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28 ноября 2018, 22:09

42 Stunning Images of Snow and Ice on Earth From Space


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As winter nears and temperatures start to drop, parts of the Northern Hemisphere will soon be blanketed in white. But what do snowy (and icy) landscapes on Earth look like from space?

Here, we collect stunning images of Earth’s more wintry features — from the glaciers of Antarctica to the ice fields of Patagonia to the “snow swamps” in the Yukon Territory and snowfall in the United States.

Click through the slideshow to view the images, most of which were acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on NASA’s Landsat 8 satellite and by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite, and see some of Earth’s most incredible ice- and snow-covered landscapes — some even resembling stained-glass art and watercolor paintings.

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1. Sea Ice in Siberian Islands

Photo Credit: NASA

Spanning 30,000 square kilometers, the New Siberian Islands are bisected by the Sannikov Strait, which connects the Laptev Sea with the East Siberian Sea. For most of the year, the strait is choked with ice. This image, acquired with the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8, show the frozen sea water in June 2018 as the summer melt season is underway.

2. Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago

Photo Credit: NASA

The Severnaya Zemlya archipelago on August 9, 2018, as observed by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8. Located in the Russian high Arctic, the archipelago is about the same area as the U.S. state of Indiana. The average daily temperature here in August is 0 degrees C (32 degrees F). Year-round ice covers about half of the archipelago.

3. Yakutat Glacier

Photo Credit: NASA

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) captured this image of the Yakutat Glacier (and a small meltwater lake, Harlequin Lake) on September 21, 2018.

4. Yana River Delta, Russia

Photo Credit: NASA

On June 18, 2018, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this image of the swampy, bog-filled terrain of the Yana River Delta in northern Russia. The Yana River Delta falls within a zone of continuous permafrost. Ground temperatures about 20 meters (65 feet) below the surface are roughly minus 10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) year round.

5. Patterns and Textures in the Beaufort Sea

Photo Credit: NASA

Springtime sunlight and warmth had advanced the melting to produce some beautiful patterns and textures in the Beaufort Sea, located north of the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Alaska, and west of Canada's Arctic island. The natural-color image was acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 on April 15, 2018.

6. Ice in the Amundsen Gulf

Photo Credit: NASA

On May 29, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of ice covering the Amundsen Gulf, Great Bear Lake, and numerous small lakes in the northern reaches of Canada’s Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Sea ice generally forms in the Gulf of Amundsen in December or January and breaks up in June or July. Lake and river ice in this area follow roughly the same pattern, though shallow lakes freeze up earlier in the fall and melt earlier in the spring than larger, deeper lakes.

7. Ice on Lake Erie

Photo Credit: NASA

On January 6, 2018, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image of North America’s Great Lakes.

8. Snow Over British Columbia (Canada) and Washington (U.S.)

Photo Credit: NASA

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station shot this springtime photograph of the snow-covered regions of British Columbia (Canada) and the U.S. state of Washington on April 22, 2018.

9. Sea Ice in Foxe Basin

Photo Credit: NASA

Throughout most of the year, the waters of Foxe Basin are choked with sea ice. By the end of summer, however, open water typically dominates this part of the Canadian Arctic. That was the case when this image was acquired in September 3, 2018, as small patches of ice lingered in the northern reaches of Hudson Bay around Prince Charles Island and Baffin Island.

10. Snow in the Andes

Photo Credit: NASA

Every austral winter in the central Andes, fresh snowfall covers and fills the gaps between mountaintops that have more permanent snow and ice. The continuous strip of winter white is visible in this image, acquired on July 30, 2018, with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.

11. Last Glacier Standing in Venezuela

Photo Credit: NASA

In 1910, glaciers spanned an area of at least 10 square kilometers (4 square miles) in the mountainous region of northwestern Venezuela. Today less than one percent of that glaciated area remains, and all of it is locked up in one glacier. The ongoing retreat of Humboldt Glacier —Venezuela’s last patch of perennial ice — means that the country could soon be glacier-free. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this natural-color image of the glacier on January 6, 2015.

12. Snow in Lesotho, Africa

Photo Credit: NASA

The southern African kingdom of Lesotho has just one ski resort, and for most of the winter, the operators have to make artificial snow. But every so often, nature provides, as it did in early August 2018. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this natural-color image, when a winter weather front dropped between 5 to 30 centimeters (2 to 12 inches) of snow on most of Lesotho on August 9 and 10, 2018 particularly in the Maluti Mountains.

13. Ice Breaks Up in Hudson Bay

Photo Credit: NASA

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of ice breaking up on Hudson Bay, inland sea indenting east-central Canada, on July 22, 2018.

14. Snow in Siberia

Photo Credit: NASA

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on Suomi NPP acquired this image of southern Siberia, cloaked in snow, on October 2018.

