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19 September 2017

Researchers take on atmospheric effects of Arctic snowmelt

Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute are exploring the changing chemistry of the Arctic’s atmosphere to help answer the question of what happens as snow and ice begin to melt. The research is concerned with the Arctic’s reactive bromine season, the period of time when bromine is consuming ozone, producing bromine monoxide and oxidizing mercury.

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31 August 2017

Record-low 2016 Antarctic sea ice due to ‘perfect storm’ of tropical, polar conditions

While winter sea ice in the Arctic is declining so dramatically that ships can now navigate those waters without any icebreaker escort, the scene in the Southern Hemisphere is very different. Sea ice area around Antarctica has actually increased slightly in winter — that is, until last year. A new study shows the lack of Antarctic sea ice in 2016 was in part due to a unique one-two punch from atmospheric conditions both in the tropical Pacific Ocean and around the South Pole.

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8 August 2017

Tiny ocean waves could make large ice shelves crumble (plus VIDEO)

Small ocean waves could play a bigger role in breaking up ice shelves than tsunamis or other large waves, a new study suggests. A new study examining vibrations in Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf finds small waves continuously impacting the ice shelf may create enough strain to extend existing cracks in the ice and potentially create new ones. An ocean wave of 1 centimeter (0.5 inches) in height can cause vibrations that repeatedly move the ice more than 20 centimeters (8 inches).

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7 July 2017

Greenland’s summer ocean bloom likely fueled by iron

Iron particles catching a ride on glacial meltwater washed out to sea by drifting currents is likely fueling a recently discovered summer algal bloom off the southern coast of Greenland, a new study finds. Microalgae, also known as phytoplankton, are plant-like, marine microorganisms that form the base of the food web in many parts of the ocean.

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6 June 2017

Study sheds new light on future of key Antarctic glacier

Thwaites Glacier’s ice loss may not progress as quickly as thought By Carol Rasmussen The melt rate of West Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier is an important concern, because this glacier alone is currently responsible for about 1 percent of global sea level rise. A new study finds that Thwaites’ ice loss will continue, but not quite as rapidly as previous studies have estimated. The new study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, …

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25 May 2017

Scientists discover new mode of ice loss in Greenland

A new study finds that during Greenland’s hottest summers on record, 2010 and 2012, the ice in Rink Glacier on the island’s west coast didn’t just melt faster than usual, it slid through the glacier’s interior in a gigantic wave, like a warmed freezer pop sliding out of its plastic casing. The wave persisted for four months, with ice from upstream continuing to move down to replace the missing mass for at least four more months.

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8 May 2017

Bands of extra-tough ice slow down cracks in Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf

The stability of the Antarctic Peninsula’s largest ice shelf may depend upon stripes of extremely strong ice running down its spine, a new study finds.

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26 April 2017

Sea level rising faster now than during 1990s, new study shows

Global mean sea level is rising 25 percent faster now than it did during the late 20th century largely due to increased melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, a new study shows. Satellites first started measuring sea level rise in 1993. The new study revisits how well these measurements agree with independently observed changes in the various components contributing to sea level rise.

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13 April 2017

Researchers unravel drivers of large iceberg movement

Researchers have succeeded in modeling how Antarctic icebergs drift through the Southern Ocean, and in identifying the physical factors behind their movement and their melting. Which factors are most important tends to depend on the size of the iceberg in question

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7 April 2017

Scientists uncover isotopic fingerprint of nitrous oxide emissions from Arctic tundra

A new study presents, for the first time, the isotopic fingerprint of nitrous oxide produced by Arctic soils. The finding opens new avenues for predicting future trends in atmospheric nitrous oxide as well as in identifying climate change mitigation actions in the Arctic, a region that is particularly sensitive to climate change.

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