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The study of snow and ice is aimed at monitoring the environmental conditions of some of the most inaccessible parts of the world. This includes the study of animal migration, ice mass balance, snowpack conditions, and monitoring of iceberg movement for ship routing.

Minimize Snow and Ice
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Giant iceberg in the making

05 July 2017

All eyes are on Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf as a deep crack continues to cut across the ice, leaving a huge chunk clinging on.

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Satellites track Antarctic ice loss over decades

02 May 2017

Over two decades of observations by five radar satellites show the acceleration of ice loss of 30 glaciers in Western Palmer Land in the southwest Antarctic Peninsula.

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CryoSat reveals Antarctica in 3D

24 March 2017

Around 250 million measurements taken by ESA's CryoSat over the last six years have been used to create a unique 3D view of Antarctica, offering a snapshot of the undulating surface of this vast ice sheet.

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Sentinels warn of dangerous ice crack

16 February 2017

Following the appearance of a large crack in the ice shelf close to the Halley VI research station in Antarctica, information from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellites helped to decide to close the base temporarily.

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Satellites monitor landslide in the Alps

03 February 2017

Climate change-driven glacial melt is causing landslides in alpine regions. Data from the Sentinel-1 satellite mission are being inserted into a new cloud computing system to monitor such hazards globally.

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Satellites track variations in Antarctica's glacial retreat

12 December 2016

Five satellites spanning two decades have revealed variations in the timing and pace of glacial retreat in West Antarctica. Some glaciers' thinning spreads up to three times faster than on neighbouring tributaries, and was offset by decades.

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Sharing Earth observation satellite data to help understand our planet

01 December 2016

Since the launch of the first Earth-observing satellites in the 1970s, numerous missions from international space organisations have taken to the sky. Today, decades of data are helping scientists to build a better picture of changes to our planet.

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Probing Greenland's ice sheet for future satellites

16 November 2016

With a helicopter the sole feature on the vast expanse of ice and her only way back to warmth and safety, polar scientist Anna Hogg must have thought, "What on Earth am I doing out here?" as she set to taking ice samples.

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CryoSat reveals recent Greenland ice loss

12 July 2016

In the most detailed picture to date, information from ESA's CryoSat satellite reveals how melting ice in Greenland has recently contributed twice as much to sea-level rise as the prior two decades.

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Nansen gives birth to two icebergs

14 April 2016

Multiple satellites, including Europe's Sentinels, have captured images of two large icebergs that broke away from Antarctica's Nansen ice shelf on 7 April.