"Fram" Arctic Climate Research Laboratory
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August 31, Rapid Arctic ice melt: humans and nature share blame
What has caused the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice over the past few decades? A modelling study says that greenhouse gas emissions have undoubtedly warmed the region, but natural variation in the climate has also played a part.
Jennifer Kay of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, says that natural variation may allow Arctic summer sea ice to expand again, but only for about a decade.
August 31, NRF and Our Ice Dependent World
The 6th NRF Open Assembly will be held in Hverager?i, Iceland in the beginning of September. From 3rd - 6th of September the theme "Our Ice Dependent World" will be addressed.
Representatives from Canada, USA, Russia, China, India and Nepal are amongst others joining forces to discuss this issue. It regards not only the Arctic and Antarctica, but also the Himalayas.
Arctic Portal will record the Assembly and webcast it on out website.
August 30, Ancient Clams Yield New Information About Greenhouse Effect On Climate
Ancient fossilized clams that lived off the coast of Antarctica some 50 million years ago have a story to tell about El Ni?o, according to Syracuse University researcher Linda Ivany. Their story calls into question contemporary theories that predict global warming could result in a permanent El Ni?o state of affairs.
August 30, Four horse race?
Denmark has confirmed it will make a claim for the North Pole. Four out of five states around the pole have the right to make these claims and Denmark is the last one in line to do so.
The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) oversees territorial claims in the Arctic.
August 29, Mysteries of Ozone Depletion Continue 25 Years After the Discovery of the Antarctic Ozone Hole
Even after many decades of studying ozone and its loss from our atmosphere miles above Earth, plenty of mysteries and surprises remain, including an unexpected loss of ozone over the Arctic this past winter, an authority on the topic said in Denver Colorado on May 29. She also discussed chemistry and climate change, including some proposed ideas to "geoengineer" Earth's climate to slow down or reverse global warming.
August 29, The Polar ping pong ball report
Lorna Little is like a Polar ping pong ball, going back and forth between the Sub Antarctic and the High Arctic to investigate plant reproduction. Here is her field report from summer 2011.
August 26, Norway considers pipeline for Barents gas to Europe
Significant discoveries of Arctic gas between Finnmark and Svalbard can trigger Norway to extend its current pipeline system in the North Sea all the way to the Barents Sea.
August 26, Global Warming May Cause Higher Loss of Biodiversity Than Previously Thought
If global warming continues as expected, it is estimated that almost a third of all flora and fauna species worldwide could become extinct. Scientists from the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (Biodiversitat und Klima Forschungszentrum, BiK-F) and the SENCKENBERG Gesellschaft fur Naturkunde discovered that the proportion of actual biodiversity loss should quite clearly be revised upwards: by 2080, more than 80 % of genetic diversity within species may disappear in certain groups of organisms, according to researchers in the title story of the journal Nature Climate Change. The study is the first world-wide to quantify the loss of biological diversity on the basis of genetic diversity.
August 25, NASA Satellites Detect Pothole On Road to Higher Seas
Like mercury in a thermometer, ocean waters expand as they warm. This, along with melting glaciers and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, drives sea levels higher over the long term. For the past 18 years, the U.S./French Jason-1, Jason-2 and Topex/Poseidon spacecraft have been monitoring the gradual rise of the world's ocean in response to global warming.
August 25, Persistent Organic Pollutants on the move
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) trapped in ice and water for decades may be reentering the environment due to climatic changes.
A recent publication in the journal 'Nature Climate Change' “Revolatilization of persistent organic pollutants in the Arctic induced by climate change” by Jianmin Ma, Hayley Hung, Chongguo Tian & Roland Kallenborn shows that while the banning on many POPs has no doubt had a positive effect on the concentrations measured in the atmosphere, recent climatic changes could be sending some of the more volatile compound back into circulation.
August 24, Research Vessel Polarstern at North Pole
You can't get any "higher": On 22 August 2011 at exactly 9.42 a.m. the research icebreaker Polarstern of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association reached the North Pole. The aim of the current expedition is to document changes in the far north. Thus, the researchers on board are conducting an extensive investigation of the water, ice and air at the northernmost point on Earth. The little sea ice cover makes the route via the pole to the investigation area in the Canadian Arctic possible.
August 24, Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands adopt new strategy for the Arctic
Foreign Minister Lene Espersen presents today together with the the Prime Minister of the Faroe Government Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen and the Premier of Greenland, Kuupik Kleist, the Arctic strategy 2011-2020 of the Kingdom of Denmark. It has been prepared by the Danish government and the governments of the Faroe Islands and Greenland. The main goals of the Arctic strategy are to ensure a peaceful, secure and safe Arctic, with sustained economic growth and development, with respect for the vulnerable Arctic climate, environment and nature and close cooperation with our international partners.
August 23, New Images Reveal Structures of the Solar Wind as It Travels Toward and Impacts Earth
Using data collected by NASA's STEREO spacecraft, researchers at Southwest Research Institute and the National Solar Observatory have developed the first detailed images of solar wind structures as plasma and other particles from a coronal mass ejection (CME) traveled 93 million miles and impacted Earth.
August 23, Permafrost Could Release Vast Amounts of Carbon and Accelerate Climate Change by End of Century
Billions of tons of carbon trapped in high-latitude permafrost may be released into the atmosphere by the end of this century as Earth's climate changes, further accelerating global warming, a new computer modeling study indicates. The study also found that soil in high-latitude regions could shift from being a sink to a source of carbon dioxide by the end of the 21st century as the soil warms in response to climate change.
August 22, Researchers Chart Long-Shrouded Glacial Reaches of Antarctica: Huge Rivers of Ice Are Found Flowing Seaward from Continent's Deep Interior
A vast network of previously unmapped glaciers on the move from thousands of miles inland to the Antarctic coast has been charted for the first time by UC Irvine scientists. The findings will be critical to tracking future sea rise from climate change.
August 22, Newly Discovered Icelandic Current Could Change North Atlantic Climate Picture
An international team of researchers, including physical oceanographers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has confirmed the presence of a deep-reaching ocean circulation system off Iceland that could significantly influence the ocean's response to climate change in previously unforeseen ways.
August 19, Geographers to discuss Arctic Sea Route at second Arctic Forum
Creating transport infrastructure to develop the riches of the Arctic will top the agenda when geographers from Russia and abroad meet at the second Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk on September 21-24.
The forum will focus on development of commercial navigation, transport terminals (sea-ports and airports), and corridors like the Northern Sea Route, which could transform Russia’s ability to ship natural resources to the markets of Asia.
August 19, Tourism impacts on historical sites
A new edition in the series “Circumpolar Studies” from The Arctic Centre of the University of Groningen has been published. In his thesis author Ricardo Roura examines the impact of tourism on historical sites in both polar regions and the implications for management.
