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An iceberg floating in the Amundsen Sea, where glaciers are shedding ice faster than in any other part of Antarctica. Photo: NASA / Jane Peterson via Wikimedia Commons.

Antarctica: warming ocean trebles glacial melt

Tim Radford

17th December 2014

As temperatures rise in the Southern Ocean, warmer currents are eroding the Antarctic ice sheet from below, writes Tim Radford - causing the melting rate to treble in two decades to 83 billion tonnes a year. more...
John Nissen speaking at AMEG's COP20 press conference. Photo: still from video on unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/ .

The melting Arctic - John Nissen's emergency call to action

Tomás d'Ornellas

15th December 2015

The Earth faces an imminent crisis caused by runaway Arctic warming. So says climate campaigner John Nissen, who travelled to COP20 in Lima to impress the dangers on delegates - and urge them to emergency action to cool the Arctic before it's too late. Tomás d'Ornellas, editor of Tecnews.pe, met him there ...
more...
The possible lengthening of ice-free periods may affect polar bears before the end of the century. Photo: Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons.

With melting Arctic ice, Canada's polar bears face wipe-out by 2100

Tim Radford

6th December 2014

The expected melting of sea ice in Canada's Arctic Archipelago will progressively render huge areas unable to support viable polar bears populations, writes Tim Radford. By 2100 the polar bears could be pushed out altogether. more...
The cartographic submarine at work. Photo: WHOI.

Antarctic sea ice expands to record extent - and it's deeper than we thought

Edward Hanna

28th November 2014

While the Arctic melts, Antarctica's ice has spread to record extents in three consecutive years, writes Edward Hanna. But is the news as good as it looks? Yes, if indications from a robot submarine that the ice is thicker than expected are supported by further evidence. It may just be that Antarctica's ice is more resilient than scientists dared to hope. more...
This record snowfall is what the melting Arctic brought to Cheektowaga, New York yesterday, 20th November 2014. Photo: Anthony Quintano via Flickr.

Global warming - you must be joking! How melting Arctic ice is driving harsh winters

Nick Breeze

21st November 2014

The very least 'global warming' could do for us is to give us warmer winters, right? Wrong, writes Nick Breeze, who met climate scientist and meteorologist Jennifer Francis in his attempt to understand the complex interactions of jet stream, polar vortex, the melting Arctic, and the extreme snowfall that's hitting the northeast US right now. more...
Building on existing cooperation to protect the fragile Arctic environment and its wildlife could be the key to forestalling a new Cold War over Arctic resources. Photo: Walrus, by Colin Jagoe via Flickr.

Arctic chill, red hot politics - as the ice melts, a new Cold War can still be avoided

Conn Hallinan

25th November 2014

As the Arctic ice retreats, a fragile but resource-rich landscape replete with oil, minerals, fish and islands is opening up, writes Conn Hallinan. A new land-rush is on, and it could all lead to war. But it can be avoided provided states respect the rule of law and build on existing regimes of cooperation to protect the precious Arctic environment. more...
Is this the kind of Arctic you want, cross-crossed by shipping, complete with oil rigs, mining, industrial fishing and pollution? If not, get behind the Arctic Declaration! Photo: epsdave via Pixabay.

We must keep the Arctic clean, wild and free!

Professor Robert Spicer

17th November 2014

The Arctic is a special place, teeming with life, but it is under threat like never before, writes Robert Spicer - not just from climate change, but from oil drilling, industrial fishing and shipping, as receding ice creates now commercial opportunities. We must designate an Arctic Sanctuary where nature can reign undisturbed. more...
Melting point: researchers study Arctic sea ice and melt ponds on the Chuckchi Sea. Photo: Kathryn Hansen / NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

Arctic ice loss sends Alaskan temperatures soaring

Alex Kirby

22nd October 2014

Scientists analysing more than three decades of weather data for the northern Alaska outpost of Barrow have recorded an astonishing 7°C temperature rise, writes Alex Kirby - and the likely cause is the decline in Arctic sea ice. more...
It was Greenpeace wot won it. Image: Greenpeace.

Greenpeace victory - LEGO ends Shell promotion link

The Ecologist

9th October 2014

Following a 1 million signature Greenpeace petition, LEGO has pledged not to renew a 50-year link with the oil company Shell. The move comes as Shell bids to renew its Arctic drilling in 2015, and following revelations that it is trying to dilute environmental regulation in Arctic waters. more...
Greenpeace action at Shell's petrol station in Davos, January 2013. Photo: Greenpeace Switzerland via Flickr.

Arctic madness: oil majors plead for lower safety standards

Mike G / DeSmogBlog

6th October 2014

Oil majors are gearing up to exploit Arctic oil, writes Mike G. But they don't want to carry the costs of all the safety equipment the US Government is demanding to protect the fragile Arctic environment from spills. And they're reluctant to give up the use of toxic chemical dispersants. more...
The Indigenous Peoples of Russia's Siberian region are among those opposed to oil development in the Arctic. Is that why officials blocked their representatives from attending the indigenous summit in New York? Photo: Irina Kazanskaya via Flickr.

Russia: officials block indigenous leaders from UN Assembly

The Ecologist

26th September 2014

Why so few Russian representatives at the UN's World Conference on Indigenous Peoples? Officials prevented activists - some opposing Arctic oil development - from leaving the country, damaging passports and detaining them so they missed their planes. more...
The view down the borehole through half a mile of the Antarctic ice to Lake Whillans. Photo: Reed Scherer / Northern Illinois University.

