Austfonna ice field has thinned by more than 150 feet in just 3 years
FRISCO — If sudden changes on a small island in the Svalbard Archipelago are any indication, then the Greenland Ice Sheet could be in big trouble as the Arctic warms up.
Satellite images show that the Austfonna ice cap has thinned by more than 50 metres since 2012 — about one sixth of its original thickness — and that the ice is flowing 25 times faster than just a few years ago.
FRISCO — A closely studied 2012 rain-on-snow event in Svalbard, Norway gave researchers a chance to take a close look at how global warming may play out on the fringes of the Arctic, where humans eke out a delicate existence in balance with the elements.
Warmer ocean temperatures, more ship traffic will open the door for new marine organisms
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Scientists are warning that warmer ocean temperatures in the far north will open the door for aquatic invaders that could devastate native marine ecosystems.
So far, cold water temperatures have prevented most harmful low latitude species from establishing themselves but the threat of invasive species will grow as the oceans warm and as ship traffic increases in the Arctic, said an international team of researchers led by PhD candidate Chris Ware from the University of Tromsø in Norway.
Changes likely to reduce oceans’ capacity to absorb carbon dioxide
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — In the great global warming experiment there will be winners and losers, and it looks like some of the tiniest plankton species will be among the winners — probably at the expense of larger species higher up the food chain.
Research off the coast of Svalbard, Norway in 2010 showed that the smallest plankton groups thrive at elevated carbon dioxide levels.
Northern hemisphere snow cover above average in December and January
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Arctic sea ice remained well below average during January, about 400,000 miles below the 1979 to 2000 average for the month and the sixth-lowest during the satellite record. The last ten years (2004 to 2013) have seen the ten lowest January extents in the satellite record.
FRISCO — Norwegian scientists say they’ve observed how climate-linked extreme weather events have affected not just single species, but an entire ecological community in the Arctic.
Rain-on-snow events caused synchronized population fluctuations among all vertebrate species in a relatively simple high arctic community, the scientists said after documenting how populations of three species crashed at the same time.
SUMMIT COUNTY — A group of researchers led by a Columbia University climate scientist William D’Andrea took direct aim at misleading information about historic climate records this week, releasing a study showing that temperatures in some parts of the Arctic are higher than they’ve been at any time during the past 1,800 years.Global warming deniers have used evidence of warmer temperatures during the so-called Medieval Warm Period to undermine the reality that heat-trapping greenhouse gases are inexorably warming the planet.
But the climate reconstruction from Svalbard casts new doubt on the reach of the Medieval Warm Period, and undercuts skeptics who argue that current warming is also natural. Since 1987, summers on Svalbard have been 2 degrees to 2.5 degrees Celsius (3.6 to 4.5 degrees fahrenheit) hotter than they were there during warmest parts of the Medieval Warm Period, according to the new study. Continue reading “Climate: Current warming in Arctic unprecedented”→