The thesis entitled ”The footprint of polar tourism: tourist behavior at cultural heritage sites in Antarctica and Svalbard”, illuminates the tourism factor in the decay of historical sites in the polar environments. Part of the book is based on fieldwork at the Netherlands Arctic Station covering cultural heritage in Ny-Alesund and Ny-London in Kongsfjorden.
August 19, “Dirty” fungi and their intimate relationship to plants
A new study by the Ruhr-Universit?t Bochum (Germany) investigates the distribution of arctic-alpine plants and their accompanying fungal parasite, the smut fungi Microbotryum silenes-acaulis. Smuts fungi are multicellular fungi which are characterized by their large numbers of teliospores. The smuts get their name from a Germanic word for dirt because of their dark, thick-walled and dust-like teliospores.
August 18, Canada "too small" to develop Northwest Passage shipping, diplomat says
Canada will lose out to Russia's Arctic shipping routes because it is too small to finance the infrastructure, France's ambassador for the polar regions said Monday.
Melting polar ice will make Canada's Northwest Passage more accessible in the next decades, but Canada does not seem interested in exploiting it for shipping, said Michel Rocard, who recently returned from a tour of the Arctic aboard the Canadian icebreaker Amundsen.
"I have the impression that Canada has given up on the competition to attract a large part of the traffic in 25 or 30 years," Rocard said.
August 18, Polar Ice Caps Can Recover from Warmer Climate-Induced Melting, Study Shows
A growing body of recent research indicates that, in Earth's warming climate, there is no "tipping point," or threshold warm temperature, beyond which polar sea ice cannot recover if temperatures come back down. New University of Washington research indicates that even if Earth warmed enough to melt all polar sea ice, the ice could recover if the planet cooled again.
August 17, Clouds halve the climatic effect of bare ocean
Dwindling sea ice in the Arctic is given a key role in climate change and is feared as a driver of global warming. New research in Troms? shows that clouds halve the climatic effect of the disappearing ice.
Climate scientist Stephen Hudson at the Norwegian Polar Institute has studied the net effect of the severe retreat of the ice around the North Pole.
August 17, Call for Proposals - INTERACT Transnational Access
The International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (INTERACT) announces a call for proposals to be supported by the INTERACT Transnational Access program for Winter Season 2011/2012 (October-April) and Summer Season 2012 (May-September). In Svalbard, the Sverdrup Station in Ny-?lesund is part of INTERACT. Submission deadline: Wednesday, 31 August 2011.
In order to be eligible for this opportunity, the user group (research group) leader and the majority of the users must work at an institution established in a European Union Member or Associated State.
August 16, Svalbard newspaper in Russian language
Svalbardposten and the Russian mining company Arktikugol have concluded an agreement to publish two editions of Svalbardposten in Russian. The first edition will be published on August 21, in connection with Arktikugol’s 80th anniversary. The initiative to the project was taken by the company’s General Director Alexander Veselov.
August 16, Climate change threatens Arctic cod
Higher sea water temperatures have led to northwards migration of marine species that can create problems for the Arctic cod and other fish stocks in the Barents Sea, scientists believe.
In course of the last 13 years, about 300 southern species have been found in the western part of the Barents Sea or outside Svalbard, a new report from the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management reads.
August 16, Visiting students investigate response to climate change
This summer six U.S. students visited Svalbard as part of the five-week REU program (Research Experience for Undergraduates) aiming to understand how arctic glaciers, lakes and fjords respond to changes in the climate.
The Svalbard REU program is cooperation between several American universities and each year six undergraduate students conduct field research in Svalbard. Student research for this project occurs at two field locations in alternate years: Kongsfjorden and Lake Linn?. This year the fieldwork took place in Kongsfjorden targeting on the tidewater glaciers Kronebreen and Kongsvegen.
August 15, Fluctuations in Arctic sea ice
The extent of the Arctic sea ice is extremely variable. Danish researches have come to this conclusion.
Measuring the extent of sea ice is almost impossible. It constantly breaks off the ice caps in the Arctic and then melts after drifting in the ocean.
The Danish researchers say this is the first time that an idea of past sea ice levels has been extracted from the region.
August 15, Report from the first edition of the Summer Polar School for Italian Science Teachers (SPEs)
The first edition of the Italian Summer School for Science Teachers (SPEs) took place in Genova, Italy, in the period 18-23 July 2011. The school is organized by the National Museum of Antarctica (www.mna.it) in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Education and is the first entirely educational project funded by the Italian Antarctic Program.
The SPEs was attended by 12 Italian Science teachers coming from all regions of the country and selected among 58 submissions received. The school was composed by two different initiatives, the school itself and the project “A teacher in Antarctica”.
August 12, New staff at SSF secretariat
Svalbard Science Forum is currently expanding - 1st of August Karoline Belum joined SSF as a new fulltime staff member in Longyearbyen.
In October an additional new employee will join the team, bringing the number of staff in the secretariat up to three. This will significantly increase the capacity of SSF thereby allowing for even more support and information to researchers.
August 12, Arctic Ice Melt Could Pause for Several Years, Then Resume Again
Although Arctic sea ice appears fated to melt away as the climate continues to warm, the ice may temporarily stabilize or somewhat expand at times over the next few decades, new research indicates.
The computer modeling study, by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, reinforces previous findings by other research teams that the level of Arctic sea ice loss observed in recent decades cannot be explained by natural causes alone, and that the ice will eventually disappear during summer if climate change continues.
August 11,Chinese visitors at the research village of Ny-Alesund
Research director Kim Holmen was among those who received the Chinese delegation that recently visited the research village of Ny-Alesund in Svalbard.
Last year, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) signed an agreement to collaborate on polar research. The Norwegian-Chinese collaboration on polar research includes cooperation to study glaciers and sea ice, and to facilitate research cruises in the Arctic.
August 11, Scientists head to Arctic Ocean to track acidification
Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey will embark next week on an expedition to monitor acidification trends in the Arctic Ocean linked to carbon emissions, the agency said on Wednesday.
The USGS scientists will spend seven weeks on a Coast Guard icebreaker, getting as close to the North Pole as possible to take water samples and test for chemical indicators of acidification, officials said.
Carbon emissions are blamed for altering the chemistry of the world's oceans by making them more acidic, which makes it more difficult for fish and other sea life to grow and live.
August 10, NASA's NPP Satellite Completes Comprehensive Testing
The NASA National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP) has successfully completed its most comprehensive end-to-end compatibility test of the actual satellite and all five scientific instruments at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp's production and test facility in Boulder, Colo.
August 10, Japan's Tohoku Tsunami Created Icebergs in Antarctica
A NASA scientist and her colleagues were able to observe for the first time the power of an earthquake and tsunami to break off large icebergs a hemisphere away.
