Stability and Change: Changes in Sea Ice (Student Activity)
Dynamic changes sometimes occur at the interface where the Cryosphere and Hydrosphere interact. This is true for Western Antarctica where NASA Scientists are monitoring change of the ice sheets thickness. Warm ocean currents have spurred the rapid thinning of the Pine Island Glacier and Getz ice shelves in Antarctica as shown below.
- Observe this photo below showing the interface of the Western Antarctica ice shelves and the Amundsen Sea. The ice shelves are indicated by the rainbow color. The shelves are indicated by the rainbow color; red is thicker (>550m), while blue is thinner (<200m).
- Now review the visualization and answer the questions below:
- What color do you see the most of along the edges of the ice shelves?
- What do these data mean about the thickness of the ice sheets?
- What factors may contribute to this phenomenon?
Teachers, these mini lessons/student activities are perfect "warm up" tasks that can be used as a hook, bellringer, exit slip, etc.
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