When seals can’t be seen, cameras feel the heat
But in a joint international venture with Russia’s State Research and Design Institute for the Fishing Fleet, NOAA scientists are using infrared cameras that measure heat to detect the warm-blooded animals. The cameras also allow the scientists to fly higher, with less of a chance of disturbing the animals.
In the photo composite above, with two images of the same area, the white spots on the left side are ice seals, circled in red, as seen through an infrared camera. On the right, using just a visual image, they’re hard to spot against the snow. Scienists use the visual images to verify their infrared findings.
Read more about how scientists use the animals’ own heat to find them.