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nsidc.org


earthobservatory.nasa.gov: Disintegration of Iceberg A53a

www.physorg.com: New Greenland ice sheet data will impact climate change models

www.aftenposten.no: Huge grotto found under Norwegian glacier

www.cbc.ca: The Big Melt

nsidc.org Sep 2007: Arctic Sea Ice News Fall 2007

researchpages.net 08302007: Tipping points in the Earth system

www.gfdl.noaa.gov 09052006: Does the Arctic sea ice have a tipping point? (pdf)

Arctic losing long-term ice cover


London / Washington, March 18 2008 - The Arctic is losing its old, thick ice faster than in previous years, according to satellite data.
The loss has continued since the end of the Arctic summer, despite cold weather across the northern hemisphere.
www.bbc.co.uk: Arctic losing long-term ice cover
nsidc.org: Arctic Sea Ice News (8,2 mb)

Could Arctic ice melt spawn new kind of cold war?
Washington, March 9 2008 - With oil above $100 a barrel and Arctic ice melting faster than ever, some of the world's most powerful countries -- including the United States and Russia -- are looking north to a possible energy bonanza.
www.reuters.com: Could Arctic ice melt spawn new kind of cold war?
www.guardian.co.uk: Climate change may spark conflict with Russia, EU told

New Research Confirms Antarctic Thaw Fears
London / Washington, March 9 2008 - New research confirms that ice sheets in West Antarctica are thinning at a far faster rate than in past millennia. Although scientists are divided as to the cause of the melt, many feel it is directly related to climate change.
www.spiegel.de: New Research Confirms Antarctic Thaw Fears

Antarctic boulders may point to sea level rise
Oslo, February 29, 2008 - Boulders as big as soccer balls show that a thinning of West Antarctic glaciers has become 20 times faster in recent decades and may hold clues to future sea level rise, scientists said on Friday.
www.reuters.com: Antarctic boulders may point to sea level rise
www.reuters.com: Southern Ocean rise so far due to warming, not ice melts
today.uci.edu: Antarctic ice loss speeds up, nearly matches Greenland loss
www.antarctica.ac.uk: Rock studies help crack questions of glacier thinning in West Antarctica
www.antarctica.ac.uk: A doubling in snow accumulation in the Western Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctic glaciers surge to ocean
Antarctica, February 24, 2008 - UK scientists working in Antarctica have found some of the clearest evidence yet of instabilities in the ice of part of West Antarctica.
If the trend continues, they say, it could lead to a significant rise in global sea level.
The new evidence comes from a group of glaciers covering an area the size of Texas, in a remote and seldom visited part of West Antarctica.
The "rivers of ice" have surged sharply in speed towards the ocean.
bbc.co.uk: Antarctic glaciers surge to ocean

Greenland's Rising Air Temperatures Drive Ice Loss At Surface And Beyond


Melt water puddles on the Greenland ice sheet and drains through cracks to the surface below. This water lubricates the underlying bedrock, causing the ice to flow faster toward the sea. Click on the picture for a movie of the phenomenon. (Credit: NASA)

Washington DC (US), February 22, 2008 - Greenland's enormous ice sheet is home to enough ice to raise sea level by about 23 feet if the entire ice sheet were to melt into surrounding waters. Though the loss of the whole ice sheet is unlikely, loss from Greenland's ice mass has already contributed in part to 20th century sea level rise of about two millimeters per year, and future melt has the potential to impact people and economies across the globe. So NASA scientists used state-of-the-art NASA satellite technologies to explore the behavior of the ice sheet, revealing a relationship between changes at the surface and below.
www.enn.com: Greenland's Rising Air Temperatures Drive Ice Loss At Surface And Beyond
www.nasa.gov: Greenland's Rising Air Temperatures Drive Ice Loss at Surface and Beyond (+videos)
www.buffalo.edu: New Greenland Ice Sheet Data Will Impact Climate Change Models

Field Dispatch: Natural Habitat Antarctica Trip Pt.1
Antarctica, February 12, 2008 - "I am actually on my way - and I couldn't be more excited! Years of anticipation and hard work have finally paid off, and I'm headed to Antarctica. A world of ice and rock, water and sky, wind and cold. And, some of the richest, most unspoiled wildlife habitat on Planet Earth..."
www.enn.com: Natural Habitat Antarctica Trip Pt.1

Signs of Summer Thaw on the Antarctic Peninsula
Antarctica, February 5, 2008 - The tip of the Antarctic Peninsula showed dramatic seasonal changes in late January 2008. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured an image on January 24, 2008, when the fast ice—ice anchored to the shoreline—looked solidly frozen. Several days later, on January 30, 2008, the ice’s new blue hue suggested something had changed....
earthobservatory.nasa.gov: Signs of Summer Thaw on the Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctic ice riddle keeps sea-level secrets
Troll Station, Antarctica , January 31 2008 - A deep freeze holding 90 percent of the world's ice, Antarctica is one of the biggest puzzles in the debate on global warming with risks that any thaw could raise sea levels faster than U.N. projections.
www.reuters.com: Antarctic ice riddle keeps sea-level secrets

Antarctic Ice Loss Speeds Up, Nearly Matches Greenland Loss


Washington (DC/US), January 23 2008 — Ice loss in Antarctica increased by 75 percent in the last 10 years due to a speed-up in the flow of its glaciers and is now nearly as great as that observed in Greenland, according to a new, comprehensive study by NASA and university scientists.
www.jpl.nasa.gov: Antarctic Ice Loss Speeds Up, Nearly Matches Greenland Loss
earthobservatory.nasa.gov: Signs of Summer Thaw on the Antarctic Peninsula

