NASA, NATHAN KURTZ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA, NATHAN KURTZ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pine Island Glacier rift, 2016. Aerial photograph of a large rift near the Pine Island Glacier tongue in West Antarctica. This feature was surveyed during the 'Pine Island 5' mission as part of Operation IceBridge. Operation IceBridge is a NASA project that monitors polar ice cover using aircraft instead of satellites. It was introduced in 2009 as a replacement for the malfunctioning ICESat satellite. Pine Island Glacier is a type known as an ice stream, draining ice from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet into the ocean. If the glaciers in Antarctica disintegrate and melt, global sea levels would rise. Photographed on 4 November 2016.
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