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The insanely elaborate quest to recover the oldest satellite photos of Arctic ice

If you are a climate scientist trying to study the amount of sea ice on Earth poles over time, it make senses to look at as many satellite images of Antarctica and the Arctic as you can get your hands on. But the satellite record of sea ice only extended as far back as 1979 — at least until recently. As Barents Observer reports, a climate scientist named David Gallaher at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Colorado recently managed to painstakingly recover old satellite data from the early 1960s captured by vintage NASA Nimbus satellites. The process was an elaborate one: Gallaher and his colleagues had to sift 25 boxes full of 200-foot-long (60-meter) reels of 35-millimeter film, digitize them using a vintage film…

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