Polar ice cap

Polar ice cap on Mars, seen by the Hubble Space Telescope
A satellite composite image of Antarctica
Mars's north polar region with ice cap, composite of Viking 1 orbiter images (Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech)
A photo describing the frozen methane and nitrogen on Pluto gathered from New Horizons.
Extent of the Arctic sea-ice in September 1978 – 2002
Extent of the Arctic sea-ice in February 1978 – 2002
The Blue Marble, Earth as seen from Apollo 17 with the southern polar ice cap visible (courtesy NASA)

High-latitude region of a planet, dwarf planet, or natural satellite that is covered in ice.

- Polar ice cap
Polar ice cap on Mars, seen by the Hubble Space Telescope

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A satellite composite image of Antarctica

Antarctic ice sheet

A satellite composite image of Antarctica
Antarctic Skin Temperature Trends between 1981 and 2007, based on thermal infrared observations made by a series of NOAA satellite sensors. Skin temperature trends do not necessarily reflect air temperature trends.
Polar climatic temperature changes throughout the Cenozoic, showing glaciation of Antarctica toward the end of the Eocene, thawing near the end of the Oligocene and subsequent Miocene re-glaciation.
An image of Antarctica differentiating its landmass (dark grey) from its ice shelves (minimum extent, light grey, and maximum extent, white)
Visualization of NASA's mission Operation IceBridge dataset BEDMAP2, obtained with laser and ice-penetrating radar, collecting surface height, bedrock topography and ice thickness.
The bedrock topography of Antarctica, critical to understand dynamic motion of the continental ice sheets.
Ice mass loss since 2002, as measured by NASA's GRACE and GRACE Follow-On satellite projects, was 152 billion metric tons per year.

The Antarctic ice sheet is one of the two polar ice caps of Earth.

The Arctic Ocean, with borders as delineated by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), including Hudson Bay (some of which is south of 57°N latitude, off the map).

Arctic Ocean

Smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceans.

Smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceans.

The Arctic Ocean, with borders as delineated by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), including Hudson Bay (some of which is south of 57°N latitude, off the map).
Decrease of old Arctic Sea ice 1982–2007
Thule archaeological site
Emanuel Bowen's 1780s map of the Arctic features a "Northern Ocean".
The Arctic region showing the Northeast Passage, the Northern Sea Route within it, and the Northwest Passage.
A bathymetric/topographic map of the Arctic Ocean and the surrounding lands.
The Arctic region; of note, the region's southerly border on this map is depicted by a red isotherm, with all territory to the north having an average temperature of less than 10 C in July.
Distribution of the major water mass in the Arctic Ocean. The section sketches the different water masses along a vertical section from Bering Strait over the geographic North Pole to Fram Strait. As the stratification is stable, deeper water masses are denser than the layers above.
Density structure of the upper 1200 m in the Arctic Ocean. Profiles of temperature and salinity for the Amundsen Basin, the Canadian Basin and the Greenland Sea are sketched.
A copepod
The Kennedy Channel.
Sea cover in the Arctic Ocean, showing the median, 2005 and 2007 coverage
Three polar bears approach USS Honolulu near the North Pole.
Minke whale
Walruses on Arctic ice floe

Nevertheless, as all the explorers who travelled closer and closer to the pole reported, the polar ice cap is quite thick and persists year-round.

Ice

Water frozen into a solid state, typically forming at or below temperatures of 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Water frozen into a solid state, typically forming at or below temperatures of 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

The three-dimensional crystal structure of H2O ice Ih (c) is composed of bases of H2O ice molecules (b) located on lattice points within the two-dimensional hexagonal space lattice (a).
Pressure dependence of ice melting
Log-lin pressure-temperature phase diagram of water. The Roman numerals correspond to some ice phases listed below.
An alternative formulation of the phase diagram for certain ices and other phases of water
Frozen waterfall in southeast New York
Feather ice on the plateau near Alta, Norway. The crystals form at temperatures below −30 °C (−22 °F).
Ice on deciduous tree after freezing rain
A small frozen rivulet
Ice formation on exterior of vehicle windshield
An accumulation of ice pellets
A large hailstone, about 6 cm in diameter
Snowflakes by Wilson Bentley, 1902.
Harvesting ice on Lake St. Clair in Michigan, c. 1905
Layout of a late 19th-Century ice factory
Loss of control on ice by an articulated bus
Channel through ice for ship traffic on Lake Huron with ice breakers in background
Rime ice on the leading edge of an aircraft wing, partially released by the black pneumatic boot.
Skating fun by 17th century Dutch painter Hendrick Avercamp
Ice pier during 1983 cargo operations. McMurdo Station, Antarctica