15. Icebergs in Greenland

Photo Credit: NASA

Icebergs can be seen just offshore from Innaarsuit, a small island village in northwestern Greenland, in July 2018.

16. Summer Clears Ice from Krasnoye Lake, Russia

Photo Credit: NASA

For most of the year, snow blankets the region and thick ice covers the lake and river. June, July, August, and September offer a short reprieve before snow and ice return, generally in October. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this image of the lake on June 16, 2018, just as the ice cover was breaking up. Sediment flowing into the lake from swampy terrain along the northern and southern shores stained parts of the lake brown.

17. Snow in the Upper Midwest

Photo Credit: NASA

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image on April 19, 2018 of late spring snow in the Upper Midwest of the U.S.

18. Crater Lake, Oregon

Photo Credit: NASA

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station shot this photograph of Crater Lake, in the Cascade Mountains of southwest Oregon. Snow still blankets most of the slopes surrounding the crater in late June 2017, and clouds cast dark shadows on the lake surface. Wizard Island, a cinder cone volcano, is almost hidden by the clouds over the western part of the lake.

19. Tendril of Ice in the Weddell Sea

Photo Credit: NASA

On April 4, 2018, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured this natural-color image of sea ice between various levels of cloud cover in the Weddell Sea, deep embayment of the Antarctic coastline that forms the southernmost tip of the Atlantic Ocean.

20. Snow in Western U.S.

Photo Credit: NASA

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured this photo while flying over the western United States on March 3, 2018. The wide field of view stretches from the Sierra Nevada of California to the Columbia Plateau of Oregon and the Snake River Valley of Idaho. Lake Tahoe is nestled on the border of California and Nevada. A few days before the was taken, the Sierra Nevada around Lake Tahoe received a near-record amount of snowfall. During March 2018, Lake Tahoe was buried with 230 inches of snow after an unusually dry winter.

21. Decline of Glaciers in Greenland

Photo Credit: NASA

This image was acquired on September 30, 2017, by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8.

22. Barents Sea

Photo Credit: NASA

Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean grows each year throughout the fall and winter and reaches its maximum extent sometime between February and April. This year, sea ice peaked on March 17, 2018, at 14.48 million square kilometers (5.59 million square miles), making it the second-lowest maximum on record. There was still enough ice, however, to cool the air and help produce cloud streets—long, parallel bands of cumulus clouds that commonly form this time of year when cold air blows over warmer water. On March 15, 2018, two days before sea ice reached its maximum extent, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image of cloud streets over the Barents Sea.

23. When Glaciers and Rivers Collide in Shimshal Valley, Pakistan

Photo Credit: NASA

As seen in this Landsat 8 image, several glaciers flow into the Shimshal Valley perpendicular to the flow of the river, and they have little room to move before they intersect with the water. In recent decades, the four glaciers most prone to blocking the river have been the Khurdopin, Yukshin Gardan, Yazghil, and Malungutti. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this image on May 13, 2017. Several surging glaciers flow into the Shimshal River in a steep gorge in northern Pakistan — a recipe for a steady stream of floods in villages downstream.

24. Snow in the East Coast, U.S.

Photo Credit: NASA

A blanket of snow gave the northeastern United States a wintery appearance for the first few days of spring in March 2018.

25. Torfajökull, Iceland

Photo Credit: NASA

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this image of Torfajökull, a rhyolitic stratovolcano and complex of subglacial volcanoes, on Sep 20, 2014. Most of Torfajökull’s fast-retreating ice cap is gone (except for an area on the southeastern rim of the caldera), but the image highlights two active subglacial volcanoes to the south with plenty of ice remaining—Katla, which is beneath the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap, and Eyjafjallajökull.

26. Sea Ice Swirls in the Labrador Sea

Photo Credit: NASA

On May 13, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image of sea ice swirling in the Labrador Sea, northwestern arm of the North Atlantic Ocean, between Labrador, Canada (southwest), and Greenland (northeast. A combination of winds and currents steered the ice into the interlocking swirls.

27. North Patagonian Icefield

Photo Credit: NASA

San Rafael and San Quintín are among the largest glaciers draining ice from Patagonia’s northernmost icefield. The northern remnant is the smaller of the two icefields, covering about 4,000 square kilometers (about a third the size of the southern icefield). On April 16, 2017, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this rare cloud-free image of the North Patagonian Icefield.

28. Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica

Photo Credit: NASA

Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica is known for dispensing icebergs into the Amundsen Sea, but the frequency of such events appears to be on the rise. The most recent calving happened at the end of October 2018, when the Sentinel-1 satellite observed the glacier letting go of about 300-square-kilometers of ice. The largest piece, named Iceberg B-46, accounted for 226 square kilometers. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this image on November 7, 2018.

29. Sierra Nevada Snowpack

Photo Credit: NASA

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured an image of the mountains near Yosemite National Park and the Tuolumne watershed on June 7, 2017.