Arctic ice-cap loss twice the size of France
Paris, (Fr), January 25, 2008 - The Arctic ice cap has shrunk by an area twice the size of France's land mass over the last two years, the Paris-based National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) said Wednesday. "The year 2008 promises to be a critical year on every level," said Jean-Claude Gascard, the body's research director and coordinator of European scientific mission Damocles, which is monitoring the effects of climate change across the Arctic.
www.reuters.com: Arctic ice-cap loss twice the size of France

Alarm bells ringing about Antarctic thaw: Norway PM
Troll Stayion, (Antarctica), January 20, 2008 - Alarm bells are ringing about risks of a quickening thaw of Antarctica that would drive up world sea levels, Norway's Prime Minister said on Sunday after a visit to the icy continent.
www.reuters.com: Antarctica melting: Alarm bells ringing about Antarctic thaw

Antarctic melting: the full picture could be more complex


London, 16 January 2008 - Recent reports claim that ice loss from the Antarctic is accelerating, leading to concerns that the rate of future sea level-rise has been underestimated. But the full picture could be more complex.
www.metoffice.gov.uk: Antarctica melting: the full picture could be more complex

Greenland thaw seen biggest in 50 years


An iceberg is pictured in Ilulissat fjord in Greenland August 16, 2007. Climate change has caused the greatest thaw of Greenland's ice in half a century, perhaps heralding a wider meltdown that would quicken a rise in world sea levels, scientists said on Tuesday. Click on the pictury for the story by Reuters

Oslo, January 15, 2008 - Climate change has caused the greatest thaw of Greenland's ice in half a century, perhaps heralding a wider meltdown that would quicken a rise in world sea levels, scientists said on Tuesday.
www.reuters.com: Greenland thaw seen biggest in 50 years

Loss of Antarctic ice has soared by 75 per cent in just 10 years
London, January 14, 2008 - Parts of the ice sheets covering Antarctica are melting faster than predicted, with the net loss of ice probably accelerating in recent years because of global warming, a study has found.
A satellite survey between 1996 and 2006 found that the net loss of ice from Antarctica rose by about 75 per cent as the movement of glaciers towards the sea speeded up.
environment.independent.co.uk: Loss of Antarctic ice has soared by 75 per cent in just 10 years
environment.independent.co.uk: Antarctica lost more ice in last 10 years: study

Antarctic ice loss speeding up


Antarctica is gaining in the middle, but loosing more at the edges

London, January 12, 2008 - Shrinking continent is losing ice faster today than a decade ago. A comprehensive study of Antarctica’s ice confirms that the polar cap is shrinking. In 2006 alone, Antarctica lost nearly 200 billion tonnes of ice, researchers say — the equivalent of a global sea level rise of more than half a millimetre. That’s 75% more than losses in 1996, they add.
www.nature.com: Antarctic ice loss speeding up

Older Arctic Sea Ice Replaced By Young, Thin Ice
Boulder (Col/US), January 13, 2008 - A new study by University of Colorado at Boulder researchers indicates older, multi-year sea ice in the Arctic is giving way to younger, thinner ice, making it more susceptible to record summer sea-ice lows like the one that occurred in 2007.
www.sciencedaily.com: Older Arctic Sea Ice Replaced By Young, Thin Ice

Glaciers grew even when alligators lived in Arctic
Oslo, January 10, 2008 - Giant glaciers formed about 90 million years ago when alligators thrived in the Arctic, overturning the belief that all ice melts in a "super greenhouse" climate, researchers said on Thursday.
www.reuters.com: Glaciers grew even when alligators lived in Arctic

Arctic ice melt Canada's top weather concern in 2007
Montreal, December 27, 2007 - The "shocking" record loss of Arctic sea ice was Canada's top weather event in 2007, Canada's environment ministry said Thursday.
www.terradaily.com: Arctic ice melt Canada's top weather concern in 2007

McCall glacier melt links the Arctic eras
London / Anchorage, December 25, 2007 - "Sometimes you'd just land and set up your equipment," recalls Carl Benson, "and the pilot sees clouds rolling in and says 'I'd better get out of here, do you want to come with me or do you want to stay'?
"So you push the 'plane round so they can take off, and you don't know when you're going to see them again."
Dr Benson is one of a band of scientists hardier than most who have spent decades working to understand the finer workings of glaciers.
news.bbc.co.uk: McCall glacier melt links the Arctic eras

Ancient Warming Caused Huge Spike in Temps, Study Says


A chart of temperature data for the past 65 milion years shows the sudden and brief spike known as the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM).
The spike may have been caused when vast icelike reserves of greenhouse gases melted in response to a small warming event, according to a new study that raises dire possibilities for Earth's current warming. Image by Robert A. Rohde/Global Warming Art under GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.2

Utrecht (NL), December 19, 2007 - What started out as a moderate global warm-up about 55 million years ago triggered a massive injection of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that sent temperatures skyrocketing, a new study says.
The finding suggests that today's temperature rise may just be priming the planet for a carbon belch of epic proportions.
news.nationalgeographic.com: Ancient Warming Caused Huge Spike in Temps, Study Says

Russians wake up on Svalbard


Lenin in Barentsburg

Barentsburg (SVA), December 17, 2007 - Russia is beefing up its presence on Svalbard, another sign that Moscow wants its presence felt in strategic Arctic areas.
www.aftenposten.no: Russians wake up on Svalbard

Notes from The Gathering #5: Arctic sea ice: is it tipped yet?
San Francisco, December 14, 2007 - The summer of 2007 was apocalyptic for Arctic sea ice. The coverage and thickness of sea ice in the Arctic has been declining steadily over the past few decades, but this year the ice lost an area about the size of Texas, reaching its minimum on about the 16th of September. Arctic sea ice seems to me the best and more imminent example of a tipping point in the climate system. A series of talks aimed to explain the reason for the meltdown.
www.realclimate.org: Arctic sea ice: is it tipped yet?