Abounding life! 4,000 microbes thrive in Antarctic lake beneath the ice

Helen Thompson

15th September 2014

Beneath half a mile of ice scientists have uncovered the first hard evidence of a life in a subglacial lake, writes Helen Thompson. And not just life, but a complex ecosystem comprising thousands of microbial species. Could Jupiter's frozen moon Europa be hiding lakes like this? more...

arctic: 1/25 of 93
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Even in the 19th century, lead from Broken Hill smelters was polluting Antarctica. NSW Records Office, CC BY.

Lead pollution beat Amundsen and Scott to the South Pole - and it's still pouring down today

Joe McConnell

2nd August 2014

Ice core analysis shows that lead pollution in Antarctica took off in the 1880s as mining at Broken Hill, Australia, took off. Lead residues have fallen from their late 20th century peak, writes Joe McConnell - but they are still four times higher than in pre-industrial times. more...
Water depth marker in the dried out bed of Lake Albert, South Australia. Photo: Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons.

Australia's drought - yes, it's climate change

Tim Radford

18th July 2014

Australia's prime minister thinks climate change is 'crap' and has just abolished his country's carbon-pricing system. But scientists say that it's rising levels of CO2 that are leaving the south of the country parched and sweltering - and it's only going to get worse. more...
Oil painting by John Wood (1798-1849) of British whalers circa 1840. Photo: Lee and Juliet Fulger Fund  / Wikimedia Commons.

Whalers' log books confirm - Arctic sea ice is retreating

Tim Radford

9th July 2014

Log books from British whaling ships more than 200 years ago have given new insights into the history of the Arctic sea ice, reports Tim Radford. A new study reveals that the scale of ice melt in the Arctic over the last few decades is new and unprecedented. more...
Image: 'Gaia's surrender' by Jef Sadi via Flickr.

Gaia Theory - an Arctic warning

Laurence Rose

2nd July 2014

As composer Jonathan Dove prepares for the premiere of his 'Gaia Theory' at the BBC Proms this month, he explains to Laurence Rose how his recent work has been inspired by a wake-up call - right from the very top of the world. more...
Did Green campaigners carry out this pipeline bombing in Ukraine on June 17th 2014? Of course not - so how come they are under fire by NATO and Russia? Photo: from YouTube / http://youtu.be/oAVJ3udesF8 .

GreenScare 2.0 - campaigners under fire in the new Cold War

Alexander Reid Ross

28th June 2014

Superpower confrontations and growing tensions in Ukraine, the Middle East and the Arctic are all part of a new Cold War, writes Alexander Reid Ross - and this time Green campaigners are under attack by both Russian authorities and NATO ... more...
The Arctic Red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus, is causing ecological havoc as it devours its way down Norway's coast. It can reach a leg-span of 1.8m. Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / Wikimedia Commons.

The Arctic shipping boom - a bonanza for invasive exotic species

Natasha Geiling / Smithsonian

27th June 2014

As the Arctic warms and its ice melts, growing numbers freight ships are reaping big savings from the 'Arctic short cut'. But this is creating a huge risk of invasive species spreading in ballast water and on hulls - disrupting both Arctic and temperate ecosystems. more...
The colours of the Sami flag painted on a board at the site of the mine. Photo: Alec Forss.

The resistance is growing! Sami reindeer herders fight giant iron mine

Alec Forss

12th June 2014

A remote corner of Sweden's Arctic forest has become a battleground, writes Alex Forss, over proposals for a huge iron mine that would occupy a key reindeer migration route. And with their cultural and economic survival under threat, it's a battle the Sami cannot afford to lose. more...
More of this to come ... the western rear end of Jetty East parking lot collapses under the storm surge from Hurricane Ike, 2008. Photo: Ed Hart via Flickr.

Florida's collapse will set in within a 30-year mortgage cycle

Harold R. Wanless

3rd June 2014

We are most certainly witnessing the onset of a rapid pulse of sea level rise, writes Harold R Wanless. And low lying areas - like southeast Florida - will be the first to know about it. So how come they're building there like there's no tomorrow? more...
Greenpeace International activists occupy Statoil contracted oil rig Transocean Spitsbergen to protest the company's plans to drill the northernmost well in the Norwegian Arctic at the Apollo Prospect of the Barents Sea, close to the Bear Island nature re

Greenpeace Arctic oil rig occupation 'may delay drilling'

The Ecologist

28th May 2014

Greenpeace activists are well into the second day of their occupation of an Arctic oil rig in the Barents Sea, which they say endangers the nearby Bear Island nature reserve. Statoil has conceded that drilling may have to be delayed. more...
Melting away: an aerial view of the margin of Greenland's threatened ice sheet. Photo: Hannes Grobe / Alfred Wegener Institute via Wikimedia Commons.

Greenland's glaciers 'more vulnerable' to rapid melting

Tim Radford

27th May 2014

Greenland's glaciers are more vulnerable to global warming than had previously been feared, reports Tim Radford, as ice bodies are undercut by seawater. The threat of rapidly rising sea levels just went up yet another notch. more...
Birth of an iceberg: a massive crack in West Antarctica’s Pine Island glacier. Photo: NASA Earth Observatory / Wikimedia Commons.

West Antarctic glaciers 'past the point of no return'

Tim Radford

23rd May 2014

The total collapse of glaciers in West Antarctica is 'inevitable', writes Tim Radford, as the southern hemisphere gets warmer and glaciers are undermined by seawater. The news has emerged from a new analysis of satellite data. more...

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