Polar regions are some of the most rapidly changing areas on Earth. Arctic and Antarctic climates interact with and influence climate all over the world. Join CU-Boulder researchers in the field and in the lab as they study the poles' dramatic transformations, and learn more about the effect those changes have on the rest of the planet.
Follow CU-Boulder Scientists in the Field on a Polar ExpeditionRequest a Visiting Scientist
Learn about what life is like "on the ice", with Alex Mass, a graduate student in Environmental Engineering at the University of Colorado. Follow her to the highest latitudes and lowest temperatures on earth, from the Transantarctic Mountains of Antarctica to an Antarctic Icebreaker. Alex also helps administer a STEM outreach program, learn more.
Join Andrew and a team of scientists in Antarctica on the 2-season Ozone Depletion and Interaction with Aerosols Campaign (2ODIAC). The 2ODIAC, pronounced "Zodiac" campaign hopes to find out how the tiny particles in the atmosphere (called aerosols) make it to the most remote places on earth, and end up in ice cores.
Follow Mike and the FirnCover team as they embark on a six-week snowmobile and airplane traverse across the Greenland ice sheet each Spring before the melt season begins. The team is installing a network of instruments and taking samples to learn how Greenland's snow and subsurface firn (firn is granular snow, usually found on the upper part of a glacier, that has not yet been compressed into ice) are responding to a rapidly changing climate.
NSIDC: The National Snow & Ice Data Center
CU-Boulder is home to the National Snow & Ice Data Center, a national repository for scientific data that also creates tools for data access, support data users, performs scientific research, and educates the public about the cryosphere.
- Arctic Sea Ice Extent
- Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent Anomalies
- Antarctic Sea Ice Extent
- Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent Anomalies
- Greenland Daily Melt
- Greenland Cumulative Melt Days
- Greenland Melt Extent
NSIDC Data on Google Earth
- September Sea Ice Extent
- Sea Ice Minimum and
- A Climate Change Tour
of Cold Places
- Glaciers and Climate Change
Data Visualizations from "Arctic Sea Ice, Variability, and Climate" Video
CLEAN: Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network
Polar Bears International Lesson Plans
Learn More About Glaciers! Activities from CU-Boulder
CU ExpertsRequest a Visiting Scientist
Dr. James White
Director, INSTAAR; Professor of Geology and Environmental Studies
Dr. White's specific areas of research include studying the global carbon cycle, both modern and in the past, and reconstructing past environmental conditions using ice cores. He is working now on new deep ice cores in Greenland and Antarctica. He was one of the first scientists to identify abrupt climate changes that typify large climate shifts on our planet. He is an author of over one hundred peer-reviewed publications, and is a highly cited author in the geosciences.
Director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
Dr. Abdalati’s research focuses on the use of remote sensing observations to understand the Earth's changing ice cover and what those changes mean for life on the planet. Abdalati was formerly NASA’s Chief Scientist, where he was the principal adviser to the NASA Administrator on science programs and strategic planning.
Assistant Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences Fellow
Dr. Kay studies polar climate change and variability. Her research interests include coupled climate processes, cold clouds and precipitation, sea ice, climate forcing and feedback, and internal climate variability.
Dr. Ted Scambos
Senior Research Scientist, Lead Scientist for NSIDC NSIDC Science Team
Dr Scambos studies Antarctic glaciology, and is currently investigating environmental change along the Antarctic Peninsula. His work includes glaciology; remote sensing of the poles; climate change effects on the cryosphere; Antarctic history; geochemistry; and planetary science.
Dr. Julienne Stroeve
Research Scientist III NSIDC
Dr. Stroeve focuses on remote sensing of snow and ice in the visible, infrared, and microwave wavelengths.
Dr. Andrew Slater
Research Scientist III, NSIDC
Dr. Slater specializes in land-surface and hydrologic modeling of snow, frozen ground, permafrost; hydrologic forecasting and data assimilation.
Dr. Mark Serezze
Director of NSIDC; Research Professor of Geography
Dr. Serezze's interests include atmosphere-sea ice interactions, synoptic climatology, boundary layer problems, and climate change. He has conducted field work in the Canadian Arctic on sea ice and icecaps, and on the Alaskan tundra with an increasing focus on the rapid environmental changes being observed in the Arctic.