The "ice cap" north of the Arctic Circle is, particularly during Spring and Summer, not a uniform sheet of white. It can often look like swiss cheese.
Researchers on the ICESCAPE mission, funded by NASA, examine melt ponds and their surrounding ice to see how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the biological and chemical makeup of the ocean.
NASA ID: 5937599688_101e15c6b6_o
Date: July 12, 2011
Owner: NASA on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons