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Tagged : arctic

‘Chasing Ice’: Powerful film captures gorgeous, undeniably vanishing glaciers

October 18th, 2013

It was with some trepidation that I settled in to watch Chasing Ice, a movie about the rapidly vanishing glaciers that contain the majority of earth’s freshwater. But it didn’t leave me or my fellow viewers feeling helpless, and it didn’t harangue us with a fire hose of facts. Rather it did what great movies are supposed to do, and what the film’s protagonist has been working for years to do: It showed us that the earth’s warming temperatures and seas are melting arctic ice at a scary pace.

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One US company has vowed to help orca whales trapped by Canadian ice

January 10th, 2013

A pod or family of orca whales struggling for their lives in a shrinking ice hole north of Quebec may finally have attracted human rescuers.

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NASA scientists find phytoplankton blooms under Arctic ice

June 8th, 2012

For the first time, scientists have discovered extensive blooms of phytoplankton under Arctic Ocean ice, contradicting the widely held conviction that such blooms could not occur under sea ice that blocked the sun’s rays from triggering the blooms. Sci…

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Why Arctic sea ice was lower than ever in 2010

October 25th, 2010

There has been a lot of important climate news in recent weeks and months. In addition to record warmth, an unusually active Atlantic hurricane season, and a devastating string of extreme weather events in the U.S. and around the world, Arctic sea ice has reached a new low in its total volume.

The ice covering the Arctic Ocean goes through a seasonal cycle in which it expands during the winter, reaching its maximum extent in March, and shrinks during the summer, reaching its minimum extent in September. Satellites have been observing the daily coverage of sea ice since 1979, during which time the summer minimum has declined rapidly over the decades. In 2007, the summer minimum dropped by a startling amount compared to previous summers, generating an iconic graph that was splashed across blogs and newspapers around the world (Figure 1). This record still holds, although every year since 2007 has seen below-average summer minima.

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Researchers planning a hot time in the arctic

June 28th, 2010

Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory aren’t content to wait to see the effects of global warming in the arctic. Now, they are planning to speed up the process to get a sneak peek. ORNL is plotting a large-scale, long-term ecosystem experiment to try to accelerate understanding of the effects of increased temperatures on the icy layers of arctic permafrost. Scientists will purposely warm a test area in order to assess response to a change in climate conditions.

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Melting permafrost will release more carbon

September 26th, 2008

By John DeFore

We’re already used to worrying about at least one set of issues when it comes to melting caused by global warming: that water entering oceans from disintegrating arctic ice may cause sea levels to rise worldwide.

Now scientists suggest that another sort of melting could not only be caused by climate change, but could in itself accelerate it. At issue is not polar icecaps but permafrost, the frozen ground found in the far north.

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