Every five years for more than a century, National Geographic releases an atlas of the world complete with the latest geographic and geologic cartographic representations. The latest edition of Atlas of the World can be quite terrifying if you move up north, in the Arctic, for it shows just how dramatic ice loss has been in the past decades. For comparison, the GIF above stitches three edition (7th and 10th) from 2000 to 2015. The latest caption shows the Arctic as it had been in 2012, during its record low ice extent.
After carefully calculating the net nutritional gain polar bears have from land-based food like caribou, berries or bird eggs, researchers found this is far from enough to compensate their typical fat-rich diet based on marine mammals. In consequence, as ice retreats and spring hunting season shortens polar bear populations are expected to fall dramatically. According to the study, two-third of the world’s polar bears will disappear by mid-century and by the end of the century the could follow, if the issue is not addressed.
Using both modern and historic measurements, researchers now have a more extensive view of how the Arctic sea ice has changed in the past few decades, finding that the ice is melting much faster than previously expected. The ice in the central Arctic Ocean thinned 65 percent between 1975 and 2012, from 11.7 feet (3.59 meters) to 4.1 feet (1.25 m).
A song of ice and fire Antarctica is split in two different areas: East Antarctica and West Antarctica – and East Antarctica wears the pants in this relationship: it’s pushing West Antarctica around – literally. Since the Western part is losing weight due to melting and ice loss (billions of tons of ice per year), its softer mantle rock is
It’s important to understand that our planet’s climate consists of so much interconnected elements, that what happens someplace affects virtually the entire Earth. Thing is, few people realize the huge impact the warming in the Arctic has on global climate. At a news conference held on Tuesday, several researchers said that the melting ice may be weakening the jet stream
A group of researchers assessed seven individual climate models and found that in each case common open water vessels will be able to navigate through portions of the Arctic, currently possible only with icebreaker ships, by the mid-century. Moreover, the thinning ice will allow ice-strengthened vessels to sail directly over the pole, something currently unimaginable, dramatically shortening travel distance, time and cost.
Some 12,900 years ago, a massive flood of melted freshwater in the Arctic caused a 1,200-year-long chill nicknamed the “Big Freeze.” During this time much of the Northern Hemisphere was engulfed by centuries of cold, which caused the extinction of most great mammals, like mammoths, as well as the Clovis people. For decades, scientists have been debating from where and
Arctic ice, a key indicator for global climate status, has reached another record low, lower than in computer estimates, hinting at a major disaster. A new record Researchers from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center announced reached its lowest point on September 16, when it will cover approximately 1.32 million square miles (3.42 million square km) of the
Researchers at the University of Delaware and the Canadian Ice Service recently reported that an ice island, whose surface is twice that of Manhattan, broke off from Greenland’s Petermann Glacier, one of the two largest glaciers left in Greenland connecting the great Greenland ice sheet with the ocean via a floating ice shelf. The 46-square-mile giant iceberg broke off from the glacier on
Besides ever thinning ice, permafrost melting, soot deposits, habitat loss, you might as well add another significant factor threatening the arctic ecosystem – mercury. For some time, the alarmingly high mercury concentrations in the regions were rather unaccounted for, in part, however a new research by scientists at Harvard’s Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group suggests that three Siberian rivers might be
A recent study performed by a team of American/Chinese scientists shows that there’s a direct link between the progressive shrinking ice in the Arctic and in the increasingly harsher snowy winters in the US, Europe and China. In the year 2007, the level of Arctic sea ice hit a record low, which hasn’t recovered to this day. Since then, there’s been much more
The arctic ice volume recorded last fall was the lowest ever since the first satellite reports were introduced, according to data furnished by a new study which used complicated weather modeling, ocean observations, submarine data, and space-age monitoring. “Sea ice volume is an important climate indicator,” said the team of scientists from Polar Science Center of the University of Washington,