Earth Snapshot RSS Feed Twitter

Posts tagged Arctic Ocean

Phytoplankton Bloom and Novaya Zemlya Glaciers

74.6N 55.0E

September 11th, 2012 Category: Phytoplankton

Russia – August 29th, 2012

A phytoplankton bloom in the Barents Sea turns the Arctic waters brilliant shades of blue. Here, the bloom can be seen spreading towards the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago, belonging to Russia  (click here for previous images). The northern island is glacier covered and is the site of ongoing research into the effects of the North Atlantic Oscillation and climate change on the glaciers.

Phytoplankton Bloom by Novaya Zemlya Archipelago, Russia

74.7N 57.6E

September 9th, 2012 Category: Phytoplankton

Russia – August 29th, 2012

A phytoplankton bloom in the Barents Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean, creates vivid blue and green patterns off the coast of the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago (right), which lies north of the western Russian mainland.  Click here for previous images of this bloom flourishing over the last month.

Large Iceberg Calving Off Petermann Glacier, Greenland – July 21st, 2012

80.5N 59.5W

July 21st, 2012 Category: Climate Change, Glaciers and Ice Caps, Image of the day

Calving from July 11th-18th, 2012

Petermann Glacier, Greenland

On July 16-17 2012, a 150 km2 (59 square-mile) chunk calved from the northern tip of the Petermann Glacier, a large glacier located in North-West Greenland to the east of Nares Strait. It connects the Greenland ice sheet to the Arctic Ocean.

The animated image shows the glacier before and after the large chunk calved from the end of the glacier, while the detail image contains a sequence of images showing the ice gradually calving off. The images in the sequence, from left to right, are from the 11th, 15th, 17th and 18th (last two images) of July.

Although this is not the first time a large piece of ice has calved off the glacier, nor is it the largest (in 2010 an iceberg with an area of roughly 120 sq km / 46 sq mi, or about half the size of the 2012 piece, broke off), the recent calving event has reignited concerns over climate change. While some express little concern, pointing out that the process of icebergs calving off glaciers has occurred for centuries, others worrying about global warming and say that the real issue is whether or not the frequency of calving events is changing, and why.


Geographic Extremes in Norway’s Finnmark County

70.4N 22.9E

May 17th, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Norway - April 18th, 2010

Norway - April 18th, 2010

Finnmark is a county in the extreme northeast of Norway. Situated at the Northernmost part of continental Europe, where Norway swings eastward, Finnmark has always been an area where east meets west, in culture as well as in nature and geography.

Knivskjellodden in Nordkapp municipality (on Magerøya) is the northernmost point of Europe; Kinnarodden on Nordkinn Peninsula is the northernmost point on the European mainland. Honningsvåg in Finnmark claims the northernmost city of the world, and Vardø is the easternmost town in Norway and Western Europe. It is actually located further east than both St. Petersburg and Istanbul.

By land, Finnmark borders Troms county to the west, Finland (Lapland) to the south and Russia (Murmansk Oblast) to the east, and by water, the Norwegian Sea (Atlantic Ocean) to the northwest, and the Barents Sea (Arctic Ocean) to the north and northeast.

The coast is indented by large fjords, which in a strict sense are false fjords, as they are not carved out by glaciers. Some of Norway’s largest sea bird colonies can be seen on the northern coast. The highest point is located on the top of the glacier Øksfjordjøkelen, which has an area of 45 km2 (17 sq mi).

Colville River Crossing Alaska’s North Slope Borough, USA

70.2N 150.9W

December 29th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

USA - December 19th, 2009

USA - December 19th, 2009

The landscape of Alaska’s North Slope Borough is dotted by many lakes in this orthorectified image. The borough has a total area of 94,763 square miles (245,436 km²), of which, 88,817 square miles (230,035 km²) of it is land and 5,946 square miles (15,399 km²) of it (6.27%) is water.

Its western coastline is along the Chukchi Sea, while its eastern shores, beyond Point Barrow, are on the Beaufort Sea (visible in the top part of this image). Here, the Colville River can be seen crossing the North Slope and spilling into the Beaufort Sea.

The Colville is a major river of the Arctic Ocean coast of Alaska in the United States, approximately 350 mi (560 km) long. One of the northernmost major rivers in the North America, it drains a remote area of tundra on the north side of the Brooks Range entirely above the Arctic Circle. The river is frozen for more than half the year and floods each spring.

Upon opening the full image, the river can be seen flowing through the foothills on the north side of the Brooks Range, broadening as it receives the inflow of many tributaries that descend from the middle Brooks Range. After flowing across the Arctic plain, it enters the western Beaufort Sea in a broad delta near Nuiqsut, approximately 120 mi (190 km) west of Prudhoe Bay.