Kelly Brunt, a cryosphere specialist at Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., and colleagues were able to link the calving of icebergs from the Sulzberger Ice Shelf in Antarctica following the Tohoku Tsunami, which originated with an earthquake off the coast of Japan in March 2011.
August 9, New rules for renting firearms for polar bear protection
The Governor of Svalbard has revised the regulations for firearm rentals. It is now possible to rent rifles for a period of up to 6 months if the renter has a permit to possess a firearm in his/her home country.
The revised rules for renting firearms for polar bear protection on Svalbard open for the possibility of renting rifles to private persons for as much as 6 months. The person renting the rifle must be over 18 years of age and possess a Norwegian firearms permit, a European firearms passport or other papers giving him/her permission to possess a firearm in his/her home country.
August 9, North Sea Wind Farm Has Positive Net Impact On Fauna, Researchers Say
A North-Sea wind farm has few negative effects on fauna. Most birds avoided the wind turbines, although rotating blades can have a significant disruptive effect on some species of birds. It turns out that a wind farm also provides a new habitat for organisms living on the sea bed such as mussels, anemones, and crabs, thereby potentially contributing to increased biodiversity. For fish and marine mammals, it provides an oasis of calm in a relatively busy coastal area, according to researcher Prof. Han Lindeboom at IMARES, part of Wageningen UR, and several of his colleagues and fellow scientists at Bureau Waardenburg and Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ).
August 8, Polar bear attack in Svalbard
One person has deceased and four injured severely in a polar bear attack in Svalbard this morning. The incident happened at Von Postbreen, about 40 km from Longyearbyen. The injured were brought by helicopter to the hospital in Longyearbyen and are waiting for further transportation to the hospital in Troms?. The Governor of Svalbard will hold a press conference about the incident today August 5, at 2.30 PM Svalbard time.
August 8, Hearing - Geodesic observatory in Ny-Alesund
Statens kartverk has translated parts of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the new antenna park at Brandalspynten into English. Deadline for comments is 10th September 2011.
August 5, Refund of rescue expenses
The Governor has decided to change practice regarding reimbursement of rescue expenses for expedition groups which are required to have search and rescue (SAR) insurance. Persons and groups required to have SAR insurance, will, as a main rule, have to cover the expenses of a rescue operation.
August 5, Study Shows Small-Scale Fisheries' Impact On Marine Life
Small-scale fisheries could pose a more serious threat to marine life than previously thought. Research led by the University of Exeter, published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology, shows that tens of thousands of turtles from across the Pacific are being captured through the activities of small-scale fisheries.
August 4, Arctic sea ice hits record low for July: satellite data
Arctic sea ice extent in July 2011 broke its previous record low set for that month in 2007, the National Snow and Ice Data Center said today.
Arctic ice cover reached the lowest level for July recorded by satellites from 1979 to 2011.
Average ice extent for this past July was 7.92 million square kilometres. That’s 210,000 km below the previous record low for the month, set in July 2007, reported the NSIDC’s Colorado-based scientists on Aug. 3.
August 4, Climatologists Forecast Completely New Climates
Geographers have projected temperature increases due to greenhouse gas emissions to reach a not-so-chilling conclusion: climate zones will shift and some climates will disappear completely by 2100. Tropical highlands and polar regions may be the first to disappear, and large swaths of the tropics and subtropics will reach even hotter temperatures. The study anticipates large climate changes worldwide.
August 3, Arctic pollution patrol watches for marine spills
Ships sailing in Canada's Arctic this summer are being watched by an aerial patrol crew that is making sure those vessels do not pollute the water with oil or other contaminants.
The patrol, which is part of the federal government's National Aerial Surveillance Program, flies over Arctic waters every summer until late-October.
August 3, Aerosols Affect Climate More Than Satellite Estimates Predict
Aerosol particles, including soot and sulfur dioxide from burning fossil fuels, essentially mask the effects of greenhouse gases and are at the heart of the biggest uncertainty in climate change prediction. New research from the University of Michigan shows that satellite-based projections of aerosols' effect on Earth's climate significantly underestimate their impacts.
August 2, Ancient Glacial Melting Shows That Small Amount of Subsurface Warming Can Trigger Rapid Collapse of Ice Shelves
An analysis of prehistoric "Heinrich events" that happened many thousands of years ago, creating mass discharges of icebergs into the North Atlantic Ocean, make it clear that very small amounts of subsurface warming of water can trigger a rapid collapse of ice shelves.
August 2, Cruise Handbook for Svalbard available in English
Interested in the coastal areas of Svalbard? This book presents handy information on wildlife, plants, geology and cultural heritage.
The Cruise Handbook for Svalbard also give advices for how to act not to cause any harm to wildlife or cultural remains, and also for your own safety. Recommended landing sites for boats are presented for the most visited areas along the western and northern coast of Spitsbergen. The landing sites presented are located in areas that can still tolerate visitors, and focus is given on information that may contribute to sustainable preservation of the natural environment and cultural remains.
August 1, Flying over thinning ice
An unprecedented set of Arctic research flights is providing new sea-ice measurements and helping scientists calibrate similar data from an ice-monitoring satellite.
During a six-week mission that ended in early May, research aircraft from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, flew over the Arctic Ocean from sites in Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Norway. They sampled the atmosphere at various altitudes to gather meteorological data, and the aircraft towed electromagnetic sensors to measure the thickness of sea ice. These new readings will help researchers calibrate data gleaned by instruments aboard ESA's CryoSat-2 — an ice spy that has orbited Earth at an altitude just above 700 km since it was launched in April 2010.
August 1, U.S. Polar Research May Slow for Lack of an Icebreaker
Have a spare polar icebreaker lying around? The National Science Foundation would like to hear from you. The agency is scrambling to secure a ship to lead its annual resupply convoy to McMurdo Station, the largest of the three U.S. research stations in Antarctica.
July 29, Scientists Report Dramatic Carbon Loss from Massive Arctic Wildfire
In a study published in this week's issue of Nature, Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) senior scientist Gauis Shaver and his colleagues, including lead author Michelle Mack of the University of Florida, describe the dramatic impacts of a massive Arctic wildfire on carbon releases to the atmosphere. The 2007 blaze on the North Slope of the Alaska's Brooks Mountain Range released 20 times more carbon to the atmosphere than what is annually lost from undisturbed tundra.
July 29, Sea Level Rise Less from Greenland, More from Antarctica, Than Expected During Last Interglacial
During the last prolonged warm spell on Earth, the oceans were at least four meters -- and possibly as much as 6.5 meters, or about 20 feet -- higher than they are now.
July 28, Largest Recorded Tundra Fire Yields Scientific Surprises
In 2007 the largest recorded tundra fire in the circumpolar arctic released approximately as much carbon into the atmosphere as the tundra has stored in the previous 50 years, say scientists in the July 28 issue of the journal Nature. The study of the Anaktuvuk River fire on Alaska's North Slope revealed how rapidly a single tundra fire can offset or reverse a half-century worth of soil-stored carbon.