The Big Melt: Arctic sets records on all fronts


North-West passage fully open

San Francisco, December 14, 2007 - Scientists have detailed what was an extraordinary melting season in the Arctic during the summer of 2007.
The record withdrawal of sea ice has been well documented, but the region also hit a number of other firsts.
Some ocean temperature measurements were unprecedented, and 2007 also set a new record for melting snow over the Greenland ice sheet.
www.bbc.co.uk: Arctic sets records on all fronts
www.oc.nps.navy.mil: Naval Arctic Nodelling Effort
www.oc.nps.navy.mil / Wieslaw Maslowski: Toward Prediction of Environmental Arctic Change (pdf 4 mb)

Greenland Ice Sheet Melting at Record Rate
San Francisco, December 12, 2007 - The Greenland ice sheet melted at a record rate this year, the largest ever since satellite measurements began in 1979, a top climate scientist reported on Monday.
www.planetark.com: Greenland Ice Sheet Melting at Record Rate
www.reuters.com: Greenland ice sheet melting at record rate
www.realclimate.org: AGU–Dispatch #2
www.realclimate.org: AGU–Dispatch #1

Greenland melt accelerating, according to CU-Boulder study


Enlarge picture

San Francisco, December 12, 2007 - The 2007 melt extent on the Greenland ice sheet broke the 2005 summer melt record by 10 percent, making it the largest ever recorded there since satellite measurements began in 1979, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder climate scientist.
The melting increased by about 30 percent for the western part of Greenland from 1979 to 2006, with record melt years in 1987, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2005 and 2007, said CU-Boulder Professor Konrad Steffen, director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. Air temperatures on the Greenland ice sheet have increased by about 7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1991, primarily a result of the build-up of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere, according to scientists.
www.eurekalert.org: Greenland melt accelerating, according to CU-Boulder study

Without its insulating ice cap, Arctic surface waters warm to as much as 5 C above average


San Francisco, December 12, 2007 - Record-breaking amounts of ice-free water have deprived the Arctic of more of its natural "sunscreen" than ever in recent summers. The effect is so pronounced that sea surface temperatures rose to 5 C above 'normal'.
www.physorg.com: Without its insulating ice cap, Arctic surface waters warm to as much as 5 C above average

Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013'
San Francisco, December 12, 2007 - Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice.
Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.
news.bbc.co.uk: Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013'
www.telegraph.co.uk: Arctic ice 'could be gone in five years'

Scientists: 'Arctic Is Screaming,' Global Warming May Have Passed Tipping Point
Washington, December 12, 2007 - An already relentless melting of the Arctic greatly accelerated this summer, a warning sign that some scientists worry could mean global warming has passed an ominous tipping point. One even speculated that summer sea ice would be gone in five years.
www.foxnews.com: Scientists: 'Arctic Is Screaming,' Global Warming May Have Passed Tipping Point

Norway's Arctic islands at their hottest since Viking era: scientists
Oslo, December 11, 2007 - Norway's Arctic archipelago of Svalbard recently experienced its highest temperatures since the end of the Viking Age around 800 years ago, the Norwegian Polar Institute said Tuesday. Analysis of ice taken from Lomonosovfonna, one of the highest glaciers on Svalbard, confirms that recent local temperatures have been at their highest since the 13th century, the institute said in a statement.
www.terradaily.com: Norway's Arctic islands at their hottest since Viking era: scientists

Glacial acceleration: a sea of troubles


December, 2007 - It is hard to shock journalists and at the same time leave them in awe of the power of nature. A group returning from a helicopter trip flying over, then landing on, the Greenland ice cap at the time of maximum ice melt last month were shaken. One shrugged and said, “It is too late already.”
www.emagazine.com: Glacial acceleration: a sea of troubles

The melting Arctic


London, November 20, 2007 - A new exhibition of Arctic photography by Louise Murray draws attention to the plight of the polar ice cap and its inhabitants.
travel.timesonline.co.uk: The melting Arctic
www.louisemurray.com

Two Decades of Temperature Change in Antarctica


Washington, November 20 2007 - Climate scientists who want to know how average temperatures on Antarctica might be changing must wrestle with the fact that ground-based weather stations are few and far between, especially in the continent's high-altitude interior.
Although automated weather stations are generally assumed to be the most accurate record-keepers, their sparseness makes it hard for scientists to be confident of what is happening across the entire continent.
Although satellite-based temperature records have their own limitations (most significantly, cloud interference), they provide a complete, continuous view of the continent from the early 1980s onward.
earthobservatory.nasa.gov: Two Decades of Temperature Change in Antarctica

