. This one shows a swath of instantaneous net flux measured by NASA's CERES (Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System) experiment on June 20, 2003. Regions in daylight are warming (orange/red) while regions in darkness are cooling (blue).

See the video: Where's all the ice?

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Flow of glacial ice

This image, which shows the flow of glacial ice toward the ocean, was derived from measurements from the European Space Agency's Earth Resource Satellite. The flow rate of the Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland more than doubled from 1997 to 2003.

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Sea ice

The sea ice around Antarctica on Sept. 27, 2004, as measured by QuikSCAT.

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Meltwater

This image, taken by Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on Jan. 31, 2002, shows meltwater starting to form on the Antarctic Larsen Ice Shelf prior to its collapse.

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Sea ice concentration

A look at the minimum sea ice concentration for September 2004 using data from the SSM/I sensor.

In addition, the red line indicates the average minimum extent of sea ice for September, derived from the average of monthly data between October 1978 and September 2002.

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Sea ice concentration

The average sea ice concentration for the month of January, derived from SSM/I sensor data covering 1980 through 2002.

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Average net flux

This image shows the total average net flux measured by CERES between March and April of 2004. The blue region indicates net cooling, while the red indicates net warming.

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Iceshelf collapse aftermath

The aftermath of the Larsen Ice Shelf collapse as seen by MODIS on March 7, 2002.

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