Arctic climate more vulnerable than thought, maybe linked to Antarctic ice-sheet behavior

ScienceDaily: Oceanography News

Arctic warming linked to combination of reduced sea ice and global atmospheric warming

Posted: 06 Jul 2012 01:42 PM PDT

The combination of melting sea ice and global atmospheric warming are contributing to the high rate of warming in the Arctic, where temperatures are increasing up to four times faster than the global average, a new study has shown.

Seabirds study shows plastic pollution reaching surprising levels off coast of Pacific Northwest

Posted: 04 Jul 2012 09:43 AM PDT

Plastic pollution off the northwest coast of North America is reaching the level of the notoriously polluted North Sea, according to a new study.

Pollutants could pose health risks for five sea turtle species

Posted: 28 Jun 2012 01:46 PM PDT

Researchers have measured for the first time concentrations of 13 compounds in five different endangered species of sea turtles that approach the amounts known to cause adverse health effects in other animals.

Saving the Baltic Sea: Geo-engineering efforts to mix oxygen into the Deep Baltic should be abandoned, expert says

Posted: 28 Jun 2012 11:56 AM PDT

Over the last decade, an average of 60,000 square kilometers of the Baltic Sea bottom has suffered from hypoxia without enough oxygen to support its normal ecosystem. Several large-scale geoengineering interventions are currently on the table as proposed solutions to this problem. Researchers are calling for geoengineering efforts that mix oxygen into the Deep Baltic to be abandoned.

Potential for tsunamis in northwestern California documented

Posted: 27 Jun 2012 11:25 AM PDT

Using studies that span the last three decades, scientists have compiled the first evidence-based comprehensive study of the potential for tsunamis in Northwestern California.

Atlantic heat constrains Arctic sea ice extent

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 03:50 AM PDT

The Arctic sea ice cover is a sensitive indicator of climate variability and change. Researchers have for the first time quantified how Atlantic heat influences the sea ice extent in the Barents Sea, where the retreat in Arctic winter sea ice is the most pronounced.

Greenland ice may exaggerate magnitude of 13,000-year-old deep freeze

Posted: 25 Jun 2012 01:29 PM PDT

Ice samples pulled from nearly a mile below the surface of Greenland glaciers have long served as a historical thermometer, adding temperature data to studies of the local conditions up to the Northern Hemisphere’s climate. But the method — comparing the ratio of oxygen isotopes buried as snow fell over millennia — may not be such a straightforward indicator of air temperature.

Significant sea-level rise in a two-degree warmer world

Posted: 24 Jun 2012 10:49 AM PDT

Even if global warming is limited to two degrees Celsius, global mean sea level could continue to rise, reaching between 1.5 and four meters above present-day levels by the year 2300, with the best estimate being at 2.7 meters, according to a new study. However, emissions reductions that allow warming to drop below 1.5 degrees Celsius could limit the rise strongly.

Remote Siberian lake holds clues to Arctic — and Antarctic — climate change

Posted: 21 Jun 2012 04:59 PM PDT

Intense warm climate intervals — warmer than scientists thought possible — have occurred in the Arctic over the past 2.8 million years. That result comes from the first analyses of the longest sediment cores ever retrieved on land. They were obtained from beneath remote, ice-covered Lake El’gygytgyn in the northeastern Russian Arctic.

Arctic climate more vulnerable than thought, maybe linked to Antarctic ice-sheet behavior

Posted: 21 Jun 2012 12:15 PM PDT

First analyses of the longest sediment core ever collected on land in the Arctic provide dramatic, “astonishing” documentation that intense warm intervals, warmer than scientists thought possible, occurred there over the past 2.8 million years. Further, these extreme inter-glacial warm periods correspond closely with times when parts of Antarctica were ice-free and also warm, suggesting strong inter-hemispheric climate connectivity. The Polar Regions are much more vulnerable to change than once believed, they add.

New deglaciation data opens door for earlier First Americans migration

Posted: 21 Jun 2012 11:13 AM PDT

A new study of lake sediment cores from Sanak Island in the western Gulf of Alaska suggests that deglaciation there from the last Ice Age took place as much as 1,500 to 2,000 years earlier than previously thought, opening the door for earlier coastal migration models for the Americas.

Melting sea ice threatens emperor penguins

Posted: 20 Jun 2012 08:33 AM PDT

At nearly four feet tall, the Emperor penguin is Antarctica’s largest sea bird — and thanks to films like “March of the Penguins” and “Happy Feet,” it’s also one of the continent’s most iconic. If global temperatures continue to rise, however, the Emperor penguins in Terre Adélie, in East Antarctica may eventually disappear, according to a new study.

May 2012 global temperatures second warmest on record

Posted: 18 Jun 2012 12:27 PM PDT

The globally-averaged temperature for May 2012 marked the second warmest May since record keeping began in 1880. May 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive May and 327th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average.

Northeast Passage soon free from ice again?

Posted: 13 Jun 2012 10:31 AM PDT

The Northeast Passage, the sea route along the North coast of Russia, is expected to be free of ice early again this summer. The forecast was made by sea ice physicists based on a series of measurement flights over the Laptev Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean.

Arctic ice melt is setting stage for severe winters

Posted: 06 Jun 2012 10:24 AM PDT

A dramatic melt-off of Arctic sea ice due to climate change is hitting closer to home than millions of Americans might think – triggering a domino effect leading to increased odds of severe winter weather outbreaks in the Northern Hemisphere’s middle latitudes, according to new research.

Exceptional rise in ancient sea levels revealed

Posted: 05 Jun 2012 07:28 AM PDT

Since the end of the last ice age 21,000 years ago, our planet has seen ocean levels rise by 120 meters to reach their current levels. This increase has not been constant, rather punctuated by rapid accelerations, linked to massive outburst floods from the ice caps. The largest increase, known by paleoclimatologists as ‘Melt-Water Pulse 1A’, proved to be enigmatic in many respects. A study recently revealed the mysteries of this event, without doubt one of the most important in the last deglaciation.

Grazing snails rule the waves

Posted: 31 May 2012 07:22 AM PDT

Coral reefs and seashores largely look the way they do because large fish and urchins eat most of the seaweed that might otherwise cover them, but a major new study has found that the greatest impact of all comes from an unexpected quarter — small marine snails.

El Niño weather and climate change threaten survival of baby leatherback sea turtles

Posted: 24 May 2012 06:29 AM PDT

When critically endangered leatherback turtle hatchlings dig out of their nests, they enter a world filled with threats to survival. Now, Drexel University researchers have found that the climate conditions at the nesting beach affect the early survival of turtle eggs and hatchlings. They predict, based on projections from multiple models, that egg and hatchling survival will drop by half in the next 100 years as a result of global climate change.

Arctic seabirds adapt to climate change

Posted: 15 May 2012 06:39 AM PDT

The planet is warming up, especially at the poles. How do organisms react to this rise in temperatures? Biologists have now shown that little auks, the most common seabirds in the Arctic, are adapting their fishing behavior to warming surface waters in the Greenland Sea. So far, their reproductive and survival rates have not been affected. However, further warming could threaten the species.

Potential instability in West Antarctic Ice Sheet from newly discovered basin size of New Jersey

Posted: 10 May 2012 07:05 AM PDT

Scientists have uncovered a previously unknown sub-glacial basin nearly the size of New Jersey beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet near the Weddell Sea. The location, shape and texture of the mile-deep basin suggest that this region of the ice sheet is at a much greater risk of collapse than previously thought.
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