Sea ice in the Hudson Bay of northern Canada

Sea ice in the Hudson Bay of northern Canada Today’s Image of the Day comes thanks to the NASA Earth Observatory and features a look at sea ice in the Hudson Bay of northern Canada.

This image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard NASA’s Aqua satellite.

Visible in the photo are landfast ice (ice that that is attached to the shore), polynyas (irregularly shaped ice that floats in the open water), and pack ice (ice that drifts in response to currents).

The sea ice plays an important role in many Hudson Bay communities as hunting and fishing are important to their economies.Over the course of a year, sea ice in northern Canada pulsates down into the Hudson Bay and retreats northward in the summer months. In the winter months where the sea ice extends down into the bay, polar bears wander onto the ice in search of food. As summer approaches and the sea ice melts, the bears wander back onto the mainland until the next winter.Hudson Bay is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada with a surface area of 1,230,000 km² and is located entirely within Nunavut. Although not geographically apparent, it is for climatic reasons considered to be a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. It drains a very large area, about 3,861,400 km², that includes parts of southeastern Nunavut, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, all of Manitoba and indirectly through smaller passages of water parts of the U.S. states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. Hudson Bay’s southern arm is called James Bay.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Source: NASA Earth Observatory

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