July 28, Little Crayfish Is Big Glutton in Arctic Waters
For years, the copepod Metridia has managed to remain hidden from science. However, this spring, during fieldwork at the Arctic Station, for the very first time researchers succeeded in filming how this constantly feeding little crayfish catches its prey.
July 27, Detailed Picture of Ice Loss Following the Collapse of Antarctic Ice Shelves
An international team of researchers has combined data from multiple sources to provide the clearest account yet of how much glacial ice surges into the sea following the collapse of Antarctic ice shelves.
The work by researchers details recent ice losses while promising to sharpen future predictions of further ice loss and sea level rise likely to result from ongoing changes along the Antarctic Peninsula.
July 27, A true, multicultural community
Norway has been shaken by two terrorist attacks. Many of our finest young people were massacred. We owe them to continue their work and counter the ideology of the mad man and his network, by further promoting the values of a multicultural community. This goes right to the heart of UNIS’ mission.
July 26, Eat, Prey, Rain: New Model of Dynamics of Clouds and Rain Is Based On a Predator-Prey Population Model
What do a herd of gazelles and a fluffy mass of clouds have in common? A mathematical formula that describes the population dynamics of such prey animals as gazelles and their predators has been used to model the relationship between cloud systems, rain and tiny floating particles called aerosols. This model may help climate scientists understand, among other things, how human-produced aerosols affect rainfall patterns. The research recently appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
July 26, Time to Take Alaska Out of the Icebox
The Arctic might be the world's final—and possibly most attractive—emerging market.
While most investors are focused on the economic potential of lower latitudes, the Arctic is—due to increased access from climate change—quietly undergoing a radical transformation that is attracting the attention of savvy investors. But the U.S. is asleep at the wheel, leaving some of the world's largest oil, natural gas and mineral resources to be developed by others.
July 25, 80 Percent of World Climate Data Are Not Computerized and Readily Available
In order to gain a better knowledge of climate variations, such as those caused by global warming, and be able to tackle them, we need to understand what happened in the recent past. This is the conclusion of a research study led by the Rovira i Virgili University (URV), which shows that the scientific community today is only able to access and analyse 20% of the recorded climate information held. The remaining data are not accessible in digital format.
July 25, Sea Ice Was So Much Older Then
The extent of the sea ice in the Arctic has arguably been one of the most contentious of the metrics used by climate scientists to monitor the pace and severity of global warming. Since the 1970s the maximum extent of ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean (measured every March) has declined, with some short-term upward bumps along the way but with an overall average rate of loss of about three percent per decade. The minimum extent (measured in September) has declined more rapidly -- at about 11.5 percent per decade.
July 22, Harper gears up for another round of Arctic chest-thumping
Next month, as he has every summer since becoming Prime Minister, Stephen Harper will travel to the Arctic, trumpeting his Conservative government’s resolve to assert Canadian sovereignty in the Far North against all comers.
Little of what he says will accord with reality. But it will all make for splendid political theatre, which is the whole point.
July 22, Act now on climate, no need to wait: top UN scientist
The key facts on global warming are already known and leaders should not wait for the next edition of the UN climate panel's report to step up action, the body's top scientist told AFP.
The 4th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released in 2007, "is very clear," Rajendra Pachauri said Monday in Paris, ahead of a five-day meeting of the body in Brest, France.
The fifth multi-volume assessment, which summarizes peer-reviewed science to help policy makers make decisions, is due out in 2013-2014.
July 21, Divergent long-term trajectories of human access to the Arctic
Understanding climate change impacts on transportation systemsis particularly critical in northern latitudes, where subzero temperatures restrict shipping, but enable passage of ground vehicles over frozen soil and water surfaces. Although the major transport challenges related to climate warming are understood, so far there have been no quantitative projections of Arctic transport system change. Here we present a new modelling framework to quantify changing access to oceans and landscapes northward of 40°N by mid-century.
July 21, Record Long Algal Bloom in Disko Bay, Greenland
The spring bloom of plant plankton in Disko Bay has been unusually long this year. While in some years, it may have a short burst of just two weeks, this year Disko Bay was filled with plankton alga for more than six weeks.
July 20, Antarctic researchers strive to make better predictions for future sea-level rise
Antarctic geoscientists and ice sheet modellers get together in Edinburgh this week to investigate ways to improve predictions of likely sea-level rise as a result of future ice loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
Satellite observations and on-the-ice measurements provide evidence of rapid change in the Amundsen Sea Embayment. Glaciers in this region have accelerated their flow towards the coast and ice has become thinner. There is an urgent need for Antarctic scientists from many different countries to work together to pool their knowledge and observations and improve computer simulations to help determine the contribution that this region will make to future sea-level rise. It has been estimated that the Amundsen Sea Embayment contains enough ice to raise global sea level by 1.2 m, but so far scientists are unable to fully explain the true impact of and timescale of future change.
July 20, What lies beneath? Scientists discuss Antarctica's hidden mountains
Scientists from British Antarctic Survey and institutes around the world discuss ‘what lies beneath the ice’ at the International Symposium of Antarctic Earth Sciences in Edinburgh 15 July.
A session: uncovering and unveiling Antarctica will explore the Gamburtsev Sub-glacial Mountains, in the heart of East Antarctica. These were uncovered during the International Polar Year. It was the first time the geology and topography of the sub-glacial mountains, roughly the size of the European Alps, were mapped using a range of airborne geophysical techniques.
July 19, IPY 2012 From Knowledge to Action - Call for Abstracts
The IPY 2012 Conference From Knowledge to Action is taking place in Montreal, Canada April 22-27, 2012 and will be one of the largest and most important scientific conferences for polar science and climate change, impacts and adaptation. The Call for Abstracts for oral and poster presentations is now open.
Conference organizers invites to submit abstracts on the latest polar science, as well as the application of polar research findings, policy implications and how to take polar knowledge to action.
July 19, Overcoming Barriers to Arctic Ocean Scientific Drilling: The Site Survey Challenge
The IASC Marine Working Group is supporting a workshop on 'Overcoming Barriers to Arctic Ocean Scientific Drilling: The Site Survey Challenge'. The workshop will be lead by Naja Mikkelsen and Bernard Coakley and is scheduled to take place in Copenhagen, Denmark from 1 - 3 November 2011.
The Arctic Ocean is the last essentially un-drilled, un-sampled ocean basin. Arctic deep-sea drilling is the only means to acquire paleo-oceanographic and climatic records, and constrain the tectonic history of the basin.Among other issues, the lack of adequate site survey data and appropriate age models for these data hampers the development of mature drilling proposals. The focus of the workshop is to plan site survey campaigns based on existing and planned proposals and pre-proposals that were developed as a result of the successful 2008 Magellan workshop, "Arctic Ocean History: From Speculation to Reality."
