Ice-Free Shipping Through the Arctic|
March 6, 2014 | Nature.com
A post on the Nature News Blog reports that by 2030 the Norther Sea Route through the Arctic Ocean above Eurasia is expected to be navigable for nine weeks per year. The Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is expected to be navigable for five weeks per year.
Perpetual Ocean Video|
February 9, 2014 | NASA on YouTube.com
“This visualization shows ocean surface currents around the world during the period from June 2005 through Decemeber 2007. The visualization does not include a narration or annotations; the goal was to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience.” Quoted from the NASA YouTube Channel.
A Glacial Speed Record|
February 9, 2014 | National Geographic
The Jakobshavn Glacier, which is thought to have produced the iceberg that sank the Titanic is moving about 4x as fast as it was in the 1990s.
January 30, 2014 | Weather Channel
The Weather Channel has some interesting photos of some snow covered trees from in northern Finland, near the Arctic Circle. If you didn’t know the scale you might think that they are clouds from an atomic or volcanic blast.
Global Temperature Trends|
January 26, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory
NASA’s Earth Observatory has published a pair of maps that show global temperature trends. The map below shows the average change in temperature in degrees Celsius per decade between 1950 and 2013.
Ice Quake in Wisconsin?|
January 14, 2014 | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Check out this photo of a Wisconsin resident measuring a 100-foot-long “fault” caused by an “ice quake”.
Another article with a video here. Lots of news accounts here.
Why Was It So Cold Last Week?|
January 12, 2014 | Climate.gov
An article on Climate.gov explains why a large mass of dense, extremely cold air flowed over much of the United States last week.
From the article… “Meteorologists have known for years that the pattern of the polar vortex determines how much cold air escapes from the Arctic and makes its way to the U.S. during the winter.”
Steam Fog Streaming from the Great Lakes|
January 9, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory
“A swirling mass of Arctic air moved south into the continental United States in early January 2014. On January 3, the air mass began breaking off from the polar vortex, a semi-permanent low-pressure system with a center around Canada’s Baffin Island. The frigid air was pushed south into the Great Lakes region by the jet stream, bringing abnormally cold temperatures to many parts of Canada and the central and eastern United States.
When the cold air passed over the relatively warm waters of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, the contrast in temperatures created a visual spectacle. As cold, dry air moved over the lakes, it mixed with warmer, moister air rising off the lake surfaces, transforming the water vapor into fog—a phenomenon known as steam fog.” Quoted from NASA’s Earth Observatory.
The Polar Vortex|
January 7, 2014 | Los Angeles Times
A moving mass of dense, cold, Arctic air known as a “polar vortex” is bringing severe temperatures and strong winds to much of the United States and as far south as the Gulf of Mexico.
The Greenland Ice Sheet Holds an Unusual Aquifer|
January 1, 2014 | The University of Utah
“Researchers have discovered a new aquifer in the Greenland Ice Sheet that holds liquid water all year long in the otherwise perpetually frozen winter landscape. [...] The reservoir is known as a “perennial firn aquifer” because water persists within the firn – layers of snow and ice that don’t melt for at least one season.” Quoted from The University of Utah press release.
Prirazlomnoye: The First Russian Field in the Arctic Ocean|
December 29, 2013 | The Moscow Times
Gazprom, the oil company controlled by the Russian government has announced that the first production is being taken from the Prirazlomnoye oil field in the Russian Arctic Ocean.
Message in a Bottle in the Canadian Arctic|
December 29, 2013 | The Chronicle Herald
Messages in a bottle are usually found at beaches, however, one was recently found in a rock cairn on Ward Hunt Island, the closest land point in Canada to the North Pole. The message was dated 1959 and asked the finder to help document evidence of climate change.
The Arctic Ocean as a Carbon Sink and Carbon Dioxide Source|
December 4, 2013 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“While the Arctic Ocean is largely a carbon sink, researchers find parts are also a source of atmospheric carbon dioxide.” Quoted from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology article.