The power games that threaten world’s last pristine wilderness
Eduardo Frei Montalva Base, (Antarctica), November 13 2007 - Rival nations are extending their territorial claims as retreating glaciers make Antarctic oil exploration feasible.
www.timesonline.co.uk: The power games that threaten world’s last pristine wilderness

U.N. chief sees Antarctic meltdown


Chilean Presidente Eduardo Frei base, Antarctica, November 9 2007 -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the Antarctica to see firsthand the impact of climate change and the melting of glaciers.
A fleeting visit, perhaps, but one which underscores how rapidly global warming is rising up the political agenda. Mr Ban was on a fact-finding mission over the weekend ahead of a major United Nations conference on climate change in Bali next month.
environment.independent.co.uk: UN chief visits scientists in Antarctica for global warming fact-finding tour
www.cnn.com: U.N. chief sees Antarctic meltdown
www.timesonline.co.uk 10-24-07: UN chief Ban Ki Moon skates over Antarctica row

Changing severe weather in the Arctic
Bergen, November 7 2007 - How will global warming influence severe weather in Arctic regions? A new study published in Climate Dynamics by Bjerknes Centre researcher Erik Kolstad and Tom Bracegirdle of British Antarctic Survey makes use of IPPC climate model data to answer this question.
Arctic weather has many faces. While the ice sheet surrounding the North Pole is frequently calm and cloudy, the warm regions with open ocean experience severe weather such as explosive mid-latitude storms, polar lows, arctic fronts and roll clouds.
www.bjerknes.uib.no: Changing severe weather in the Arctic
www.springerlink.com:Marine cold-air outbreaks in the future: an assessment of IPCC AR4 model results for the Northern Hemisphere

Nordic nations sound alarm over melting Arctic
Oslo, October 31, 2007 - Nordic nations sounded the alarm on Wednesday about a quickening melt of Arctic ice and said the thaw might soon prove irreversible because of global warming.
Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland also urged all governments to agree before the end of 2009 a broader U.N. plan to curb greenhouse gases in succession to the Kyoto Protocol.
uk.reuters.com: Nordic nations sound alarm over melting Arctic

Less Arctic ice means higher risks, experts warn


Washington, October 26 2007 - The International Ice Charting Working Group predicts more marine transportation in the Arctic as sea ice continues to diminish and warns of "significant hazards to navigation," according to a statement released yesterday.
www.esa.int: Less Arctic ice means higher risks, experts warn

At the Poles, Melting Occurring at Alarming Rate
Washington, October 22 2007 - For scientists, global warming is a disaster movie, its opening scenes set at the poles of Earth. The epic already has started. And it's not fiction.
The scenes are playing, at the start, in slow motion: The relentless grip of the Arctic Ocean that defied man for centuries is melting away. The sea ice reaches only half as far as it did 50 years ago. In the summer of 2006, it shrank to a record low; this summer the ice pulled back even more, by an area nearly the size of Alaska. Where explorer Robert Peary just 102 years ago saw "a great white disk stretching away apparently infinitely" from Ellesmere Island, there is often nothing now but open water. Glaciers race into the sea from the island of Greenland, beginning an inevitable rise in the oceans.
www.washingtonpost.com: At the Poles, Melting Occurring at Alarming Rate
www.washingtonpost.com: In the Greenhouse, Confronting a Changing Climate
www.washingtonpost.com: The Threat of Climate Change

Greenland Ice Study: Could Higher Sea Level Come Sooner Than Expected?
ScienceDaily (Oct. 21, 2007) — By studying 120,000-year-old layers in the ice of Greenland, researchers have determined that the ice cover seems to be able to survive a warmer climate better than was previously believed. But at the same time they have found signs that the changes that are nevertheless happening will occur at an unexpectedly rapid rate. The level of the global seas may therefore rise faster than was previously thought.
www.sciencedaily.com: Could Higher Sea Level Come Sooner Than Expected?

'Warm wind' hits Arctic climate
Washington, October 17, 2007 - The Arctic is being hit by melting ice, hotter air and dying wildlife, according to a US government report on the impact of global warming there.
A new wind circulation pattern is blowing more warm air towards the North Pole than in the 20th Century, scientists found.
Shrubs are now growing in tundra areas while caribou herds are dwindling in Canada and parts of Alaska.
The report stresses that the fate of the Arctic affects the entire planet.
news.bbc.co.uk: 'Warm wind' hits Arctic climate

Bleak U.S. "report card" finds warming Arctic
Washington, October 17, 2007 - A bleak "report card" on global warming's Arctic impact released on Wednesday found less ice, hotter air and dying wildlife, and stressed that what happens around the North Pole affects the entire planet.
www.reuters.com: Bleak U.S. "report card" finds warming Arctict

Arctic ‘Report Card’ Shows Continued Climate Changes
Washington, October 17, 2007 - The first update of a report tracking the state of the Arctic indicates that some changes in that region are larger and occurring faster than those previously predicted by climate models, while other indicators show some stabilizing. The “Report Card” was issued today by an international team of scientists, including a NOAA lead author.
www.noaanews.noaa.gov: Arctic ‘Report Card’ Shows Continued Climate Changes
www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/: Arctic Report Card 2007

Antarctica needs urgent conservation action
London, October 17, 2007 - Urgent action is needed to save one of the world's last great wildernesses, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, conservationists have warned. Climate change, unsustainable fishing and the introduction of non-native creatures have combined to put massive pressure on the area's wildlife.
www.telegraph.co.uk: Antarctica needs urgent conservation action