30. South Patagonian Icefield

Photo Credit: NASA

Often shrouded in clouds and mist, the entirety of the South Patagonian Icefield is rarely visible from space. This mosaic combines cloud-free images acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 on April 29, May 1, and May 24, 2016. The South Patagonian Icefield spans about 13,000 square kilometers, more than three times larger than the north icefield. Its ice spreads across the border between Chile and Argentina.

31. Chilko Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Photo Credit: NASA

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) took this photograph of the south end of Chilko Lake in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Seen here are the southern 11 kilometers (6 miles) of the lake. The lake surface lies at 1,175 meters (3,855 feet) elevation, with neighboring mountains reaching so high (more than 2,200 meters) that they support permanent ice fields and glaciers. Occupying a valley carved by glaciers, the remote lake dominates Ts’yl-os Provincial Park in British Columbia.

32. Lingering Sea Ice on Hudson Bay

Photo Credit: NASA

Shallow and surrounded by land, Hudson Bay in Canada freezes over completely in the winter but thaws for periods in the summer. Usually all of the sea ice is gone by August, and the bay begins to freeze over in October or November. In between, as the sea ice is breaking up, winds and currents cause flotillas of pack ice to cluster in certain parts of the bay. That is what was happening on June 29, 2017, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image. (It is a mosaic, composed from multiple satellite passes over the region.) Note how much of the sea ice is drifting along the western coastline.

33. Ushuaia, Argentina

Photo Credit: NASA

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this image of Ushuaia on March 28, 2017. Located at the tip of South America, it is the capital city of Tierra del Fuego province in Argentina and a gateway to Antarctica.

34. Glacier Under the Midnight Sun

Photo Credit: NASA

On December 15, 2017, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired a natural-color image of an iceberg calved from Pine Island Glacier—one of the main outlets where the West Antarctic Ice Sheet flows into the ocean. An area of relatively warm water, known as a polyna, has kept the water ice free between the iceberg chunks and the glacier front. The image above was acquired near midnight local time.

35. Sea of Okhotsk

Photo Credit: NASA

In this image acquired by VIIRS on December 25, 2017, most of the northern and western reaches of the Sea of Okhotsk, a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, are covered with sea ice. The region is the lowest latitude (45 degrees at the southern end) where sea ice regularly forms. Ice cover varies from 50 to 90 percent each winter depending on the weather. Ice often persists for nearly six months, typically from October to March. Aside from the cold winds from the Russian interior, the prodigious flow of fresh water from the Amur River freshens the sea, making the surface less saline and more likely to freeze than other seas and bays.

36. Ice Jams on the Connecticut River

Photo Credit: NASA

Heavy rains and swiftly warming temperatures followed a prolonged cold spell in the Northeastern U.S., leading to a long ice jam that clogged the Connecticut River. The Multi Spectral Imager (MSI) on the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellite acquired the data for a natural-color image of the ice jam on January 18, 2018. Iced-over parts of the river are white; open water is green.

37. Sea Ice Off of Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador Province

Photo Credit: NASA

As sea ice at far northern latitudes approached its annual maximum extent, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of sea ice and clouds off of Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador province. Though sea ice has been significantly below normal extent and thickness across much of the Arctic, the ice in the Labrador Sea has been relatively close to normal. In this image, acquired by MODIS on February 18, 2018, the coastline, the sea ice edge, and offshore clouds all present a clear edge to distinguish one from the next.

38. HPS-12 Glacier in Chile

Photo Credit: NASA

The HPS-12 glacier in Chile has lost about half of its length in three decades. This image was acquired on February 4, 2017, by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8.

39. Snow in the Alps

Photo Credit: NASA

On January 29, 2018, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired these images of snow cover and low clouds around the Alps. The first image uses natural color, while the second uses a combination of visible and shortwave infrared light (bands 7-2-1) to distinguish clouds and fog in the foothills from the snow and ice cover on the peaks.

40. Cloud Streets in Antarctica

Photo Credit: NASA

A little more than 500 miles off of West Antarctica, a series of clouds in thin, parallel lines stretched over the open water of the Amundsen Sea. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer captured the scene on September 12, 2018. The long parallel bands of cumulus clouds — called cloud streets — are ultimately the visible result of nature trying to balance differences in energy.

41. Rupert Bay, Canada

Photo Credit: NASA

Rupert Bay in Quebec is one of those places where it pays to look at the big picture. Up close, the water might appear relatively homogenous. But from space, wild patterns emerge—evidence of the fluid dynamics that occur when fresh river water meets sea water. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this natural-color image on June 9, 2018.

42. Snow-Capped Caucasus Mountain Range

Photo Credit: NASA

On February 2, 2018, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a natural-color image of the snowcapped Caucasus mountain range, which rises up across the wide isthmus separating the Black and Caspian seas in the region where Europe and Asia converge.

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