Images of melting ice and snow have become iconic of climate change, but typical images are unlikely to connect with people's everyday lives. This image incites curiosity and interest, showing an "expert" engaging with the melted ice.
WHAT IT SHOWS: On July 19, 2011, Zachary Brown of Stanford University sipped freshwater from a melt pond on sea ice in the Arctic ocean. The ICESCAPE mission, or "Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment," is NASA's two-year shipborne investigation to study how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the ocean's chemistry and ecosystems. The bulk of the research takes place in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in summer 2010 and 2011.