Posted on March 3, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Emperor penguin colony near Halley Bay. IMAGE COURTESY DIGITALGLOBE.
Genetic study tracks history of Antarctica’s emperor penguin populations
FRISCO — A genetic study shows that emperor penguins may have just barely survived the last ice age, with a few scattered populations enduring centuries of bitter cold and ice.
The study covers about 30,000 years and suggests that only three populations survived, including a climate refuge of sorts in the Ross Sea, where emperors may have been able to breed around a relatively small area of open water. The emperor penguins in that region evolved to become genetically distinct from other populations, which may support arguments for creating a Ross Sea marine protected area. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, biodiversity, climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: Antarctica, climate change, emperor penguins, ice age, Ross Sea | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 11, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Antarctic sea ice has expanded in the past few years, but overall, the planet is still losing an area of ice the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined each year. bberwyn photo.
Growth in Antarctic ice extent doesn’t cancel out Arctic decline
FRISCO — NASA researchers who took a close look at both Arctic and Antarctic sea ice say that, overall, Earth has been losing ice at an average rate of about 13,500 square miles per year since 1979, equivalent to an area about the size of Maryland. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, Arctic, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: antarctic sea ice, climate change, global sea ice extent, global warming, NASA | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
New research shows that even the frigid fringes of East Antarctica are melting away under warming seas.
Warming ocean melts ice from below
FRISCO — It’s not just the West Antarctic ice sheets that are melting away as the surrounding ocean warms, Australian scientists reported after a six week voyage to the eastern side of the frozen continent.
A series of detailed measurements show that warm ocean water is melting the Totten Glacier — the largest in the region, with enough ice to raise sea level by several meters, according to the findings by the Australian Antarctic Division and partnering research organizations. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Antarctica, climate change, East Antarctica, sea level, Totten Glacier | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
New data to help inform projections of sea-level rise
FRISCO — Drilling deep into Antarctic ice this month, researchers were able for the first time to take a close look at the grounding zone of an ice sheet, where Antarctic ice, land and sea all converge.
Sediment samples from the half-mile bore hole will provide clues about the mechanics of ice sheets and their potential effects on sea-level rise, but the drilling also revealed an unsuspected population of fish and invertebrates living beneath the ice sheet, the farthest south that fish have ever been found. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Antarctica, climate change, Environment, Ross Ice Shelf, Ross Sea, sea level | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 16, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Climate researchers call for action at Breck conference
By Adam Spencer
BRECKENRIDGE — For nearly 70 years, Americans breathed poisonous exhaust from leaded gasoline while a team of oil and auto industry-funded scientists maintained that millions of cars burning lead — a potent neurotoxin — was safe. When federal regulators finally started to phase out leaded gasoline in the 1970s, levels of the toxin found in Americans’ blood plummeted by 77 percent.
“The use of leaded gasoline very much mirrors the fight over climate change,” said Dr. Jim White, director of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and a geology and environmental science professor at the University of Colorado.
White argued, at the annual Glen Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit held in Breckenridge this week, that big oil’s arguments against the early warnings of lead’s health impacts (spills at the plants that produced the petroleum additive in the 1920s killed some workers and made others crazy) are very similar to the arguments used today to discredit human-caused climate change. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, Arctic, climate and weather, climate change, Environment, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: Arctic sea ice, Chasing Ice, climate science, Extreme Ice Survey, Glen Gerberg weather and climate summit, global warming, James Balog | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Antarctic sea urchins may be able to adapt to global warming. Photo courtesy NOAA.
Lab testing measures response to rising temps, increasing acidification
FRISCO — Sea urchins around the Antarctic Peninsula are able to adapt to warmer and more acidic seawater conditions expected by the end of the century, at least in a laboratory setting.
The study, led by scientists from the British Antarctic Survey and Bangor University, involved collecting 288 sea urchins and and transporting them to the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: Antarctica, British Antarctic Survey, global warming, ocean acidification | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 26, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Summit Voice environmental coverage in January 2014
Glowing sea anemones cling to the bottom of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Photo courtesy Frank Rack, ANDRILL Science Management Office, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
FRISCO — We started 2014 by reporting on some recent research in Antarctica, where scientists recently found colonies of cold-tolerant sea anemones literally hanging from the bottom of the sea ice with food-gathering tentacles dangling beneath — a “mind-blowing” discovery, according some of the researchers involved. Above all, it shows how much more remains to be discovered in some of the most remote reaches of our fragile blue marble. Read the full story here: ‘Mind-blowing’ anemones found beneath Antarctic ice. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment | Tagged: 2014 environmental news, Antarctic sea anemones, climate hacking, Environment, independent journalism | Leave a comment »