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article imageNASA Takes Us on a Tour of the Cryosphere

By Kevin Jess     Sep 4, 2009 in Environment
In 2002 NASA led us on a tour of the Earth's frozen regions. Seven years later they've returned to show us the spectacular and rather shocking changes that have taken place in regards to our glaciers and our climate in general.
The 2009 updated tour "combines satellite imagery and state-of-the-art computer animation software to create a fact-filled and visually stimulating tour that shows us the ice packed region of Antarctica, the glaciers in the regions along the Andes Mountains, the snowy winters of the American West, the drifting expanse of polar sea ice, and the shrinking Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland," says NASA.
New technologies were used to create the second tour but the biggest change is that it's now in high definition.
The film begins in Antarctica showing us the ice shelves pinpointing where they have broken off and what the consequences are to the glaciers they hold back.
As we move northward, we are treated to the exact locations of glaciers in the South American Andes mountains.
It shows us how snowfalls in the American west have impacted vegetation in 2002 and 2003 and then we go across Canada and Alaska to see recent satellite data of annual snow and ice in these regions. We then move on to the North Pole to see the concentration of Arctic sea ice in 2009 and how it changes from month to month.
Of course, this film was created to drive home how climate change is affecting our planet and how ice loss has increased dramatically since 2002.
Film director and editor Horace Mitchell, who began updating the animation seven months ago said, "We’re trying to tell NASA’s story with Hollywood's tools."
More about NASA, Cryosphere, Tour, 2009