Country Greenland ice cap melting faster than expected
Copenhagen, October 11 2007 - The ice cap in the northern hemisphere is melting a lot more rapidly that scientists thought, according to new research published by the Danish National Space Center.
"Until 2004, the glacier mass in the southeastern part of the island lost about 50 to 100 cubic kilometres (12 to 24 cubic miles) per year. After this date, the melting rate accelerated to 300 cubic kilometres per year. It's a jump of 400 percent, which is very worrying."
afp.google.com: Country Greenland ice cap melting faster than expected
www.spacecenter.dk: Greenland is melting at record speed
www.nasa.gov: NASA Finds Greenland Snow Melting Hit Record High in High Places
See also: Greenland's Ice Island Alarm

Ice melt raises passage tension
Montreal, October 8 2007 - Less ice makes it easier to get at the Arctic's resources. In another sign of potential friction in the warming Arctic, Canada has warned that it will step up patrols of the North West Passage.
news.bbc.co.uk: Ice melt raises passage tension

Melting Ice Pack Displaces Alaska Walrus
Ancorage, (Alaska) October 8 2007 - (ap) - Thousands of walrus have appeared on Alaska's northwest coast in what conservationists are calling a dramatic consequence of global warming melting the Arctic sea ice.
www.physorg.com: Melting Ice Pack Displaces Alaska Walrus

Melting ice cap brings diamond hunters and hopes of independence to Greenland
Greenland, October 4 2007 - Arctic Ministers hope potential mineral wealth and hydro-electricity will allow nation to break free from Denmark.
Helicopters have been hard to hire in Greenland this summer. In most countries that would not be a big problem, but for the locals on the world's biggest island - where there are no road networks and sparse settlements are often 100 miles apart - it can make life tricky.
The scarcity has been caused by a diamond rush with prospectors, mostly from North America, believing they can strike it rich....
www.guardian.co.uk: Melting ice cap brings diamond hunters and hopes of independence to Greenland

Record 22C temperatures in Arctic heatwave


London, October 3 - Parts of the Arctic have experienced an unprecedented heatwave this summer, with one research station in the Canadian High Arctic recording temperatures above 20C, about 15C higher than the long-term average. The high temperatures were accompanied by a dramatic melting of Arctic sea ice in September to the lowest levels ever recorded, a further indication of how sensitive this region of the world is to global warming. Scientists from Queen's University in Ontario watched with amazement as their thermometers touched 22C during their July field expedition at the High Arctic camp on Melville Island, usually one of the coldest places in North America.
environment.independent.co.uk: Record 22C temperatures in Arctic heatwave
09252007: Arctic heat wave stuns climate change researchers

From the air, the evidence of climate change is striking
Nuuk (Greenland) October 3 2007 - The airport in Greenland's capital, Nuuk, doesn't look like any other airport. Outside, the tiny runway accommodates a lone helicopter. Inside the waiting room, the chairs are upholstered in seal skin.
This otherworldliness was expected, as Greenland has little in common with any other place on the planet. The largest island in the world, it is weighed down by its immense ice cap that in winter covers almost its entire land mass. In summer, the ice retreats to reveal a savage landscape of fjords and jagged rocks. And, at the end of this summer, it has revealed more than ever.
environment.independent.co.uk: From the air, the evidence of climate change is striking

Arctic melt threatens indigenous people
London, October 2 - A "grab for the Arctic" will add strains to indigenous hunters' cultures as a record melt opens the icy region to shipping or oil and gas exploration, an Inuit activist said on Tuesday.
www.reuters.com: Arctic melt threatens indigenous people

Arctic ice retreats into uncharted territory
Scientists see dramatic drop in Arctic sea ice / Arctic sea ice shatters record low


Click on image for instant animation of 2007 sea ice decline. The picture displays record minimum sea ice extent of September 14 2007.

Colorado (USA), October 1 2007, - Arctic sea ice during the 2007 melt season plummeted to the lowest levels since satellite measurements began in 1979, according to researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
The average sea ice extent for the month of September was 4.28 million square kilometers (1.65 million square miles), the lowest September on record, shattering the previous record for the month, set in 2005, by 23 percent.
A new NASA-led study found a 23-percent loss in the extent of the Arctic's thick, year-round sea ice cover during the past two winters. This drastic reduction of perennial winter sea ice is the primary cause of this summer's fastest-ever sea ice retreat on record and subsequent smallest-ever extent of total Arctic coverage.
NASA has created new images in support of these and other reports about the remarkable decrease in sea ice this summer. Still images and video are available now for download in high-definition broadcast quality.
Animation: Arctic Sea Ice Minimum, 1979-2007
Animation: A closer look at Arctic sea ice from space in high resolution
Animation: Ice albedo feedback animation
nsidc.org: Arctic sea ice shatters record low (Data incl graphics)
www.nasa.gov: NASA Examines Arctic Sea Ice Changes Leading to Record Low in 2007
www.eurekalert.org: Arctic sea ice shatters record low
www.reuters.com: Scientists see dramatic drop in Arctic sea ice
www.ipy.org: Sea ice
www.terradaily.com: Cold War over North Pole, and other Polar news

