Posted on June 19, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Swedish researchers pinpoint scary climate feedback loop
Arctic seas becoming carbon sources instead of carbon sinks. IMAGE COURTESY NASA.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Instead of absorbing heat-trapping gases, Arctic near-shore seas are becoming sources of carbon dioxide, accorindg to researchers from Sweden’s University of Gothenburg. With careful measurements, the scientists found that the amount of CO2 being absorbed by the oceans is decreasing.
That leads to an increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and an increased rate of warming in the Arctic in a self-reinforcing climate feedback loop that includes some unexpected factors. For example, increased coastal erosion carries more organic matter into the sea, where it breaks down and releases even more CO2. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Arctic, carbon dioxide, climate, East Siberian Sea, global warming, greenhouse gases, Laptev Sea, University of Gothenburg | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 14, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Northeast Passage expected to open in early summer this year; route along Russian coast offers a 4,000 mile shortcut between Europe and Asia
The EM-Bird over thin ice: The picture was taken with a camera mounted inside the MI-8 helicopter. It shows the EM-Bird 15 meters above a layer of rafted thin ice, approximately 10 centimeters thick. Photo: Thomas Krumpen, Alfred Wegener Institute.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — After a series of measurement flights over the Laptev Sea, scientists with the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research are predicting that the Northeast Pass, an Arctic Ocean shortcut along the north coast of Russia, will once again be ice-free and passable to ships by early summer.
The Laptev Sea is known as in ice factory, but at the end of the winter, researchers discovered large areas of thin ice that won’t survive the summer melting season.
“These results were a great surprise to us,” said expedition member Dr. Thomas Krumpen.
In previous measurements in the winter of 2007-2008 the ice in the same area had been up to one meter thicker. Krumpen said the difference is mainly due to wind. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Arctic Ocean, climate, European Space Agency, global warming, Laptev Sea, Northeast Passage, Northern Sea Route | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 9, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
This aerial photograph shows the research icebreaker Polarstern at the North Pole. PHOTO COURTESY ALFRED WEGENER INSTITUTE.
Research voyage yields solid data on Arctic sea ice loss
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Old, thick sea ice that helps sustain a long-term ice cover in the Arctic is disappearing, according to researchers with the Alfred Wegener Institute who recently sailed more than 12,000 miles through Arctic seas aboard the Polarstern to investigate ice loss and related issues. In the central Arctic, the ice cover now largely consists of thin, one-year-old floes.
As part of their research, the team of 130 scientists aboard the research ship wanted to determine whether the Arctic sea ice melted to a greater or lesser extent than in previous years.
“The ice has not recovered. This summer it appears to have melted to exactly the same degree as in 2007 … it is exactly as thin as in the record year,” said Stefan Hendricks. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Summit County news | Tagged: Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Arctic, Arctic Ocean, Arctic sea ice loss, Environment, global warming, Laptev Sea, Polar ice packs, Sea ice, Severnaya Zemlya, Summit County News | 3 Comments »