It is abundant on Earth's surface – particularly in the polar regions and above the snow line – and, as a common form of precipitation and deposition, plays a key role in Earth's water cycle and climate.

Pictured in natural color in 2007

Mars

Fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, being larger than only Mercury.

Fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, being larger than only Mercury.

Pictured in natural color in 2007
Geologic map of Mars (USGS, 2014)
A cross-section of underground water ice is exposed at the steep slope that appears bright blue in this enhanced-color view from the MRO. The scene is about 500 meters wide. The scarp drops about 128 meters from the level ground. The ice sheets extend from just below the surface to a depth of 100 meters or more.
A MOLA-based topographic map showing highlands (red and orange) dominating the Southern Hemisphere of Mars, lowlands (blue) the northern. Volcanic plateaus delimit regions of the northern plains, whereas the highlands are punctuated by several large impact basins.
Fresh asteroid impact on Mars at 3.34°N, 219.38°W. These before and after images of the same site were taken on the Martian afternoons of 27 and 28 March 2012 respectively (MRO).
Viking 1 image of Olympus Mons. The volcano and related terrain are approximately 550 km across.
Valles Marineris (2001 Mars Odyssey)
Escaping atmosphere on Mars (carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen) by MAVEN in UV
Mars is about 143 e6mi from the Sun; its orbital period is 687 (Earth) days, depicted in red. Earth's orbit is in blue.
Viking 1 lander's sampling arm scooped up soil samples for tests (Chryse Planitia)
The descent stage of the Mars Science Laboratory mission carrying the Curiosity rover deploys its parachutes to decelerate itself before landing, photographed by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Animation of the apparent retrograde motion of Mars in 2003 as seen from Earth.
Mars distance from Earth in millions of km (Gm).
Martian tripod illustration from the 1906 French edition of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

Mars has surface features such as impact craters, valleys, dunes, and polar ice caps.

Vatnajökull, Iceland

Ice cap

Ice cap is a mass of ice that covers less than 50,000 km2 of land area .

Ice cap is a mass of ice that covers less than 50,000 km2 of land area .

Vatnajökull, Iceland

High-latitude regions covered in ice, though strictly not an ice cap (since they exceed the maximum area specified in the definition above), are called polar ice caps; the usage of this designation is widespread in the mass media and arguably recognized by experts.

Site of south polar subglacial water body (reported July 2018)

Planum Australe

Southern polar plain on Mars.

Southern polar plain on Mars.

Site of south polar subglacial water body (reported July 2018)
Elevation map of the south pole. Note how Planum Australe rises above the surrounding cratered terrain. Click to enlarge and for more info.
Depiction of erupting south polar sand-laden jets (Ron Miller)
Close up of "dark dune spots" created by geyser-like systems.

Planum Australe is partially covered by a permanent polar ice cap composed of frozen water and carbon dioxide about 3 km thick.

Steve King

American politician and businessman who served as a U.S. representative from Iowa from 2003 to 2021.

American politician and businessman who served as a U.S. representative from Iowa from 2003 to 2021.

King as an Iowa state senator
Steve King at an event in Ames, Iowa, in August 2011
King and Ted Cruz in 2015

A day after claiming that climate change was more "a religion than a science," he reasserted that many scientists overreact when discussing the consequences of global warming, saying, "Everything that might result from a warmer planet is always bad in [environmentalists'] analysis. There will be more photosynthesis going on if the Earth gets warmer ... And if sea levels go up 4 or 6 inches, I don't know if we'd know that. We don't know where sea level is even, let alone be able to say that it's going to come up an inch globally because some polar ice caps might melt because there's Carbon dioxide suspended in the atmosphere."