In Greenland, potatoes thrive as seal hunting wanes
Qassiarsuk, Greenland, October 1 2007 - In this village of 56 people in southern Greenland, history has come full circle. It was here, in about 985, that Erik the Red, leader of a medieval Norse colony, built his farm and raised sheep, cattle, and barley.
But about 300 years later, the climate changed. The Norse's agrarian lifestyle began to unravel when the Little Ice Age arrived, dooming the colony.
Today the hillside overlooking Erik's Fjord is lush and green again. A crop of young potatoes and radishes await harvesting. The plot is surrounded by tall grass – food for thousands of sheep – blowing in the cool winds coming off the melting glaciers to the north and east. In a nearby village, residents have started growing broccoli....
www.csmonitor.com: In Greenland, potatoes thrive as seal hunting wanes

Arctic ice island breaks in half
Anchorage, (Alaska) October 1, 2007 - The giant Ayles Ice Island drifting off Canada's northern shores has broken in two - far earlier than expected.
In a season of record summer melting in the region, the two chunks have moved rapidly through the water - one of them covering 98km (61 miles) in a week.
news.bbc.co.uk: Arctic ice island breaks in half

Arctic thaw may be at "tipping point"


Oslo / London, September 28, 2007 - A record melt of Arctic summer sea ice this month may be a sign that global warming is reaching a critical trigger point that could accelerate the northern thaw, some scientists say.
"The reason so much (of the Arctic ice) went suddenly is that it is hitting a tipping point that we have been warning about for the past few years," James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told Reuters.
The Arctic summer sea ice shrank by more than 20 percent below the previous 2005 record low in mid-September to 4.13 million sq km (1.6 million sq miles), according to a 30-year satellite record.
Some climate tipping points may already have been passed, and others may be closer than we thought, say UK-scientists. Runaway loss of Arctic sea ice may now be inevitable. Even more worrying, and very likely, is the collapse of the giant Greenland ice sheet. So said Tim Lenton of the University of East Anglia, speaking at a meeting in August on complexity in nature, organised by the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge.
Lenton warned the meeting that global warming might trigger tipping points that could cause runaway warming or catastrophic sea-level rise. The risks are far greater than suggested in the current IPCC report, he says.
Yet climate modellers are in a quandary. As models get better and forecasts more alarming, their confidence in the detail of their predictions is evaporating.
www.reuters.com: Arctic thaw may be at "tipping point"

Hansens Earlier warnings:
Hansen: On a slippery slope to hell... or how much global warming constitutes "Dangerous anthropogenic interference" (giss/nasa pdf)
See the earlier report "The consensus on Climate Change / Hansen’s 1988 projections (Read all...)

About Tipping Points:
Timothy Lenton: Tipping Points in the Earth system
Jim Hansen: The Tipping Point

Siberian thaw could speed up global warming
September 26, 2007 - Parts of the permafrost in Russia's northern wilderness are melting. Dmitry Solovyov and Alister Doyle from Reuters reveal how that could affect us all - severely.
www.smh.com.au: Siberian thaw could speed up global warming

'Remarkable' drop in arctic sea ice raises questions


Because of the changining albedo the north is warming up rapidly after sea ice loss. Click on the picture for instant animation.

September 25, 2007 - Melting Arctic sea ice has shrunk to a 29-year low, significantly below the minimum set in 2005, according to preliminary figures from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, part of the University of Colorado at Boulder. NASA scientists, who have been observing the declining Arctic sea ice cover since the earliest measurements in 1979, are working to understand this sudden speed-up of sea ice decline and what it means for the future of Earth's northern polar region.
www.nasa.gov: 'Remarkable' drop in arctic sea ice raises questions

Arctic heat wave stuns climate change researchers
September 25, 2007 - Unprecedented warm temperatures in the High Arctic this past summer were so extreme that researchers with a Queen’s University-led climate change project have begun revising their forecasts.
“Everything has changed dramatically in the watershed we observed,” reports Geography professor Scott Lamoureux, the leader of an International Polar Year project announced yesterday in Nunavut by Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl. “It’s something we’d envisioned for the future – but to see it happening now is quite remarkable.”
qnc.queensu.ca: Arctic heat wave stuns climate change researchers

Greenland Snow Melting Hit Record High in High Places


Washington, September 25 2007 - A new NASA-supported study reports that 2007 marked an overall rise in the melting trend over the entire Greenland ice sheet and, remarkably, melting in high-altitude areas was greater than ever at 150 percent more than average.
In fact, the amount of snow that has melted this year over Greenland could cover the surface size of the U.S. more than twice.
www.physorg.com: NASA finds Greenland snow melting hit record high in high places
www.eurekalert.org: NASA finds Greenland snow melting hit record high in high places
earthobservatory.nasa.gov: Greenland Snow Melting Hit Record High in High Places
www.nasa.gov: NASA Researcher Finds Days of Snow Melting on the Rise in Greenland
August 29 2007: Greenland Ice Island Alarm

Extent of sea ice in Arctic sets record low


The MODIS on the Terra satellite captured this image of a section of the Northwest Passage, located between Candada and Greenland, on September 15, 2007. The Northwest Passage is a sea route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans - it threads through the Arctic Ocean and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, along the northern coast of North America. ( Photo: Modis)

