"The immediate response is that the Antarctic sea ice is experiencing a decline in cover. The problem with Antarctica is that you don't have an easy one-sentence answer," Thorsten Markus, principal sea ice investigator for the mission, said in an Operation Ice Bridge FAQ.
"The Arctic is sort of easy: the ice is decreasing, and we'll eventually see ice-free summers," he said. "In Antarctica, the system is more complex. Next to West Antarctica, sea ice is decreasing. Around the Peninsula it's also decreasing and probably getting more snowfall, so we see big changes there, too. But for more of the continent, we actually see a slight increase in sea ice. It has to do with the ocean underneath the ice, the ozone hole, and a combination of both."
November 26, 2009 6:00 AM PST
Photo by: Jim Yungel/NASA
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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