From sky high icebergs to gaping valleys iced with a glistening layer of snow, these stunning aerial images capture the breathtaking beauty of the Arctic.
Getty photographer Mario Tama flew above the frozen wilds this March in a bid to understand more about the impact of climate change on the frozen landscape.
He accompanied a team of scientists from Nasa’s ongoing polar project, Operation IceBridge, gaining privileged access to some of the world’s most remote spots, including Pituffik in Greenland and areas within the Canadian territory of Nunavut.
Tama flew out of Thule Air Base, the U.S. military’s northernmost base located some 750 miles above the Arctic Circle, on eight-hour research flights over ice sheets and the Arctic Ocean.
According to Nasa scientists and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), winter sea ice in the Arctic reached its lowest level on March 7 since satellites began recordings in 1979.
Scientists have said the Arctic has been one of the regions hardest hit by climate change. Nasa’s Operation IceBridge spring campaign flights started on March 9 and will continue until May 12.
Snap happy: Getty photographer Mario Tama accompanied Nasa scientists to the Arctic this March in a bid to learn more about the impact of climate change on thelandscape (above, a section of glacier cutting through Ellesmere Island, Canada)
Sweeping landscape: Ellesmere Island is peppered with vast fjords, and the northern coast is extended by ice shelves – aprons of sea ice that are fused to the shore (above, a patchwork of ice fields)
Blue haze: During his Nasa assignment, Tama gained privileged access to some of the world’s most remote spots (above, a section of glacier runs through a valley along the Upper Baffin Bay coast, which is located above Greenland)
Barren lands: The remnants of a caribou herd decimated by Arctic explorer Robert E Peary in 1909 during his attempt to reach the North Pole can be found on Ellesmere Island (above, a section of a glacier)
Thinning patches: The ice fields of Ellesmere Island in Canada (seen above) are retreating due to warming temperatures