A warming climate is not just melting the Arctic’s sea ice; it is stirring the remaining ice faster, increasing the odds that ice-rafted pollution will foul a neighboring country’s waters, says a new study.
arctic sea ice
Scouring Arctic for Traces of Fukushima and Cosmic Rays
Sounds like the basis for a great scifi thriller…”scientists scour Arctic, hunting for traces of nuclear fallout and ejections from cosmic ray impacts”. In reality this thriller theme is the actual core of the GEOTRACES mission.
When we venture into the Arctic for research for most of us there is the lingering hope that a polar bear will appear on our watch; at least as long as we are safely outside of its reach.
A recent study finds that West Antarctica’s ecosystem is highly correlated to its climate. As a result, climate change will have a negative impact on its ecological relationships, from plankton to penguins. Antarctica isn’t alone – climate change will also affect tropical ocean ecosystems by causing mass coral bleaching.
Tiny one-celled organisms called radiolaria are ubiquitous in the oceans, but various species prefer distinct habitats. Thus it aroused considerable intrigue in 2012 when protozoa specialist O. Roger Anderson and colleagues published a study showing that radiolaria normally found near the equator were suddenly floating around in arctic waters above Norway. Was this a sign that global climate change was bringing an invasion of warm-weather plankton?
Three scientific reports echo the message that climate change and its impacts are here and now, with more to come. So how to change the conversation to reach beyond the already informed and connect to a much larger population?
As the arctic region loses ice in a changing climate, the economic and social tradeoffs are unclear. How will we balance economic, social and environmental functions? The Center on Global Energy Policy and the Consulate General of Canada in New York will examine these questions in a discussion on March 26: “Understanding the Arctic Resource Challenge: Canada and U.S. Perspectives.”
This week, we are launching a test of “IceTracker”—a tool that allows users to see the trajectories of Arctic sea ice forward or backward from any day between 1981 and 2012, as well as sea-ice speed, air temperature, water depth and the age of the sea ice.
The Arctic may seem remote, but the overall rate of global warming, our climate and weather, sea levels, and many ecosystems and species will be affected by the warming that is occurring there.
Memo Calls for Reversing Law to Phase Out German Nuclear Plants, The New York Times German Chancellor Angela Merkel moves to reverse legislation that gradually phases out nuclear power by 2022. The proposed reversal, contained in a working document sent to Merkel’s political coalition partner, the Free Democrats, calls nuclear power the crucial “bridge” to… read more