Scientists believe that global sea levels could rise far more than predicted, due to accelerating melting in Greenland and Antarctica.
“When the symbol gets bigger than the region itself and people don’t realize that the polar bear is just one piece of a whole diverse web of life in the Arctic, then it can become almost a barrier.”
Receding ice decreases the Earth’s overall reflectivity, making the Arctic darker and therefore absorbing even more heat.
There’s enough water locked up in Greenland’s ice sheet to raise seas worldwide by 20 feet. While it may take centuries to fully melt, scientists are concerned that we have a limited time to act to prevent the climate from locking in the ice sheet’s demise.
According to independent analyses by NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880. This makes 2016 the third year in a row to set a new record for global average surface temperatures. Heat records for the Arctic were also broken, and to a stunning degree. According to satellite data, the 2016 Arctic sea ice minimum extent, is effectively tied with 2007, for the second-lowest yearly minimum in the satellite records.
The average westerner’s carbon emissions destroy 30 square metres of Arctic sea ice every year, according to new research.
Conditions that are melting Arctic permafrost there recently thawed the carcasses of deer felled by anthrax some 75 years ago, when World War II raged. Warmer temperatures then reactivated the infectious disease, which can survive in hibernation for decades. More than three dozen people have been hospitalized, half of them children, though with no confirmed cases. Making matters worse, a heatwave combined with the anthrax outbreak may have killed more than 1,200 deer. New ones.
As apocalyptic as this development may seem, it’s perhaps the least worrisome byproduct of warming near the top of the Earth, which is heating up the fastest. Retreating ice and softening permafrost both in the Arctic and elsewhere have already begun to yield other curiosities and dangers, some of which can do a lot more damage than a pile of dead deer.
Polar bears rely on sea ice — using it as a place to rest and hunt. Unfortunately, there seems to be less and less of it every year.
Scientists with the University of Alberta, Climate Change Canada and the Zoological Society of San Diego tracked the movements of polar bears in the Beaufort Sea and Hudson Bay. The data suggests the predators tend to swim greater distances as ice disappears.
Here’s a climate twist: If your winter has been brutally cold in Tokyo or Toledo in recent years, you can thank global warming in the Arctic, a new study suggests.
Rising temperatures in the waters north of Russia and Alaska are changing atmospheric circulation patterns and may play a “central role” in record-breaking winters that have hit East Asia and North America, researchers from South Korea and the U.K. wrote in a study published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience.