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This site features a video that illustrates both seasonal patterns and long-term changes in sea ice distribution across the Arctic Ocean. It draws data from two satellite instruments that measure emitted microwave radiation, which helps distinguish open ocean from ice. It shows that during the winter months, a layer of ice forms across vast expanses of the Arctic Ocean and each summer, more than half of that ice vanishes. Students discover that this natural cycle of freezing and thawing is influenced both by seasonal temperature variations and long-term climate change and that scientists are using satellite images to measure the distribution of Arctic sea ice in order to gain a better understanding of how it is linked to Earth's climate system.
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