Sea ice generates quite a bit of interest in climate discussions, and is supposedly a canary in the coal mine for global warming. I have followed the sea ice extent in the Arctic and Antarctic for some time on nearly a daily basis, so I was particularly pleased a few weeks ago to be able to wake up to some late Summer sea ice formations on two separate mornings in Antarctica.
February 20, 2010
Early sea ice formation in Cierva Cove — Small formations of pancake ice. Photograph taken at 10:00 a.m. Given that this was an early formation before the oncoming Fall, I expect that most, if not all, of this small pancake ice would have broken up and/or melted by the end of the day, with new formations to follow during subsequent cold nights. Notice how some of the pancakes have formed around existing brash ice (the white ice) remaining from the breakup of icebergs and glacier calvings.