Posted on December 3, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Ringed seals face an uncertain future in the rapidly warming Arctic. Photo courtesy NOAA.
Feds propose 226 million acres of critical habitat
FRISCO — One of the largest-ever critical habitat proposals won’t do anything to slow the decline of Arctic sea ice or halt the buildup of greenhouse gases, but it may give ice-dependent ringed seals a fighting chance to survive the Arctic meltdown.
Ringed seals were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2012 in response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity. This week, the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed designating 226 million acres (350,000 square miles) of critical habitat in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Read more about the proposed protections. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, biodiversity, climate and weather, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Arctic sea ice, critical habitat, endangered species, global warming, ringed seals | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 8, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
September trend for Arctic sea ice extent is down, down, down. Courtesy NSIDC.
Arctic sea ice bottoms out; Antarctic sea ice hits new high
FRISCO — Even without remarkably warm weather patterns across the Arctic, summer sea ice dropped to the sixth-lowest extent on record this year, while at the other end of the Earth, sea ice around Antarctica swelled to a record extent.
Through 2014, Arctic sea ice has now been declining at a rate of 13.3 percent per decade relative to the 1981 to 2010 average. The ten lowest September ice extents over the satellite record have all occurred in the last ten years. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, Arctic, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: antarctic sea ice, Antarctic sea ice record, Arctic sea ice, climate change, global warming | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 22, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Frost flowers forming atop early winter ice may play an important role in drawing CO2 from the atmosphere. bberwyn photo.
Frost flowers also play role in global carbon cycle
FRISCO — Along with cooling the Earth by reflecting sunlight back into space, Arctic sea ice also helps directly remove heat-trapping CO2 from the atmosphere, Danish scientists reported this week.
As Arctic summers warm, there may be an acceleration of global warming, because reduced sea ice in the Arctic will remove less CO2 from the atmosphere.
“If our results are representative, then sea ice plays a greater role than expected, and we should take this into account in future global CO2 budgets”, said Dorte Haubjerg Søgaard, PhD Fellow, Nordic Center for Earth Evolution, University of Southern Denmark and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: Arctic sea ice, climate change, global warming, greenhouse gas pollution | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 6, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Arctic cloud formation still a climate wild card
Sun glints off a sea ice lead in an otherwise heavily ridged ice pack, Canada Basin (Arctic Ocean). Credit: NASA/Sinead Farrell
FRISCO — The ongoing loss of Arctic sea ice is probably already affecting weather and climate in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere. Researchers aren’t exactly sure of how, but there’s been plenty of speculation, mostly focused around changes in the jet stream.
Climate scientists may know a bit more in a few years after they study the results of a new NASA field campaign studying the effect of sea ice retreat on Arctic climate. The Arctic Radiation IceBridge Sea and Ice Experiment (ARISE) will conduct research flights Aug. 28 through Oct. 1, covering the peak of summer sea ice melt. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: Arctic sea ice, climate, extreme weather, global warming, NASA | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 26, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
An extratropical cyclone spread heavy rain across the UK in February 2014. Visit this NASA website for more.
More coastal damage likely as rising seas fuel storm surges
FRISCO —British scientists aren’t quite ready to say that last winter’s record flooding is linked with human-caused global warming, but in a recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, they warned that more coastal flooding is likely as sea level rises. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: Arctic sea ice, climate attribution studies, climate change, global warming, Jet stream, UK 2014 flooding | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 23, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
The Fram Strait is a key link in the global ocean circulation system, as the passage for most of the Arctic sea ice exiting the region.
Detailed ocean sediment layers paint clear picture of link between Arctic sea ice movement and ocean currents
FRISCO — An extraordinarily clear deposit of layered seafloor sediments has helped researchers explain the connection between Arctic sea ice movement and the movement of key ocean currents that redistribute warm water across the northern hemisphere.
Specifically, the new study by scientists with the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany looked at the movement of sea ice through the Fram Strait, between Greenland Svalbard, finding that, when massive quantities of Arctic ice melt and move south through the strait, the Gulf Stream slows, cooling the climate in Europe. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: Arctic sea ice, climate change, Fram Strait, Gulf Stream | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 15, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Antarctic sea ice at record high; northern hemisphere snow cover shows rapid spring decline
Low spring snow cover in the northern hemisphere.
FRISCO — Arctic sea ice extent in May was about a quarter of a million square miles below the 1981-2010 average, ending up as the third-lowest on record for the month, according to the latest update from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
By contrast, sea ice extent around Antarctica is at a record high, almost half a million square miles above the 1981-2010 baseline, marking the highest May Antarctic sea ice extent on record. Read the full NSIDC report here. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, global warming, Greenland | Tagged: Arctic sea ice, climate, climate change, global warming, northern hemisphere snow cover | 1 Comment »