The Antarctic is crazy.
As the Antarctic explorer Ted Scambos repeatedly told me, the high mountains of this remote southern landmass are literally up to their neck in the ice.
There is so much ice in the Antarctic that the sea level would rise 200 feet if all the ice had melted. The ice of the Antarctic spreads over a region about the size of the US and Mexico.
As you look at it, consider a new series of indescribable Antarctic photos taken by NASA scientists. The agency is currently flying an expedition over this wondrous ice world called Operation IceBridge. The multiyear mission is NASA's "most comprehensive airborne survey of ice change". The ice, if you did not know it, undergoes a significant change as the climate and oceans heat up relentlessly.
Operation #IceBridge starts from its base in Tasmania into the fifth and final week of Antarctic ice. Monday was the 18th flight of the campaign, which led the team across Wilkes Land and Porpoise Bay, where Renata Constantino of @LamontEarth took this photo pic.twitter.com/3US3a172HZ  – NASA ICE (@NASA_ICE) November 18, 2019
Consider these colossal ice streams, also known as glaciers, in eastern Antarctica. Above is the Denman Glacier, below the Scott Glacier.
Here, NASA conquered the steep cliffs of an iceberg broken off from the Antarctic. It may be hard to spot on an airplane window, but these cliffs are about 100 meters high, according to NASA.
This mountain, Thompson Peak, is flanked entirely by Antarctic glaciers. In the foreground are the reddish crevasses or large cracks that form when the ice flows towards the coast.
Here's a terrific picture of the vast Cook Ice Shelf that strikes the ocean and looks like it's covered in a thin layer of sea ice. (An ice shelf is the end of a glacier that floats over the ocean.)
As if it could not get wilder, here floats an iceberg in a Polynya. What is a Polynya, you ask? A Polynya is a massive hole in Antarctic sea ice that can be as big as South Carolina or larger. The unique phenomenon occurs when the water gets mixed up under the sea ice, like a bartender shaking a cocktail and allowing relatively warmer seas to melt the ice.
Lastly, while addressing the issue of Antarctica, Antarctica has lost about 3 trillion tonnes of ice since the early 1990s, leading to ever faster sea-level rise.