Sea ice changes in the Bering Strait Today’s Video of the Day comes from the European Space Agency (ESA) and features a look at the Bering Strait, which connects the Arctic and Pacific oceans between Russia and Alaska.
These images were created by combining three different radar scans captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite mission. By assigning each image different colors, it reveals how the sea ice changes over time.
Sentinel-1 can also see through clouds and darkness, which is especially helpful in this part of the world where days can be very short. During the cold period, ice extended south to St. Paul Island near the shelf break, and stayed there for a month or more. The climate changed dramatically from cold to warm in the Bering Sea in 1977, and this created changes in the amount of sea ice, air and ocean temperatures, sea level air pressure and surface winds.
The formation, motion and melting of the ice at the edge play important roles in controlling the heat exchanged between the ocean and the atmosphere, and the amount of salt in the water on the Bering Sea continental shelf. The growth of sea ice also creates cold, salty water, while ice melt makes freshwater.
Video Credit: European Space Agency