The most visible change in the Arctic region in recent years has been the rapid decline of the perennial ice cover. The perennial ice is the portion of the sea ice floating on the surface of the ocean that survives the summer. This ice that spans multiple years represents the thickest component of the sea ice cover.
These still images show a comparison of the perennial Arctic sea ice and the first-year sea ice in 1980, 2008 and 2012. The bright white central mass shows the perennial sea ice while the larger light blue area shows the full extent of the winter sea ice including the average annual sea ice during the months of November, December and January.
Cindy Starr (GST): Lead Animator Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC): Animator Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Animator Jefferson Beck (USRA): Producer Josefino Comiso (NASA/GSFC): Scientist James W. Williams (GST): Project Support Maria-Jose Vinas Garcia (Telophase Corp): Writer
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GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 18.104.22.168.0