On the Edge Redux

By Tom Yulsman | April 25, 2013 10:30 am

An image captured by NASA’s Aqua satellite reveals swirls of sea ice off Newfoundland on April 24, 2013. (Image: NASA)

Earlier this month, I posted a satellite image showing the filagreed edge of sea ice between Canada and Greenland. Here’s another one, this one off the coast of Labrador.

The swirling eddies and filaments reflect movement of water associated with the cold Labrador Current, which flows south from the Arctic Ocean, along with upwelling of water driven by winds blowing across the surface, and differences in ocean temperature and salinity.

As seen from space, the tracery at the melting edge of sea ice is beautiful. From an airplane, it can appear downright dramatic, as seen in this photograph of gigantic icy whirlpools just east of Labrador’s Belle Isle:

Sea ice swirls in the Labrador Current on April 8, 2008, as seen from a flight from London to Chicago. (Image: Courtesy Daniel Schwen)

The extent of sea ice off Labrador yesterday was roughly equal to the median extent between 1979 and 2000, according to the daily update from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. But overall, the extent of Arctic sea ice is below the long-term average.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Arctic, EarthArt, Oceanography, Sea Ice


ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.


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