Yet the Arctic is warming up to four times as fast as the rest of the planet, making permafrost thaw so rapidly that it’s gouging holes across the landscape , releasing carbon.
“If you don’t have water, you’re not going to get very far.” Making sense of that subglacial hydrology is especially important for researchers racing to model particularly precarious regions of ice, like the Thwaites Glacier, a few hundred miles away from Whillans.
As the Arctic warms four times as fast as the rest of the planet, permafrost is thawing at an alarming rate, dragging down whatever’s at the surface or buckling anything that’s buried—roads, railways, pipelines, sewers, electrical transmission lines.
“We know from other cold areas in the world, including the Arctic, that things growing on the hulls of ships absolutely do get transported from place to place, and it is one of the major sources of marine introductions around the world,” McCarthy told Ars.
In the past 70 years, wildfires have burned 3 percent of the landscape but are responsible for 10 percent of thermokarst formation.
While AI also requires complex data and a lot of initial computing power, once an algorithm is trained on the right amount and kind of data, it can detect patterns in climate conditions more quickly than physics-based models, according to Thomas Anderson, a data scientist at the British Antarctic Survey who developed an AI ice forecast called IceNet.
“Most of the communities don't have the facilities to do proper plastic recycling,” says Susanna Fuller, vice president of operations and projects for Oceans North, an environmental organization that earlier this year published a groundbreaking report examining waste in Arctic Canada.
I visited the Igloolik community radio station, Nipivut Nunatinnii “Our Voice at Home,” and had them run an announcement that I was in town and looking for stories about water and climate change.
“The 2020 heat wave in the Russian Arctic shows how—even at high latitudes—really warm weather conditions can develop that can lead to fires that burn intensely and can grow to be very large,” says Isla Myers-Smith, an ecologist at the University of Edinburgh who studies the region but wasn’t involved in this new work.
Whatever the purpose, scientists know this for certain: The Arctic region, which the narwhals call home, is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, and by analyzing these tusks, researchers can glean surprisingly detailed insights into how the animals are dealing with catastrophic change.
“We don’t know anything about king penguins at Martillo Island,” says Sami Dodino, a penguinologist at Argentinian scientific institute CADIC.Ushuaia, right at the southern tip of Argentina, is known fondly as “The End of the World.” Travel around 1,000 km south and the next place you reach is Antarctica (although not before passing through another settlement on the Chilean side of the Beagle Channel, Puerto Williams—“Beyond the End of the World”).
The ship leaves Wellington and heads south with 20 science staff and 19 crew on board to learn more about key environmental and biological processes in the Ross Sea. Voyage leader and fisheries scientist Dr Richard O’Driscoll says this is the third in a series of voyages focused on providing baseline information about the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area (MPA) established in 2017.
A massive Antarctic iceberg is headed straight for South Georgia Island, a remote outpost in the southern Atlantic Ocean that is home to millions of seabirds, penguins, and seals that may find their route to the sea blocked if the Delaware-sized chunk of ice gets stranded near their breeding grounds.
Ocean temperatures in the area recently climbed to more than 5 C above average, following a record breaking heat wave and the unusually early decline of last winter’s sea ice.The downward trend is likely to continue until the Arctic has its first ice-free summer, said Meier.
Researchers operating special ship-mounted sonar gear found a series of 25-mile-wide channels in the seafloor that bring warm water to the base of the Thwaites and Pine Island Glaciers.Together, they revealed massive seafloor channels moving warm water to the base of the glacier.
Satellite images have revealed 11 previously unknown emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica, boosting the number of known colonies of the imperilled birds by 20 percent.Philip Trathan, also at BAS, said: “The new breeding sites are all in locations where recent model projections suggest emperor penguins will decline.
Now that scientists know the Arctic is laced with microplastics blown in from Europe, and now that this new work has modeled that route of transport in fine detail, they are concerned that synthetic particles might be darkening snow and ice, accelerating melting.
New measurements from the ocean under the centre of the Ross Ice Shelf have significantly improved our understanding of the complex processes that drive melting in Antarctica.
But those currents may be changing because more melting ice is injecting the Arctic Ocean with freshwater, which is less dense than saltwater, and therefore floats above it.
These neutrinos that Anita was searching for would be classified among the most energetic particles in the universe, which physicists believe are produced by the same processes that generate jets of charged particles called ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays.
The bone of a steppe bison, a large Arctic ungulate that went extinct about 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, rests in the hard peat.
NIWA researchers have helped unlock information trapped in ancient air samples from Greenland and Antarctica that shows the amount of methane humans are emitting into the atmosphere from fossil fuels has been vastly underestimated.
But step into the Martian-like dry valleys and you’ll be treading on a bustling community of tiny organisms, like nematode worms and ultra-hardy water bears and mites.“Really, that's the charismatic megafauna of continental Antarctica,” says evolutionary ecologist Byron Adams of Brigham Young University, who is currently surveying life on the continent.
Samsung is unveiling and Antarctica is ailing, but first: a cartoon about marriage in the age of social media .Here's the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.