July 18, Wood Products Part of Winning Carbon-Emissions Equation, Researchers Say
Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to grow, so forests have long been proposed as a way to offset climate change.
But rather than just letting the forest sit there for a hundred or more years, the amount of carbon dioxide taken out of the atmosphere could be quadrupled in 100 years by harvesting regularly and using the wood in place of steel and concrete that devour fossil fuels during manufacturing, producing carbon dioxide.
July 18, Secret Soviet expeditions to the North Pole
The North Pole is probably the least explored part of Earth despite hundreds or even thousands of expeditions to the land. Its first explorers blazed a firm trail for others lucky enough to visit and discover the land of snow, ice and extreme weather. A Soviet paratrooper, who was one of the first ever to parachute at the North Pole and a pilot, who participated in numerous trainings to the Pole, tell their story.
July 15, Fast-Shrinking Greenland Glacier Experienced Rapid Growth During Cooler Times
Large, marine-calving glaciers have the ability not only to shrink rapidly in response to global warming, but to grow at a remarkable pace during periods of global cooling, according to University at Buffalo geologists working in Greenland.
July 15, NOAA Ship Fairweather sets sail to map areas of the Arctic
NOAA Ship Fairweather, a 231-foot survey vessel, departed Kodiak, Alaska, today on a mission to conduct hydrographic surveys in remote areas of the Arctic where depths have not been measured since before the U.S. bought Alaska in 1867.
NOAA will use the data to update nautical charts to help mariners safely navigate this important but sparsely charted region, which is now seeing increased vessel traffic because of the significant loss of Arctic sea ice.
July 14, Small, but far from insignificant
They are no bigger than 2mm and yet their total biomass in Svalbard is probably bigger than the biomass of all Svalbard polar bears together! New research can tell us more about how, when and from where the springtails arrived in Svalbard.
July 14, International Polar Field School
The IPY Field School 2011 will take place June 20-July 8, 2011. Online application opens 15. February 2011. Application deadline: 1. April 2011.
To give an interdisciplinary introduction to environmental change in the Polar areas based upon past, present and future research being done in the Arctic during and after the IPY. The course will offer a unique field-training experience for internationally recruited students (undergraduate/early graduate) in a high-arctic environment, further on providing them with the latest IPY research data and information to be used for interdisciplinary project work during the field-school.
July 13, Lie of the Land Beneath Glaciers Influences Impact On Sea Levels
Fresh research into glaciers could help scientists better predict the impact of changing climates on global sea levels.
Scientists have shown for the first time that the terrain beneath glaciers influences how much glacier melt contributes to fluctuations in sea levels.
Researchers say the study will improve their understanding of how ice sheet movements have affected sea levels in the past, and will enable more accurate projections of future change.
July 13, Russian research vessel begins Arctic shelf research
Members of the expedition on the delimitation of the Russian Arctic shelf on the research vessel Akademik Fyodorov have begun seismic studies in the area north of Franz Josef Land, a representative of the Rosatom Flot (Russian Atomic Fleet) company Ekaterina Ananyeva said.
The nuclear-powered icebreaker Rossiya left the port of Murmansk earlier this month to accompany the Akademik Fyodorov on a second mission to determine the boundaries of Russia's continental shelf in the Arctic.
"The expedition began its research on July 9," Ananyeva said.
July 12, Underwater Antarctic Volcanoes Discovered in the Southern Ocean
Scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have discovered previously unknown volcanoes in the ocean waters around the remote South Sandwich Islands.
Using ship-borne sea-floor mapping technology during research cruises onboard the RRS James Clark Ross, the scientists found 12 volcanoes beneath the sea surface -- some up to 3km high. They found 5km diameter craters left by collapsing volcanoes and 7 active volcanoes visible above the sea as a chain of islands.
July 12, MEOP - Marine Mammals Exploring the Oceans Pole to Pole
Marine Mammal Exploration of the Oceans Pole to Pole (MEOP) is deploying state-of-the-art animal-borne CTD (Conductivity-Temperature-Depth) tags on strategically chosen, deep-diving marine mammal species to explore their current movement patterns, behaviour and habitat utilization in Polar Regions.
July 11, With Climate Changes, Polar Bear and Brown Bear Lineages Intertwine
Polar bears' unique characteristics allow them to survive in one of the most extreme environments on Earth, but that survival is now threatened as rising temperatures and melting ice reshape the Arctic landscape. Now it appears that the stress of climate change, occurring both long ago and today, may be responsible for surprising twists in the bears' history and future as well.
July 11, Svalbard inspiring Youth Climate Activists
Seventeen young climate activists and campaigners visited Svalbard last week in order to learn more about local impacts of climate change and to build a network to further raise awareness about this issue.
During a one-week-long cruise along the Western and Northern coasts of Spitsbergen, the participants underwent an intensive program combining seminars, networking, and observation of the Arctic wildlife.
July 8, Ancestry of Polar Bears Traced to Ireland
An international team of scientists has discovered that the female ancestor of all living polar bears was a brown bear that lived in the vicinity of present-day Britain and Ireland just prior to the peak of the last ice age -- 20,000 to 50,000 years ago. Beth Shapiro, the Shaffer Associate Professor of Biology at Penn State University and one of the team's leaders, explained that climate changes affecting the North Atlantic ice sheet probably gave rise to periodic overlaps in bear habitats. These overlaps then led to hybridization, or interbreeding -- an event that caused maternal DNA from brown bears to be introduced into polar bears.
July 8, IPY Montreal 2012: Calls for abstracts for Session Polar marine ecosystems: status and changes
IPY Conference Montreal 22-27 April 2012 is coming your way (http://www.ipy2012montreal.ca/)!! The call for abstracts are open until 30 September !!
July 7, Russian shelf claim to UN in 2012
Russia will submit its claim for the Arctic shelf in 2012, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov says.
Speaking at a session in the Russian Maritime Board in Naryan-Mar Wednesday, Deputy Premier Ivanov said that the country’s claim will be handed in to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in the course of 2012.
July 7, PhD position at University of Copenhagen and UNIS
A three-year PhD scholarship in “The ground thermal regime of permafrost landforms within the Nordic area including Greenland” will be available at the Department of Geography and Geology at the University of Copenhagen in cooperation with UNIS. Application deadline: 25. August 2011.
The announced PhD position is part of the research network DEFROST “‘Impacts of a changing cryosphere - depicting ecosystem-climate feedbacks from permafrost, snow and ice”.
July 7, Barents border treaty in force now
Both Norway and Russian can from today start mapping the hydrocarbon potential of the delimited waters in the Barents Sea. A Norwegian seismic vessel is already on its way to the area.
