View Ice Shelf Break Up In Google Earth

    March 28, 2008

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) released images earlier this week showing a large portion of the Wilkins Ice Shelf in Antarctica, 13,680 sq. km in size (5,282 sq. miles) began to break up at the end of the Antarctic summer.

Gigantic ice shelf break

Frank Taylor on the Google Earth Blog talks about the dramatic images. Taylor writes, "Stefan at OgleEarth took the NASA photos from the NSIDC and created a couple of image overlays so you can see the view of the ice shelf break-up right where it happened in Google Earth."

"And, you can grab the transparency slider beneath the Places pane to compare the new photos to the base imagery in GE. Stefan’s post also shares a YouTube video showing a flyby of this huge ice break-up (note that the cliffs of ice are 60+ feet tall!).

Taylor points out that the Snow and Ice Data Center has some nice Google Earth KML visualizations. "My favorite is the sea ice extent time animation. This animation lets you see the extent of sea ice for either September or October from 1979 through the present. The pink lines show the normal average ice extent. Look at this past September 2007 ice extent report for the Arctic region for the dramatic drop in ice last summer."