The scale of Mario Tama's aerial views of Antarctica is at once stunning and humbling -- humanity can seem like an insignificant development in face of these endless landscapes. The paradox, though, is that as vast and overwhelming as the Antarctic may be, humans may be instrumental in the changes affecting it.
For the past eight years, NASA's Operation IceBridge has been tracking how polar ice is responding to climate change.
Scientists studying the data collected on the thickness and shape of Antarctic snow and ice believe that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet may be in irreversible decline.
Above: A section of ice near the coast of West Antarctica is viewed from the window of a NASA Operation IceBridge airplane on Oct. 31, 2016.