Atmospheric rivers found to have caused intense snowstorms events in East Antarctica

Extreme weather phenomena called atmospheric rivers were behind intense snowstorms recorded in 2009 and 2011 in East Antarctica. The resulting snow accumulation partly offset recent ice loss from the Antarctic ice sheet.

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Racing through the Northwest Passage

The Arctic sea ice melts due to climate change and many areas become more and more open. This attracts people who not only see the negative effects on the Arctic ecosystems but also opportunities for entrepreneurs and adventurers. One of the ideas that has been presented now is the “Sailing the Arctic Race”, a yacht racing that is being proposed for the summer / fall of 2017. The plan is to race from New York, USA, to Victoria on Vancouver Island, Canada through the fabled Northwest Passage. A more than 12’300 kilometer long race in extreme conditions.

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Fastest kayak circumnavigation of South Georgia

A four-man Australian kayak team has smashed the record for the fastest kayak circumnavigation of South Georgia. They completed the approximately 570 km long journey in just thirteen days.

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Two Dutch researchers disappearing in the Canadian High Arctic

Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo, two Dutch researchers, have gone missing near Bathurst Island, Nunavut, Canada since last Wednesday, April 29 2015. The researchers had been on an expedition to measure ice thickness in an area called Last Ice area. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), which had lead and conducted a Search and Rescue expedition, has presumed them dead and is now trying to recover the missing bodies.

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Antarctic exhibition finishes traverse of Australia

After touring Australia for more than 3 years an exhibition featuring a collection of artefacts from Antarctica has been visited my more than 370,000 people and its exhibits will now be returned to the National Archives and the Australian Antarctic Division.

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Extreme achievement or extreme lie: Did Martin Szwed reach the South Pole alone?

A few months ago, the German extreme athlete Martin Szwed supposedly wrote Polar history for his solo march to the South Pole thereby setting a new world record. However, an apparent picture of proof turned out to be a fake and further doubts arose when looking closer into the matter. Did an extraordinary achievement turn into an extraordinary lie?

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A rapidly growing rift threatens one of Antarctica’s largest ice shelves

AWI glaciologist Dr Daniela Jansen and a team of British researchers have discovered a large rift in the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica which in time will dramatically reduce its area and could affect its stability.

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Past and Present of Greenlands melting glaciers

A team of scientists lead by Danish geologist Nicolaj Krog Larsen have managed to quantify how the Greenland Ice Sheet reacted to a warm period 8,000-5,000 years ago. Back then temperatures were 2-4 degrees C warmer than present. Their results have just been published in the scientific journal Geology, and are important as we are rapidly closing in on similar temperatures.

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Rising mercury levels putting ivory gulls at risk

Ivory gulls are a true polar bird species by living in the High Arctic. The iconic white bird is seen frequently near remains of seals and other carcasses on the ice. Its ecological status is “Near threatened” according to the IUCN Red List and populations are decreasing. However, in Canada, the birds could vanish soon. Only 500 breeding pairs remain there. A biologist is suggesting rapidly rising rates of mercury contamination may be behind the dramatic population drop.

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Canadian plans for the Arctic: Back on track in 2018?

Canada's military has again delayed the opening of a major new Arctic port, a sign the government is struggling to assert sovereignty over a remote resource-rich region. The planned deep water naval facility at Nanisivik - some 3,100 km (1,900 miles) north of Ottawa - is one of the key components of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's "use it or lose it" approach to the Arctic. The port, initially due to open in 2012, will now not be operational until 2018. Additionally, the proposed and needed vessels to enforce Canadian claims of the Arctic waters will enter service in the same year according to official news.

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