Natural Gas Flaring from Space|
October 30, 2013 | Geology.com
We have posted views of Earth from NASA’s Suomi satellite that show night illumination and natural gas flaring for oil industry sites in the Bakken Formation, Eagle Ford Shale, Alaska North Slope, United States Gulf, Mexican Gulf, Venezuela Orinoco Field, Brazil offshore basins, North Sea, North Africa onshore, west Africa offshore, and Persian Gulf.
Shale Oil to Hudson Bay and on to Europe??|
October 27, 2013 | E & E Publishing
E & E Publishing has a new article titled: Moving shale oil across melting tundra: huge and potentially risky business. It concerns a proof-of-concept transport of oil by rail from wells in the Bakken Shale and Alberta Oil sands to a Hudson Bay port for shipment to Europe. This is another alternative for a failing Keystone XL pipeline effort.
Potential 21st Century Temperature, Precipitation Changes|
October 19, 2013 | NASA
“Models used by the IPCC estimate global temperature and precipitation patterns will change throughout the 21st century given current rising greenhouse gas levels. This video depicts a scenario in which carbon dioxide concentrations reach 670 parts per million by 2100, up from around 400 ppm today.” Quoted from the NASA video release.
Enormous Ice Sheets Scoured the Arctic Ocean Floor|
October 11, 2013 | Alfred Wegener Institute
“We knew of such scour marks from places like the Antarctic and Greenland. They arise when large ice sheets become grounded on the ocean floor and then scrape over the ground like a plane with dozens of blades as they flow. The remarkable feature of our new map is that it indicates very accurately right off that there were four or more generations of ice masses, which in the past 800,000 years moved from the East Siberian Sea in a north-easterly direction far into the deep Artic Ocean.” Quoted from the Alfred Wegener Institute press release.
Rapid Ocean Acidification in the Arctic|
September 17, 2013 | USGS
“Acidification of the Arctic Ocean is occurring faster than projected. The increase in rate is being blamed on rapidly melting sea ice, a process that may have important consequences for health of the Arctic ecosystem.” Quoted from the USGS Newsroom.
Climate Change and Extreme Weather|
September 9, 2013 | National Geographic
A National Geographic article titled: Scientists Weigh Climate Change Role in 2012 Weather explores the possibility that human-induced climate change might have contributed to Hurricane Sandy, drought in the Midwest or melting arctic ice.
Canyon Beneath Greenland Ice is 460 Miles Long|
September 1, 2013 | NASA
“Hidden for all of human history, a 460 mile long canyon has been discovered below Greenland’s ice sheet. Using radar data from NASA’s Operation IceBridge and other airborne campaigns, scientists led by a team from the University of Bristol found the canyon runs from near the center of the island northward to the fjord of the Petermann Glacier.” Quoted from the NASA video release.
Plumbing Under the Greenland Ice Sheet|
August 27, 2013 | National Science Foundation
“Scientists’ understanding of how Greenland Ice Sheet melt water travels in passages along the bedrock below fails to account for some key processes. This, in turn may be affecting their assessment of how ice sheets respond to climate change.” Quoted from the National Science Foundation press release.
$60T Methane Time Bomb in the Arctic|
July 25, 2013 | Erasmus University Rotterdam
“Economic modelling shows that the methane emissions caused by shrinking sea ice from just one area of the Arctic could come with a global price tag of 60 trillion dollars – the size of the world economy in 2012.” Quoted from the Erasmus University Rotterdam press release.
Related: What is Methane Hydrate?
Exxon to Invest $3.2 Billion in the Russian Arctic|
June 28, 2013 | FuelFix.com
In a joint venture with Rosneft (the Russian state oil company), Exxon will invest $3.2 billion in exploration efforts in the Russian Arctic and Black Sea.
The Permafrost Timebomb?|
June 13, 2013 | NASA
Over hundreds of thousands of years the Arctic permafrost has accumulated an enormous store of organic carbon. As it thaws from climate change the plant debris will decay and carbon dioxide and methane will be release into the atmosphere. Permafrost contains at least 4x more carbon than fossil fuel burning has produced since 1850.
Cloning a Russian Mammoth?|
June 4, 2013 | Deutsche Welle
A well-preserved woolly mammoth with liquid blood has been found in the Russian Arctic. Now Russian and South Korean researchers are talking about attempting to produce a clone.