London / New York, September, September 21/23 2007 - The extent of sea ice in the Arctic has already hit a record low this season, the gloomiest, if not doomiest, since satellite records began in the 1970s.
The world will likely have to wait a month or so for the final numbers to be released since sea ice typically stops melting by the end of September, but researchers are already worried by the extra 380,000 square miles or so of sea ice that's melted this year beyond the record set in 2005.
"I'm shocked daily, looking at the maps," said Marika Holland, sea-ice researcher at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, earlier this month.
"Where it's going to bottom out, I wouldn't hazard a guess." And much of the ice that's left is roughly half as thick as it was in 2001, according to a recent German study.
If that's not enough, the European Space Agency has said that Arctic melting this year has also entirely opened up the fabled Northwest Passage, a shipping shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans that has until now been "historically impassable." (http://gristmill.grist.org/)
www.guardian.co.uk: Disappearing Melting Ice Cap in 12 pictures
www.bbc.co.uk: Ice withdrawal 'shatters record'
www.nature.com: Arctic sea ice at record low
www.planetark.com: Arctic Summer Ice Thickness Halves to 1 Metre
news.bbc.co.uk: Extent of sea ice in Arctic sets record low, keeps on melting
www.sciam.com: The North Pole Is Melting
September 14: Satellites witness lowest Arctic ice coverage in history

NASA Researchers Find Snowmelt in Antarctica Creeping Inland


Satellite imagery shows the number of Antarctic melting days for the 2004 - 2005 season. Areas where melting occurred for a greater number of days are indicated in increasingly darker red. Click on the image for Nasa's article. Credit: NASA/Rob Simmon

Washington, September 20, 2007 - On the world's coldest continent of Antarctica, the landscape is so vast and varied that only satellites can fully capture the extent of changes in the snow melting across its valleys, mountains, glaciers and ice shelves. In a new NASA study, researchers using 20 years of data from space-based sensors have confirmed that Antarctic snow is melting farther inland from the coast over time, melting at higher altitudes than ever and increasingly melting on Antarctica's largest ice shelf.
www.nasa.gov: NASA Researchers Find Snowmelt in Antarctica Creeping Inland

Receding permafrost is a bone-hunters' bounty but threatens the world
Chersky, (Russia) September 17/18, 2007 - One day, climate change could cost the earth. For now, it is a nice little earner for Russian hunter Alexander Vatagin.
In Siberia's northernmost reaches, high up in the Arctic Circle, the changing temperature is thawing out the permafrost to reveal the bones of prehistoric animals like mammoths, woolly rhinos and lions that have been buried for thousands of years.
Rising temperatures cause Russian permafrost to thaw, leading to an even faster rate of global warming.
Some large sections of permafrost in Siberia have been thawing out in the last few years due to climate change. If the thaw continues apace (or speeds up) researchers worry that much more organic matter -- leftover plant and animal leavings from thousands of years ago, like mammoth dung, that never fully decayed due to sustained below-freezing temperatures -- will thaw out and start decomposing, which could significantly speed up climate change with massive doses of methane and carbon dioxide.
"The deposits of organic matter in these soils are so gigantic that they dwarf global oil reserves," says climate scientist Sergei Zimov. "This will lead to a type of global warming which will be impossible to stop."
The United Nations agreed in a recent report that large-scale permafrost thaw could be quite nasty, climate-wise, but since the bulk of permafrost is still frosty, it's regarded as mostly a potential threat for now.
In the Arctic, average temperatures have increased at almost twice the global rate in the past 100 years.
Temperatures at the top of the permafrost layer have generally increased since the 1980s by up to 3°C (5.4°F) the UN climate secretariat says.
In the Russian Arctic, buildings are collapsing because permafrost under their foundations has melted, the UNFCCC says.
Thee permafrost-decay, together with other aspects of climate change, are issues in the UN General Assembly of the end of September (2007).
www.unep.org 06042007: Melting Ice-A Hot Topic? New UNEP Report Shows Just How Hot It's Getting
www.reuters.com: Receding permafrost is a bone-hunters' bounty
www.reuters.com: Russian permafrost begins to thaw
www.planetark.com: Mammoth Dung, Prehistoric Goo May Speed Warming
www.msnbc.msn.com: Dung from mammoths sends warming signal
See also the Dutch page on permafrost

Sea Ice Observations


Fairbanks, Alaska, September 17, 2007 - Two IARC scientists have sailed on recent missions over the northern seas, each experiencing different aspects of waters that seem to be warming. The summer of 2007 has set a new satellite-era (since 1979) record for the smallest amount of ice covering the Arctic Ocean.
www.iarc.uaf.edu: Unusually thin, rotten ice....

Satellites witness lowest Arctic ice coverage in history


Bruxelles, September 14/17, 2007 - The area covered by sea ice in the Arctic has shrunk to its lowest level this week since satellite measurements began nearly 30 years ago, opening up the Northwest Passage -- a long-sought short cut between Europe and Asia that has been historically impassable.
Rising sea-surface temperatures in the Barents Sea, northeast of Scandinavia, are the prime cause of the retreating winter ice edge over the past 26 years, according to research by Jennifer Francis, associate research professor at Rutgers' Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. The recent decreases in winter ice cover is clear evidence that Arctic pack ice will continue on its trajectory of rapid decline, Francis said.
www.esa.int: Satellites witness lowest Arctic ice coverage in history
nsidc.org: Arctic Sea Ice News Fall 2007
www.physorg.com: Arctic Ice Melt Opens Northwest Passage
www.enn.com: Arctic Ocean Sea-ice Getting Thinner
Arctic ice retreating more quickly than computer models project

