Sea ice forms along the coast in the winter, and generally melts or breaks away by mid July. Observations of sea ice position reveal considerable year-to-year variability. Changes in the timing of coastal sea ice breakup and in the location of offshore sea ice have significant local impacts: ecological, biological, and human.
A devastating nuclear accident happened at Chernobyl, Ukraine, on 26 April 1986. These Landsat satellite images show the area around the nuclear power plant approximately one month after the accident, and six years after the accident. The most visible change in these images is the abandonment of farm fields, which turn from a bright red-and-white pattern to a dull gray. The area shown in the image is approximately 35-miles by 37-miles (56-km x 59-km).
In late March the Red River Basin of North Dakota and Minnesota experienced historic flooding. Landsat 5 satellite imagery, acquired on March 2 and April 3, illustrate the rapid rise and extent of the flooding in the Fargo, North Dakota/Moorhead, Minnesota region.
On March 1, 2009, Landsat 5 acquired a clear image of the Mt. Redoubt region in Alaska. Scientists have been carefully monitoring the area as Mt. Redoubt has experienced volcanic tremors and gas releases in recent months, activities normally associated with possible eruptions.