The Arctic Ocean Is Becoming More Like the Atlantic Ocean

 

By Brian Kahn, Climate Centrall

The changes are already visible in the region, which has had largely ice-free summers since 2011.

 

The Arctic is undergoing an astonishingly rapid transition as climate change overwhelms the region. New research sheds light on the latest example of the changes afoot, showing that parts of the Arctic Ocean are becoming more like the Atlantic. Warm waters are streaming into the ocean north of Scandinavia and Russia, altering ocean productivity and chemistry. That’s making sea ice recede and kickstarting a feedback loop that could make summer ice a thing of the past.

22,000 years of history evaporates after freezer failure melts Arctic ice cores

Around 13% of cache of ice cylinders extracted from glaciers in Canadian Arctic exposed to high heat in new storage facility at University of Alberta

Within them sits some 80,000 years of history, offering researchers tantalising clues about climate change and the Earth’s past. At least that was the case – until the precious cache of Arctic ice cores was hit by warming temperatures.

A freezer malfunction at the University of Alberta in Edmonton has melted part of the world’s largest collection of ice cores from the Canadian Arctic, reducing some of the ancient ice into puddles.

“For every ice-core facility on the planet, this is their No1 nightmare,” said glaciologist Martin Sharp.

The ice cores – long cylinders extracted from glaciers – contain trapped gasses and particles that offer a glimpse into atmospheric history. 

Climate change could destroy far more Arctic permafrost than we thought — which would worsen climate change

By Chelsea Harvey

Climate change could cause another 4 million square kilometers, or about 1.5 million square miles, of permafrost to disappear with every additional degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, of warming, a new study suggests.

The estimate, which was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, is about 20 percent higher than previous studies, the authors said.

The study suggests that if the Earth’s temperatures warm 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, higher than their preindustrial levels — the maximum amount of warming nations around the world have aimed to allow under the Paris climate agreement — more than 2.5 million square miles of permafrost could disappear.

The Case for Geoengineering Our Way to a Cooler Arctic

By Brad Badelt, Arctic Deeply  

Plans to tinker with the planet’s atmosphere to combat climate change are terrifying, say researchers. They may also be necessary, given our sluggish efforts to curb carbon emissions.

“IT’S POSSIBLY THE worst thing that could be done to address climate change, but we actually need to take it seriously.” That’s how Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, described solar geoengineering, the controversial idea of reflecting away more of the sun’s rays to slow global warming.

Geoengineering has long been on the fringes of climate science. Critics have argued that tinkering with the planet at such a large scale is far too risky, and could have disastrous consequences. But with global temperatures continuing to rise, a growing number of scientists are supporting research in the contentious field. Geoengineering, they argue, might be the only hope of avoiding a climate catastrophe.

Strong Arctic winds could harm polar bears' hunting ability

Polar bears may be at further risk from climate change because stronger winds projected in the Arctic could damage their ability to hunt by smell, research suggests.

The apex predator is already threatened by melting sea ice destroying hunting grounds, and a new study of how the bears use their nose to seek prey questions whether the technique could be affected by the weather.

A team at the University of Alberta in Canada found that the massive carnivores travel "crosswind" to give them a better chance of sniffing out prey before they home in for the kill.

The scientists found that the technique was most frequently used when winds were slow and "it is easier to localise the source of a certain smell", and at night when bears are less able to rely on sight.

Lead author Ron Togunov said: "Wind speeds in the Arctic are projected to increase, potentially making olfaction more difficult.

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