July 6, Polarstern on quest to find out how the Arctic Ocean is changing
The research vessel Polarstern of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association (AWI) has set off on its 26th arctic expedition. Over 130 scientists from research institutions in six countries will take part and investigate how oceanic currents as well as the animal and plant world are changing between Spitsbergen and Greenland.
July 6, Newly published ICE-article in the Chinese Magazine Nature & SciTech
An article on Effects of diminishing sea ice on the Arctic Ocean ecosystem, by Drs. Haakon Hop and Nalan Koc from the Norwegian Polar Institute, was recently published in collaboration with the science editor Jianhong Xia in Nature & SciTech.
July 5, New expedition to establish the limits of the Russian shelf in the Arctic
The scientific research vessel Akademik Fedorov will sail again to the Arctic to study the ocean floor...
July 5, Upgrade of the Ny-Alesund geodetic observatory
The Norwegian Mapping Authority (NMA) has prepared an Environmental Impact Assessment for their plan to establish an antenna park with antennas and control facility on Brandalsletta, Ny-Alesund. This document is now out for hearing. Deadline for comments is 10 September 2011.
July 4, Available courses in autumn 2011
There are still some available courses in Arctic Biology, Arctic Geology, Arctic Geophysics and Arctic Technology in autumn 2011. Applications will be processed on a first come – first served basis, so apply today!
UNIS still have some available places in courses this fall; both at the undergraduate and graduate level. Applications will be processed on a first come – first served basis, so applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
July 4, New Ramsar areas in Svalbard
Bjornoya, Hopen, Sorkapp and Nordenskioldkysten have been added to the list of areas under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. With that the number of Ramsar areas in Svalbard has increased to nine.
The Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) - called the "Ramsar Convention" - is an intergovernmental treaty that embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their Wetlands of international importance and to plan for sustainable use of all of the wetlands in their territories.
July 1, Arctic Melting Will Affect the Migratory Strategies of Seabirds
A study of kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) in the arctic region provides the first data on the migratory patterns of this seabird species and analyses its capacity to respond to environmental changes. The kittiwake is one of the most emblematic marine species of the arctic area, and evidence suggests that rising temperatures at the north pole over the coming decades will have a dramatic impact on populations of this bird.
July 1, Climate Researchers Seek Global Warming Clues in the Arctic's Svalbard Archipelago
Polar bears are the draw for most visitors to Spitsbergen, the largest island in Norway's Svalbard archipelago. For geoscientist Lee R. Kump of The Pennsylvania State University, however, rocks were the allure. In the summer of 2007 Kump flew to this remote Arctic Ocean island to find rocks that might offer fresh insights about one of Earth's ancient episodes of global warming: the so-called Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM. In that event, some 56 million years ago, global temperatures rose 5 degrees Celsius in the course of a few thousand years—a mere instant in geologic time.
June 30, Land Use Change Influences Continental Water Cycle
Forests, and tropical forests in particular, play an important role in the global water cycle. Delft University of Technology PhD researcher Ruud van der Ent (TU Delft, The Netherlands) has recently shown that evaporation from the Amazon forest is for more than 50% responsible for the rainfall in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil, where it feeds crops and rivers. Similarly in Africa, the Congo forest exports tons of water through the atmosphere to the West-African countries.
June 30, Melting Arctic Ice Marks Possible Sea Change in Marine Ecosystems
A single-celled alga that went extinct in the North Atlantic Ocean about 800,000 years ago has returned after drifting from the Pacific through the Arctic thanks to melting polar ice. And while its appearance marks the first trans-Arctic migration in modern times, scientists say it signals something potentially bigger.
"It is an indicator of rapid change and what might come if the Arctic continues to melt," said Chris Reid, a professor of oceanography at the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science in the United Kingdom.
June 29, Summer schools at UNIS
Summer is here and so are the summer schools. This week the third IPY Field School commenced with 25 students from 12 countries. Next week “The Role of Sea Ice in the Climate System” Summer School starts with 50 students.
June 29, Fossilized Pollen Reveals Climate History of Northern Antarctica: Tundra Persisted Until 12 Million Years Ago
A painstaking examination of the first direct and detailed climate record from the continental shelves surrounding Antarctica reveals that the last remnant of Antarctic vegetation existed in a tundra landscape on the continent's northern peninsula about 12 million years ago.
June 28, Polar Bear Diet Makes Them Vulnerable to Sea Ice Loss
Polar bears that rely on fewer prey animals to fill their bellies may be more vulnerable to starvation and stress as climate change ravages the extent of their summer ice hunting platform across the Arctic, according to a profile posted online about a longtime Canadian bear researcher.
Over the past 30 years, Dalhousie University biologist Sara Iverson has been part of an effort that collected fat samples from polar bears throughout the Canadian Arctic, producing a remarkable catalog of what bears eat for dinner and how that diet varies from population to population.
June 28, Ocean Currents Speed Melting of Antarctic Ice: A Major Glacier Is Undermined from Below
Stronger ocean currents beneath West Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf are eroding the ice from below, speeding the melting of the glacier as a whole, according to a new study in Nature Geoscience. A growing cavity beneath the ice shelf has allowed more warm water to melt the ice, the researchers say -- a process that feeds back into the ongoing rise in global sea levels. The glacier is currently sliding into the sea at a clip of four kilometers (2.5 miles) a year, while its ice shelf is melting at about 80 cubic kilometers a year -- 50 percent faster than it was in the early 1990s -- the paper estimates.
June 27, Arctic 'Strait of Gibraltar' unlikely
Arctic shipping is an ice dream unlikely to come true any time soon, the head of one of the world's top shipping companies told The Arctic Imperative Summit here Tuesday.
It was not exactly what some in the audience wanted to hear.
A shrinking polar ice cap and a slow but steady increase in ships trafficking the Arctic Ocean along Russia's Northern Route has fueled a belief that direct shipping from Europe to the Far East could be on the horizon. The U.S. Coast Guard has begun referring to the narrow stretch of the Bering Sea between Wales and Naukan, Russia, as "Alaska's Strait of Gibralatar."
That notion was pooh-poohed by Capt. Stephen Carmel, senior vice president for Maersk Line, Limited, the globe's leading mover of containerized freight.
June 27, Prodigal Plankton Species Makes First Known Migration from Pacific to Atlantic Via Pole
Microscopic plant disappeared from North Atlantic 800,000 years ago; unwanted return 1 of several climate change symptoms already apparent throughout European oceans Some 800,000 years ago -- about the time early human tribes were learning to make fire -- a tiny species of plankton called Neodenticula seminae went extinct in the North Atlantic.
June 24, Northern Eurasian Snowpack Could Be a Predictor of Winter Weather in US, Team from UGA Reports
Every winter, weather forecasters talk about the snow cover in the northern U.S. and into Canada as a factor in how deep the deep-freeze will be in the states. A new study by researchers at the University of Georgia indicates they may be looking, at least partially, in the wrong place.