A water molecule consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom

Water

Inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a solvent ).

Inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a solvent ).

A water molecule consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom
The three common states of matter
Phase diagram of water (simplified)
Tetrahedral structure of water
Model of hydrogen bonds (1) between molecules of water
Water cycle
Overview of photosynthesis (green) and respiration (red)
Water fountain
An environmental science program – a student from Iowa State University sampling water
Total water withdrawals for agricultural, industrial and municipal purposes per capita, measured in cubic metres (m³) per year in 2010
A young girl drinking bottled water
Water availability: the fraction of the population using improved water sources by country
Roadside fresh water outlet from glacier, Nubra
Hazard symbol for non-potable water
Water is used for fighting wildfires.
San Andrés island, Colombia
Water can be used to cook foods such as noodles
Sterile water for injection
Band 5 ALMA receiver is an instrument specifically designed to detect water in the universe.
South polar ice cap of Mars during Martian south summer 2000
An estimate of the proportion of people in developing countries with access to potable water 1970–2000
People come to Inda Abba Hadera spring (Inda Sillasie, Ethiopia) to wash in holy water
Icosahedron as a part of Spinoza monument in Amsterdam.
Water requirement per tonne of food product
Irrigation of field crops
Specific heat capacity of water

If Earth were smaller, a thinner atmosphere would allow temperature extremes, thus preventing the accumulation of water except in polar ice caps (as on Mars).

USS Archerfish

USS Archerfish (SSN-678)

The second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the archerfish, a family (Toxotidae) of fish notable for their habit of preying on insects and other animals by shooting them down with squirts of water from the mouth.

The second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the archerfish, a family (Toxotidae) of fish notable for their habit of preying on insects and other animals by shooting them down with squirts of water from the mouth.

USS Archerfish
A pair of rigid-hulled inflatable boats of United States Navy SEALs Special Boat Unit 4 operate alongside USS Archerfish (SSN-678) during the joint-service exercise Ocean Venture '93 off the coast of Puerto Rico on 5 May 1993. Archerfish has a Dry Deck Shelter attached to her deck.

During her cruise there she traveled over 9000 nmi under the polar ice cap and surfaced through it 23 times, once at the North Pole.

Homann's map of the Scandinavian Peninsula and Fennoscandia with their surrounding territories: northern Germany, northern Poland, the Baltic region, Livonia, Belarus, and parts of Northwest Russia. Johann Baptist Homann (1664–1724) was a German geographer and cartographer; map dated around 1730.

History of Sweden

Homann's map of the Scandinavian Peninsula and Fennoscandia with their surrounding territories: northern Germany, northern Poland, the Baltic region, Livonia, Belarus, and parts of Northwest Russia. Johann Baptist Homann (1664–1724) was a German geographer and cartographer; map dated around 1730.
Viking expeditions (blue): depicting the immense breadth of their voyages throughout most of Europe, the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean
Swedish tribes in Northern Europe in 814
Gustav Vasa (Gustav I) in 1542
An image made by Gustavus Vasa during his reign showing him (in dark brown clothing and cap) capturing and subduing Catholicism (the woman in orange).
Gustavus Adolphus, victor at the Battle of Breitenfeld, 1631
Formation of the Swedish Empire, 1560–1660
Christina, Queen of Sweden, David Beck, ca 1650
This family crypt and the chapel above it house, in highly ornate coffins, the remains of all four of the Wittelsbach Dynasty monarchs of Sweden whose high-powered period (1654–1720) has been called the Caroline Era for Kings Carl X Gustav, Carl XI and Carl XII.
Gustav III, 1780s
The Swedish Crown Prince Charles John (Bernadotte), who staunchly opposed Norwegian independence, only to offer generous terms of union.
Two golden 20 kr coins from the Scandinavian Monetary Union, which was based on a gold standard. The coin to the left is Swedish and the right one is Danish.
Main Line railways built 1860–1930.
The Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm (Autochrome Lumière 1934).
Coastal defence ship of the Swedish Navy HM Pansarskepp Gustaf V (Agfacolor photo until 1957).

The history of Sweden can be traced back to the melting of the Northern Polar Ice Caps.