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Sea Ice Meets the Fjord
Chunks of glacial ice frozen into sea ice meet the open-water fjord in southeast Greenland, observed from the P-3 during a science flight there on April 8, 2011, that is part of NASA's IceBridge program.
Operation IceBridge, now in its third year, makes annual campaigns in the Arctic and Antarctic where science flights monitor glaciers, ice sheets and sea ice. The 2010 IceBridge mission to Antarctica ended on Nov. 21 after a total of 10 flights.
Sea ice flights, flown this year from March 16-28, take priority early in the mission's Arctic campaigns. That's because sea ice typically reaches its annual maximum extent in March, and scientists want to collect data before the ice begins to melt and retreat during northern hemisphere's summer. This year, sea ice reached its maximum extent on March 7, reaching 5.7 million square miles (15 million square kilometers) and tying for the lowest extent since the start of satellite measurements in 1979.