June 24, Global warming study suggests more people will die from heat than cold in Europe
A new study says one of the few benefits of global warming — fewer deaths from the combination of extreme heat and cold — may eventually melt away in Europe.
For years, scientists figured that with global warming there are fewer overall temperature-related deaths when those from heat waves and cold snaps are combined. The increase in heat wave deaths during hotter spells is more than offset by reduced cold deaths in milder winters.
June 23, Russia, Norway may issue Barents, Arctic shelf licenses in 2013
Russia and Norway may start granting licenses to develop offshore deposits in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean in 2013-2014 under a bilateral sea border agreement, Russia's Natural Resources Ministry said on Wednesday.
The Russian-Norwegian agreement on delimiting the sea border and cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean will come into force on July 7, 2011. The agreement opens new opportunities for the oil and gas industry in the northern regions, the ministry said after a bilateral meeting on the prospects of geological works in the area.
June 23, Surprises from the Ocean: Marine Plankton and Ocean pH
The world's oceans support vast populations of single-celled organisms (phytoplankton) that are responsible, through photosynthesis, for removing about half of the carbon dioxide that is produced by burning fossil fuels -- as much as the rainforests and all other terrestrial systems combined. One group of phytoplankton, known as the coccolithophores, are known for their remarkable ability to build chalk (calcium carbonate) scales inside their cells, which are secreted to form a protective armour on the cell surface. On a global scale this calcification process accounts for a very significant flux of carbon from the surface ocean, and hence coccolithophores are an important component of the global carbon cycle, as cells die and the calcium carbonate sinks to form ocean sediments.
June 22,Divergent long-term trajectories of human access to the Arctic
Understanding climate change impacts on transportation systemsis particularly critical in northern latitudes, where subzero temperatures restrict shipping, but enable passage of ground vehicles over frozen soil and water surfaces. Although the major transport challenges related to climate warming are understood, so far there have been no quantitative projections of Arctic transport system change. Here we present a new modelling framework to quantify changing access to oceans and landscapes northward of 40°?N by mid-century. The analysis integrates climate and sea-ice model scenarios1, 2 with topography, hydrography, land cover, transportation infrastructure and human settlements. Declining sea-ice concentration and thickness suggest faster travel and improved access to existing (+5 to +28%) and theoretical (+11 to +37%) offshore exclusive economic zones of Canada, Greenland, Russia and the US.
June 22, Carbon balance of Arctic tundra under increased snow cover mediated by a plant pathogen
Climate change is affecting plant community composition1 and ecosystem structure, with consequences for ecosystem processes such as carbon storage. Climate can affect plants directly by altering growth rates1, and indirectly by affecting predators and herbivores, which in turn influence plants. Diseases are also known to be important for the structure and function of food webs. However, the role of plant diseases in modulating ecosystem responses to a changing climate is poorly understood.
June 21, Did Climate Change Cause Greenland's Ancient Viking Community to Collapse?
Our changing climate usually appears to be a very modern problem, yet new research from Greenland published in Boreas, suggests that the AD 1350 collapse of a centuries old colony established by Viking settlers may have been caused by declining temperatures and a rise in sea-ice. The authors suggest the collapse of the Greenland Norse presents a historical example of a society which failed to adapt to climate change.
June 21, Lavrov and Store appointed Honorary Doctors
Russia’s and Norway’s foreign ministers Sergey Lavrov and Jonas Gahr Store are appointed Honorary Doctors of the University of Tromso.
The world’s northernmost university is preparing to receive high-ranking visitors this autumn, as both ministers have accepted the appointment as Doctor Honoris Causa.
June 20, Arctic Snow Can Harbor Deadly Assassin: Killer Fungal Strains
Heavy and prolonged snowfall can bring about unexpected conditions that encourage fungal growth, leading to the death of plants in the Arctic, according to experts.
June 20,Up to 7 PhD positions available in Arctic Technology at NTNU and UNIS
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is hosting the new Research Based Innovation Centre “Sustainable Arctic Coastal and Marine Technology”. Up to 7 PhD positions are available within the centre at NTNU and at the University Centre on Svalbard (UNIS). Application deadline: 20. July 2011.
June 20, Presidential Proclamation - National Oceans Month
During National Oceans Month, we celebrate the value of our oceans to American life and recognize the critical role they continue to play in our economic progress, national security, and natural heritage. Waterborne commerce, sustainable commercial fisheries, recreational fishing, boating, tourism, and energy production are all able to contribute to job growth and strengthen our economy because of the bounty of our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes.
June 17, Dating an Ancient Episode of Severe Global Warming
Using sophisticated methods of dating rocks, a team including University of Southampton researchers based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, have pinned down the timing of the start of an episode of an ancient global warming known as the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM), with implications for the triggering mechanism.
June 16, Vorticity waves and heat loss in the ocean outside Svalbard
Sigurd Henrik Teigen has investigated heat loss processes in the West Spitsbergen Current outside Svalbard. Through idealized calculation models he has investigated the importance of flow instability for the cooling of the current. His study contributes to the quantification of the processes that modify the warm core of the current before it reaches the ice covered Polar Ocean.
June 16, Proving Darwin Right: New Study Supports Hypothesis That Competition Is Stronger Between More Closely Related Species
A new study provides support for Darwin's hypothesis that the struggle for existence is stronger between more closely related species than those distantly related. While ecologists generally accept the premise, this new study contains the strongest direct experimental evidence yet to support its validity.
June 15, Geophysical investigations of Svalbard reservoirs
PhD candidate Karoline Bolum has investigated subsurface reservoirs in certain areas of Spitsbergen, producing new knowledge about structures that one day can become important reservoirs for CO2 storage. Bolum will defend her PhD thesis on June 10 at UNIS.
June 15, Major Flooding on the Mississippi River Likely to Cause Large Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone
The Gulf of Mexico’s hypoxic zone is predicted to be larger than average this year, due to extreme flooding of the Mississippi River this spring, according to an annual forecast by a team of NOAA-supported scientists from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Louisiana State University and the University of Michigan. The forecast is based on Mississippi River nutrient inputs compiled annually by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
June 14, Follow eight brent geese on their migration routes
The Brenttags project has mounted satellite senders on eight Svalbard Brent Geese. You can follow their movements in a blog.
The Svalbard Brent Goose (Branta bernicla hrota) is the smallest and northernmost breeding goose in the world, and the one that also undertakes some of the longest non-stop journeys of any goose species in the world.
June 14, 10th Ny-Alesund Seminar will be held in Kjeller, Norway in October 2011
The seminar will bring together scientists who have Ny-Alesund as a base for their research. The aim is to exchange experience and share advancements from research and monitoring activities in the Arctic.
