Ice Stories
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First Descents: Exploring Seas Under the Ice

All Antarctic marine scientists struggle with one common challenge: how to get through the frozen surface of the ocean. To overcome the ice barrier, a team of engineers from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories is designing and building SCINI, the Submersible Capable of under Ice Navigation and Imaging.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Climate scientist John Cassano and his team are using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to study interactions between the atmosphere and open water in the sea ice—an important but poorly observed part of the Antarctic climate system.

Floating Ecosystems

Thriving ecosystems—made up of phytoplankton, seabirds, and more—form when free-floating icebergs melt into the sea.

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Chasing Science in Antarctica

As the last leg of our science coverage during the International Polar Year, the Exploratorium’s Ice Stories crew is traveling to the bottom of the world in December 2008.

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Antarctic Exploration

Long before anyone ever set eyes on Antarctica, many were sure it was there. Belief in a Terra Australis Incognita—“Unknown Southern Land”—first took hold among the ancient Greeks.

Inventorying Arctic Vegetation

TOOLIK FIELD STATION, ALASKA-- To understand how the Arctic tundra changes over time, we are inventorying vegetation plots established here nearly twenty years ago. In this video meet my field partners, Joel and Sayuri, as they inventory amidst the rolling tundra and mosquitoes...


“It’s just the tip of the iceberg.” That’s what we say when there’s more to something—plenty more—than meets the eye. In fact, the phrase is scientifically accurate...

Census of Marine Life

The Census of Marine Life is a global network of researchers in more than 80 nations engaged in a 10-year scientific initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans.