The Ice Of Antarctica

Mountains on the Antarctic Peninsula
Mountains on the Antarctic Peninsula
Warming has been particularly strong on the Antarctic Peninsula. One study suggests that the warming is a consequence of carbon dioxide emissions from people. The effect on glaciers, in Antarctica and around the world, has been pronounced. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Stromness, a former whaling station
Stromness, a former whaling station
Stromness, a former whaling station on South Georgia island, was founded in 1912. This is where Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton finally made contact with the outside world in 1916 after being lost in and around Antarctica for 16 months. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Elephant Island
Elephant Island
Elephant Island, part of the South Shetland Islands near Antarctica, is covered with mountains and ice. Early explorers named it after seeing elephant seals on its shore. Famous explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew were marooned here in 1916 after loosing their ship in a crush of ice. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Paradise Bay in Orne Harbor
Paradise Bay in Orne Harbor
Paradise Bay and Orne Harbor are located in West Antarctica. Argentina and Chile both have scientific bases on the shore. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
The Europa
The Europa
The Europa, an early 20th century sailing vessel, explores an Antarctic glacier. The Europa sails to Antarctica from southern points in South America. This boat is 183 feet long with a beam of 24 feet. The glacial ice behind it, like all glacial ice, is formed from centuries of snowfall. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Glacier along Antarctic Peninsula
Glacier along Antarctic Peninsula
This enormous glacier (notice the people in the boat) sits along the Antarctic Peninsula. Glaciers grow when more snow falls in the winter than melts in the summer. A glacier can be thousands of feet thick and hundreds of miles long. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Glacier in the Drygalski Fjord
Glacier in the Drygalski Fjord
This glacier is in Drygalski Fjord on South Georgia Island's southeast coast. Glaciers move downhill at a very slow rate, reaching the water and extending over it. Eventually a piece will break off under its own weight, forming an iceberg. Global warming, which has impacted many Antarctic glaciers, has reduced this glacier's size significantly. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Iceberg off Antarctic Peninsula
Iceberg off Antarctic Peninsula
This iceberg sits between the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia Island. Icebergs spend thousands of years as part of a glacier. Once it calves (breaks off), the iceberg will live for 3 - 6 years. Icebergs that float into warmer water may not last that long, though the occasional iceberg can survive for 50 years or more. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Iceberg off the Antarctic Peninsula
Iceberg off the Antarctic Peninsula
Icebergs, which come from glaciers, are made up of freshwater. Icebergs tend to travel with the current, often getting stuck against land. The blue color found in Antarctica can be extremely vibrant, the deeper blue the denser the ice. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Blue-fissured iceberg
Blue-fissured iceberg
Most icebergs are blue, which is the color of compressed ice from glaciers. Icebergs turn white after a few rounds of melting and freezing. An iceberg may even be green if the ice lived at the bottom of an ice shelf and came in contact with seawater over the centuries. The fissures form when warm air melts ice into pools, which then drips through cracks, widening them. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Iceberg off Antarctic Peninsula
Iceberg off Antarctic Peninsula
Non-tabular icebergs come in all sorts of shapes. An arch shape is fairly common, but so too is too is a cube or tall spire. A canyon can form when two tips connect underwater. Then again, the shape might be completely irregular. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Iceberg off Antarctic Peninsula
Iceberg off Antarctic Peninsula
This non-tabular iceberg off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula formed in the shape of an arch. Caves sometimes form when water hits against the base of an iceberg. These caves can become arches when the iceberg's center of gravity changes and it flips on its side. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Iceberg off Antarctic Peninsula
Iceberg off Antarctic Peninsula
Non-tabular icebergs can take on many different shapes. And that shape changes throughout its life. Frequent cycles of thawing and melting, every day and every season, open huge crevasses within the iceberg, leading to a complicated internal structure. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Iceberg off Antarctic Peninsula
Iceberg off Antarctic Peninsula
Tabular icebergs are steep on the sides and flat on the top. This tabular iceberg sits near the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. For as large as it looks above water, most of this iceberg is below the surface. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Iceberg off Antarctic Peninsula
Iceberg off Antarctic Peninsula
This tabular iceberg has broken in half and may be turning on it's side. The long horizontal lines represent years and years of accumulated snowfall. Like rings on a tree stump, they can be used to determine age. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Iceberg near South Georgia Island
Iceberg near South Georgia Island
This iceberg sits in the water between South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. The above-water portion of the iceberg is bigger than the 200-passenger ship from which this picture is taken. But, as they say, that's only the tip of the iceberg. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Grounded iceberg flipped on its side
Grounded iceberg flipped on its side
This grounded iceberg, by definition, touches the seafloor. Floating icebergs may become grounded when they drift into shallower water. As the ice melts, the weight shifts, and an iceberg will tumble in the water. The vertical lines are from scrapes across the seafloor. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Iceberg in Lemaire Channel
Iceberg in Lemaire Channel
This grounded iceberg is located in Lemaire Channel, between Kiev Peninsula and Booth Island. This dense channel of grounded icebergs is appropriately named "Iceberg Alley." The waters are still enough to look like a lake, very rare in the extreme climate of the southern seas. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Iceberg Alley
Iceberg Alley
The icebergs in iceberg alley can be as big as houses. These icebergs used to be floating in water up to the overhang. At some point they became grounded in shallower water. The area is so treacherous that ships sometimes have to backtrack and go around Booth Island to get by. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Iceberg Alley
Iceberg Alley
Iceberg Alley contains icebergs of many shapes, sizes and colors. Some have likened their experience traveling through Iceberg Alley to floating in a giant cup of ice water. The sound of boat trudging through thick ice can be a little unnerving. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Horseshoe-shaped iceberg
Horseshoe-shaped iceberg
This horseshoe-shaped iceberg also lives in Iceberg Alley. The light blue area shows where the base is just below the water's surface, with no ice above. The channel itself is hemmed in by steep cliffs on either side. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)
Iceberg off Antarctic Peninsula
Iceberg off Antarctic Peninsula
This enormous iceberg sits in the open water between the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia Island. It's longer and taller than the 200-person, ocean-going vessel from which this picture was taken. Icebergs are classified into six official sizes: growler (car size), bergy bit (small house size), small, medium, large and very large. A very large iceberg is at least 670 feet long and 240 feet high. (Photo Credit: Jordan Spielman)

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