Two decades of change at Pine Island Glacier
Pine Island Glacier is one of many outlet glaciers around the perimeter of Antarctica, but observations have shown that this glacier is worth extra attention. It is, along with neighbouring Thwaites Glacier, one of the main pathways for ice entering the Amundsen Sea from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and one the fastest-retreating glaciers in Antarctica. Collectively, the region contains enough vulnerable ice to raise global sea level by 1.2 meters (4 feet).
The animation shows a wide view of Pine Island Glacier (PIG) and the long-term retreat of its ice front. Images were acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite from 2000 to 2019. Notice that there are times when the front appears to stay in the same place or even advance, though the overall trend is toward retreat. Sea ice covering Pine Island Bay comes and goes as the seasons and weather change.
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Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview.