With its operation IceBridge, NASA is currently conducting research flights over the Arctic to monitor ice loss. The photos are spectacular - and worrisome.
In spring 2017, NASA is conducting its second-to-last operation IceBridge mission in the Arctic Circle, with the ultimate goal of better understanding the processes that connect the polar regions with the Earth's climate system.
The annual marathon scientific undertaking is part of NASA's Cryosphere Program, which uses state-of-the-art technology to monitor Earth's largest ice sheets - including the impacts of climate change.
In 2018, NASA plans to launch ICESat-II (the second Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite), which will take over the research project as it continues to map rapid changes in sea ice due to warming temperatures at the poles.
That is, if US President Donald Trump doesn't slash NASA's earth science program, as he has pledged to do. Click through the gallery above for more.