Arctic sea ice

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'We Stood There Crying': Crew Films Starving Polar Bear

Conservation group says it illustrates threat to the bears as ice retreats from Arctic

(Newser) - The video is tough to watch: A crew from the conservation group Sea Legacy came across a starving polar bear in Canada's Baffin Islands that clearly didn't have long to live. "We stood there crying—filming with tears rolling down our cheeks," photographer Paul Nicklen tells... More »

Tanker Is 1st Ship to Cross Arctic Without Icebreaker

Shrinking ice and new technology helped

(Newser) - For the first time in history, a ship was able to traverse the Northern Sea Route through the Arctic without the help of an accompanying icebreaker thanks to new tanker technology—and climate change. The New York Times reports the Christophe de Margerie, carrying liquefied natural gas from Norway to... More »

Walruses Show Up Early in Alaska as Ice Recedes

It's the earliest 'haulout' ever

(Newser) - Sign of the times? Several hundred Pacific walruses began amassing on an island off Alaska’s northwest coast in the first week of August in what wildlife officials say is the earliest date yet for their annual "haulout." The culprit appears to be shrinking Arctic ice. Walruses tend... More »

What May Vanish From the Arctic by 2030

Scientists: There could be no more summer ice by then, thanks to climate change

(Newser) - Fancy an Arctic cruise? With climate change melting the planet's sea ice faster than ever, the globe's northern-most points could become a check on the well-traveled tourist's bucket list. That possibility is giving goose bumps to maritime experts who say safety measures are lacking. "It's... More »

As Sea Ice Dwindles, Polar Bear Attacks Rise

20% of polar bear attacks happened in last 5 years of 144-year study

(Newser) - There were only 73 reported polar bear attacks on humans between 1870 and 2014, according to a study published this month in Wildlife Society Bulletin . But 20% of those attacks happened in just the last five years of the study, and Alaska Dispatch News reports researchers have found a correlation... More »

Arctic Ocean Doing Its Best Atlantic Ocean Impression

And that's not great news for sea ice

(Newser) - The "Atlantification" of the Arctic Ocean is underway. And no, that doesn't mean we're about to get the polar bear version of Outkast, but rather that the Arctic Ocean is rapidly becoming more like the Atlantic Ocean, according to new research published Thursday. The Arctic Ocean has... More »

Scientists Plan to Strand a Ship in Arctic Ice

Polarstern will drift across North Pole so researchers can get info on climate change

(Newser) - The nearly 400-foot-long Polarstern is designed to break through ice in frigid waters—but for an upcoming trip to study climate change, Germany is going to purposely let its ship become stuck in the middle of the floes, per the BBC . In what the Telegraph paints as a "daring... More »

It's 'Absurdly Warm' in the Arctic Right Now

And sea ice is at its lowest point ever

(Newser) - Experts are calling it "unprecedented," "scary," and "alarming." Wired reports air temperatures in the arctic are currently 20 to 30 degrees above normal. Or in the words of one of those experts: "It's absurdly warm." And that means arctic sea ice—... More »

Cleaner Air Causing Sea Ice to Melt Away

Sulfur dioxide actually protected ice from the sun: study

(Newser) - Sulfur dioxide is a bad thing, right? Indeed, it's been linked to acid rain, crop failures, and respiratory problems—but scrubbing it from the atmosphere has also apparently caused Arctic sea ice to melt, the Anchorage Daily News reports. According to a new study from Environment Canada, recent reductions... More »

Researchers Studying Arctic Ice Feared Drowned

Two Dutch scientists encountered thin ice in an unexpected area

(Newser) - Two Dutch researchers are presumed to be drowned while exploring an area of the Arctic where they expected to find thick ice. Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo were last heard from on Tuesday, when Cornelissen left a jokey voicemail about how it was so warm near Bathurst Island that... More »

Polar Bears Will Struggle for Food on Land

Study contradicts research that says bears are eating berries, eggs

(Newser) - Polar bears forced off melting sea ice will not find enough food to replace their current diet of fat-laden seals, researchers say in a conclusion that contradicts studies indicating bears may be benefiting from bird eggs, berries, and other land food sources. Karyn Rode, a USGS wildlife biologist and lead... More »

Planes Rerouted to Prevent Walrus Stampede

FAA warns media, gawkers to stay away, not spook beached animals

(Newser) - Aircraft, media, and curious folks in general have been instructed to stay far away from the 35,000 walruses crammed onto an Alaskan beach to prevent the easily spooked animals from stampeding each other to death, the Guardian reports. "When they lose their sea ice habitat and come ashore... More »

Why 35K Walruses Crowded Onto This Beach

There's no ice in the Chukchi Sea for them to rest on

(Newser) - What a loss of sea ice looks like: an estimated 35,000 walruses, crowded on one stretch of Alaskan beach. Images taken on Saturday via plane as part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's annual marine animal survey capture just that. The enormous grouping of the mammals near... More »

Despite 'Unremarkable' Temps, More Ice Melt Woes

Records set throughout the Arctic

(Newser) - Despite "unremarkable" temperatures across the Arctic over the past year, melting around the region continues to set records, reports LiveScience . Among the findings of the latest Arctic Report Card released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association yesterday (its largest such report since starting them in 2006):
  • Snow coverage
... More »

Arctic Ice Hits Drastic New Low

Melt ends with ice 293K square miles below 2007 record

(Newser) - Sea ice in the Arctic shrank to a record low on August 27 —and kept shrinking for 20 days. The sea has finally begun to refreeze after bottoming out on September 16 at 1.32 million square miles, almost 300,000 square miles less than the record set at... More »

China Muscles In on Race for Piece of Arctic Pie

Beijing increasingly aggressive as stakes get higher

(Newser) - As Arctic ice continues to melt at a disturbing pace , the "Cold War" in the region is heating up. Global superpowers, excited about the oil, gas, minerals, and shipping lanes that are being made newly available thanks to the melting ice, are vying for position in the region—and... More »

Record Arctic Melt 'Like Doubling CO2'

Oblivion looms for summer sea ice, expert warns

(Newser) - The accelerating loss of Arctic sea ice is having an effect equivalent to doubling the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing the problem in the first place, warns one of the world's leading sea ice experts. The ice reflects sunlight, but as it disappears, the energy is absorbed by... More »

Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks to New Low

And the melt will likely continue another 2 weeks

(Newser) - It's a record that won't likely last very long: The Arctic sea ice cover today hit a record low, announced the National Snow and Ice Data Center, but the shrinking isn't about to stop. The ice cover had reduced to 1.58 million square miles as of... More »

Arctic Ice Nears Record Melt

It 'just doesn't look like the Arctic Ocean any more'

(Newser) - The amount of sea ice in the Arctic is on course to hit a record low well before the end of melting season, scientists warn. The previous record was set in 2007, but that was a result of a "perfect storm" of conditions, while this year's melt is... More »

Arctic Ice Nears Historic Low

Ice area last year tied 2007 for lowest since measuring begin in 1979

(Newser) - A set of dubious honors for the volume of ice covering the Arctic: It hit a record low in 2010, according to researchers, breaking the 2007 record—and those same scientists say this year may be a record-breaking one, too, reports the Alaska Dispatch . Since researchers began measuring Arctic ice... More »

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