The SeaWinds instrument on NASA's Quick Scatterometer (QuikScat) spacecraft captured these near-real-time backscatter images of melting on the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica's Weddell Sea between October 27 (left) and October 29 (right), 2002--the earliest documented melting event on the ice shelf since radar data began to be collected in the late 1970s. The melting extended as far south as 68 degrees South and resulted from a cyclone that delivered warm air to the region. The image on the right also shows a noticeable recession in the sea-ice margin to the west of the Antarctic peninsula. The darker grey values of the melt region indicate radar backscatter coefficients that are reduced by approximately 10 decibels from their typical end of winter values.


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