The Arctic probably is the fastest warming region on this planet. It never was as apparent as this winter. Several heat waves had struck the High Arctic and temperatures rose up to 5°C above the 30-year average. This and the fact that less sea ice had been formed last year as well had led to a new record low of Arctic sea ice extent in winter. Only 14.4 million square meters of the Arctic Ocean had been covered with sea ice. The unusual warming period als has led to strange weather phenomenas on the entire northern hemisphere this winter.
On September 10th 2016 Arctic sea-ice reached its minimum extent of 4.14 million square kilometres, making it the second lowest minimum on record. The record low is still retained by 2012, when the ice extent fell to an incredible 3.39 million square kilometres. But predicting exactly when the Arctic will see its first ice-free summer may be more difficult than previously believed, according to the results of new research.
After six years of hard work, a team of Norwegians has succeeded in pulling the Maud - a ship that once belonged to famed Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen - from its icy grave in Nunavut waters near Cambridge Bay in Canada. The ship has been lifted to the surface and is now being preparing for winter before it can be brought back home to Norway
Tiny ocean fossils distributed widely across rock surfaces in the Transantarctic Mountains point to the potential for a substantial rise in global sea levels under conditions of continued global warming, according to a new study.
Human-induced global warming began much earlier than previously thought. New research suggests that warming started about 180 years ago near the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Researchers in Australia found evidence for the early onset of warming after analysing 500 years of climate data from ice cores, corals, sediment layers and tree rings.
Oceanographic instruments attached to the heads of Antarctic elephant seals have assisted scientists better understand the role melting ice shelves are having in regulating global ocean temperatures. During their foraging dives the animals collected data and helped researchers to identify a new source of bottom water production in East Antarctica.
The Southern Ocean is still a very big white spot on the knowledge map despite its importance for the world’s climate and as an important habitat for many marine organisms. Now, scientists from Australia and the European Union have joined forces to better understand the role of micronekton in the marine food web, holding the first project meeting of the new partnership in Hobart today. The Mesopelagic Southern Ocean Prey and Predators (MESOPP) project focuses on micronekton, which are small fishes, crustacean, squids and jellies that measure between 1 and 20cm.
The majestic auroras have captivated humans for thousands of years, but their nature – the fact that the lights are electromagnetic and respond to solar activity – was only realized in the last 150 years. Thanks to coordinated multi-satellite observations and a worldwide network of magnetic sensors and cameras, close study of auroras has become possible over recent decades. Yet, auroras continue to mystify, dancing far above the ground to some, thus far, undetected rhythm.
The Arctic sea ice diminishes every year more and more. In 2012, it had reached a sad negative record with its extension of 3.4 million square kilometers. This year, the extension reached its second lowest value with 4.1 million square kilometers which is even less than the previous record in 2007. And according to experts from the Alfred-Wegener-Institute, who had been responsible for the measurements, the trend will continue.
Antarctica is not a man’s world - not anymore. Women have played an important role in the advancement of Antarctic science especially in the last 50 years. An on-line collection of biographies of successful female scientists who worked in Antarctica celebrates that. Hopes are that the carriers of these women will inspire young girls to follow in their footsteps.
The critically endangered western gray whale population that feeds in Russia's Far East waters is slowly showing signs of recovery, but their numbers and range are still at risk from industry activity in the region, according to a new report. Over the last 12 years, Sakhalin Energy has made important efforts to limit the impact of its operations on whales and the fragile environment. During this period, the western gray whale population has grown 3-4% annually, from an estimated 115 animals in 2004 to 174 in 2015.