Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
Sea ice the color of a robin’s egg provides a similar indicator of seasonal change in this true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from June 20, 2002. In eastern Canada, ice is thinning in the Basmussen Basin (upper left corner), the Gulf of Boothia (top left edge), and in several inlets along the shores of the Nunavut Province (center). The bright blue color is caused by reflection of sunlight from the water underneath the thinning ice. In the bottom right quadrant of the image, (west to east) Southampton Island, Coats Island, and Mansel Island sit at the north end of Hudson Bay. To their north is the Foxe Basin, named after Luke Foxe, who explored the area extensively in the hopes of finding an easy sea passage across North America. Instead, his extensive exploration of Foxe Basin and the Hudson Bay proved that a safe passage did not exist in that direction, and forced future explorers to seek the passage farther north. Both Southampton Island and Prince Charles Island in Foxe Basin appear to be losing snow cover more rapidly than the surrounding terrain, perhaps due to the climate-moderating influence of the surrounding water.
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