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How NASA is tracking sea ice in Antarctica

By: Katherine Butler on Feb. 28, 2012, 6:08 p.m.
thin ice over Pine Island Glacier

Photo: Credit: Jim Yungel/NASA

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NASA flies over thin ice

Antarctica is the coldest continent on the planet and is roughly the size of the United States and Mexico combined. Experts believe that it contains 90 percent of the planet’s ice. It is covered in a layer of ice that is roughly a mile thick, reaching as many as 3 miles of thickness in certain areas. The ice formed over millions of years of snowfall, covering a landmass that is made up of mountains and plains. Antarctica is divided into three regions: East Antarctica, West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula. Here, NASA captures thin ice from an altitude of 1,500 miles over the Pine Island Glacier.