The seminar will be held at Lillestrøm Centre of Expertise in Kjeller, Norway, 25 -26 October 2011
June 10, Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies (PCAS) is a fourteen week (November-January) programme taught by Gateway Antarctica, the Centre for Antarctic Studies and Research at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. The programme is a multi-disciplinary study of the history, science, political discourse, environmental concerns and future challenges of the Antarctic region. It includes a two-week Antarctic field component run in partnership with Antarctica New Zealand. The multidisciplinary perspective along with the broad-based critique of the challenges that Antarctica faces and the Antarctic field component have resulted in a programme that is unique in its focus. The programme is ideally suited to graduates and members of the professions who have an interest in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and to employees of National Antarctic Programs who want to understand better the current issues and want to experience firsthand living and working in Antarctica.
June 10, Planet's Soils Are Under Threat, Expert Warns
The planet's soils are under greater threat than ever before, at a time when we need to draw on their vital role to support life more than ever, warns an expert from the University of Sheffield in the journal Nature.
June 9, APECS Atmospheric Science & Climate Research Group
Welcome to the APECS Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Listserve, where researchers in climate, atmospheric, terrestrial and marine sciences, as well as mathematics, physics, astronomy and all fields in-between are invited to join our online working group. It is generally accepted in the scientific community that climate is undergoing a significant change in which anthropogenic activities constitute an important factor. To be able to understand and mitigate the driving forces of climate change as well as its consequences we need experimental research and modeling studies. Since climate change is most obviously noted in the polar regions polar research can provide very valuable results for general climate science. One of the main goals of this listserve is to discuss some of the central ideas and techniques of climate science.
June 9, Water's Surface Not All Wet: Some Water Molecules Split the Difference Between Gas and Liquid
Air and water meet over most of Earth's surface, but exactly where one ends and the other begins turns out to be a surprisingly subtle question.
A new study in Nature narrows the boundary to just one quarter of water molecules in the uppermost layer -- those that happen to have one hydrogen atom in water and the other vibrating freely above.
June 8, Geophysical investigations of Svalbard reservoirs
PhD candidate Karoline Bolum has investigated subsurface reservoirs in certain areas of Spitsbergen, producing new knowledge about structures that one day can become important reservoirs for CO2 storage. Bolum will defend her PhD thesis on June 10 at UNIS.
June 8, The most important animal in the Arctic
Zooplankton is the main fare for Arctic cod, marine birds and bowhead whales. The delicate balance of the food chain depends heavily on the copepod Calanus glacialis, the most important animal in the Arctic. UNIS scientists have made new discoveries about the relationship between sunlight and plankton, and about the critical role that sea ice plays for these tiny animals.
June 8, The new Norwegian-Russian border
OSLO: With the exchange of ratification protocols Norway and Russia end forty years of unsettled relations in the Barents Sea. Oil and gas mapping in the area might start already in July.
June 8, From all appearances, Russia is poised to leave Canada out in the cold in the race for Arctic resource supremacy
Russia could beat Canada and the United States in the race for dominance over the Arctic?s vast hydrocarbon potential if a special United Nations (UN) commission recognizes-perhaps as early as 2012-Russia?s right to the extensive Lomonosov Ridge under the Arctic Ocean. Such recognition could give Russia control of up to 60 per cent of any hydrocarbons found in the High Arctic.
According to recent statements of Dmitry Medvedev, Russia?s president, Russia is planning to "more vigorously defend its claims for the development of Arctic fields, amid the attempts of rivals to limit its access to these resources."
June 7, The obstacles to international cooperation in the Arctic must melt faster
On May 26-27, Carleton University of Ottawa hosted the two day conference Canada, Russia, Norway: Dialogue and Cooperation in the Arctic.
It was the first trilateral conference involving the most active Arctic countries and their partners, for whom the Arctic is home. It drew over 100 dignitaries, regional officials, researchers and businessmen. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Espen Barth Eide, Russian representative to the Arctic Council, Ambassador at Large Anton Vasiliev, assistant deputy minister of the Canadian Northern Affairs Organization Janet King, and Russian Deputy Minister of regional development Alexander Viktorov were among their number.
June 7, Carbon Release to Atmosphere 10 Times Faster Than in the Past, Geologists Find
The rate of release of carbon into the atmosphere today is nearly 10 times as fast as during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), 55.9 million years ago, the best analog we have for current global warming, according to an international team of geologists. Rate matters and this current rapid change may not allow sufficient time for the biological environment to adjust
June 6,Above-average temps and high UV levels for the Arctic: Environment Canada
This Environment Canada map released June 1 shows where Canada can expect above-average temperatures this summer. All but an area of southwestern Hudson Bay are looking at higher-than-usual temperature through to the end of August.
June 6, Russia to clean up on Svalbard
Russia intends to spend some 186 million rubles on clean-up after Russian activity on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.
The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources has announced a tender for a state order on clean-up of areas on Svalbard where there has been Russian activity.
June 3, Joint Statement of the President of the United States of America and the President of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in the Bering Strait Region
The President of the United States of America and the President of the Russian Federation:
- Calling for protection of the shared natural and longstanding cultural heritage of Alaska and Chukotka;
- Recognizing the worldwide cultural and natural significance of the Bering Strait region, both as an ancient crossroads and as an area of present-day cooperation between our two countries;
- Noting that the Bering Strait region is important to the economies of both countries...
June 3, Climate Projections Don't Accurately Reflect Soil Carbon Release
A new study concludes that models may be predicting releases of atmospheric carbon dioxide that are either too high or too low, depending on the region, because they don't adequately reflect variable temperatures that can affect the amount of carbon released from soil.
June 2, With Global Warming, Arctic Access Will Diminish by Land but Improve by Sea
Global warming over the next 40 years will cut through Arctic transportation networks like a double-edged sword, limiting access in certain areas and vastly increasing it in others, a new UCLA study predicts.
June 2, Melting Glaciers May Affect Ocean Currents
A team of scientists from the University of Sheffield and Bangor University have used a computer climate model to study how freshwater entering the oceans at the end of the penultimate Ice Age 140,000 years ago affected the parts of the ocean currents that control climate.
June 1, Researchers Solve Mammoth Evolutionary Puzzle: The Woollies Weren't Picky, Happy to Interbreed
A DNA-based study sheds new light on the complex evolutionary history of the woolly mammoth, suggesting it mated with a completely different and much larger species.
June 1, Climate Shift Contributed to Demise of Viking Settlements in Greenland
A rapidly changing climate contributed to the demise of Viking settlements in Greenland, according to a study recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. According to researchers from Brown University, temperatures dropped over a period of a few decades, which led to the demise of Norse settlements in western Greenland. A reconstruction of climate history from lakes near the Norse settlement in Kangerlussuaq (western Greenland) also shows how the changes affected the Dorset and Saqqaq cultures.