The appalling fate of the polar bear, symbol of the Arctic
London, September 9 2007 - It has been declared at risk by conservation groups. Yet rich Westerners are paying thousands of dollars for the privilege of shooting an animal whose very existence is already threatened by environmental disaster.
independent.co.uk: The appalling fate of the polar bear, symbol of the Arctic
www.cnn.com: Scientists: Dramatic sea ice loss by 2050
news.bbc.co.uk: US predicts polar bear meltdown
www.sciencedaily.com: Report: Greenland ice change means trouble
independent.co.uk: Protect the polar bear, save the planet

Melting ice cap triggering earthquakes
London, September 8 2007 - The Greenland ice cap is melting so quickly that it is triggering earthquakes as pieces of ice several cubic kilometres in size break off.
Scientists monitoring events this summer say the acceleration could be catastrophic in terms of sea-level rise and make predictions this February by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change far too low.
www.guardian.co.uk: Melting ice cap triggering earthquakes

Arctic regional sea ice to decline 40 percent before 2050
Washington, September 6 2007 - A new study by NOAA scientists shows that areal sea-ice coverage of the Arctic Ocean will decline by more than 40 percent before the summer of 2050, compared to a 1979-1999 base period.
www.noaanews.noaa.gov: Arctic regional sea ice to decline 40 percent before 2050

Loss of Arctic ice leaves experts stunned
London, September 4/6 2007 - The Arctic ice cap has collapsed at an unprecedented rate this summer and levels of sea ice in the region now stand at record lows, scientists have announced. Experts say they are "stunned" by the loss of ice, with an area almost twice as big as the UK disappearing in the last week alone. So much ice has melted this summer that the Northwest passage across the top of Canada is fully navigable, and observers say the Northeast passage along Russia's Arctic coast could open later this month.
www.guardian.co.uk: Loss of Arctic ice leaves experts stunned
www.noaanews.noaa.gov 0906: Arctic regional sea ice to decline 40 percent before 2050

Retreat of the penguins
Sydney, September 05, 2007 In 1929 Australian adventurer and photographer Frank Hurley snapped a picture of the bleak landscape of Heard Island, in the bitterly cold Southern Ocean. He recorded for posterity a thriving colony of photogenic macaroni penguins as well as the rocky site, Erratic Point.
Seventy-one years later, seabird ecologist Eric Woehler stood where Hurley had placed his tripod. With a click of the shutter the University of Tasmania scientist captured the same view: rocks, coastline, ocean, penguins. It was the same, but different.
www.theaustralian.news.com.au: Retreat of the penguins

Tipping points in the Earth system


London, August 30, 2007 - (by Timothy M. Lenton) - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its many excellent reports tends to portray climate change as a smooth transition. Although the projections are rarely straight lines the underlying system and its responses appear ‘linear’ (in mathematical terms). There are, of course, exceptions to this, notable ones being the possible collapse of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation or irreversible melt of the Greenland ice sheet, which both get significant attention in the latest IPCC report (IPCC, 2007). These represent large scale ‘non-linear’ components of the Earth system.
researchpages.net: Tipping points in the Earth system

Greenland's Ice Island Alarm


Washington / Amsterdam, August 28/29, 2007 - As the surface of the Greenland ice sheet melts, rivers of water flow on the surface, eventually collecting in huge blue pools atop the ice or plunging into deep crevasses, flowing to the sea. (Photograph ©2005 Greenpeace/Andrew Davies.)
earthobservatory.nasa.gov 08282007: Greenland's Ice island alarm (Special)
earthobservatory.nasa.gov 08222007: Northwest Passage Nearly Open
earthobservatory.nasa.gov 08302007: Petterman Glacier Greenland
www.greenpeace.org 02172006: Melting Greenland fuels sea level rise
www.greenpeace.org 07212005: Greenhouse Effect is Melting Greenland

Ice, Cold, Ecological Risks May Hamper Arctic Oil Rush
August 24 2007 - The prospect of vast oil and gas reserves beneath the Arctic Ocean has prompted countries to begin evaluating exploration options to assess what's really at stake.
news.nationalgeographic.com: Part 2/Ice, Cold, Ecological Risks May Hamper Arctic Oil Rush
news.nationalgeographic.com: Part 1/Arctic Oil Rush Sparks Battles Over Seafloor

Islands emerge as Arctic ice shrinks to record low


Ny Alesund, Svalbard/Spitsbergen

Ny Alesund, Norway, August 20 (Reuters) - Previously unknown islands are appearing as Arctic summer sea ice shrinks to record lows, raising questions about whether global warming is outpacing U.N. projections, experts said.
www.alertnet.org: Islands emerge as Arctic ice shrinks to record low

Denmark eyes North Pole riches


Copenhagen , August 17, 2007 - "Dragons be here!" That is how the unknown region of the North Pole was marked on ancient Danish maps.
Much still remains to be mapped and Denmark is engaged in that work now, with a new polar expedition.
news.bbc.co.uk: Denmark eyes North Pole riches

Arctic Sea Ice Expected to Hit Record Low in September
Oregon, August 17, 2007 - The extent of Arctic sea ice will likely have melted to a record low this September partially due to man-made greenhouse gas emissions, researchers at the University of Colorado said.
earthobservatory.nasa.gov: Sea Ice Retreat in the East Siberian Sea
www.enn.com: Arctic Sea Ice Expected to Hit Record Low in September
www.planetark.com: Islands Emerge as Arctic Ice Shrinks to Record Low
www.realclimate.org: Arctic sea ice watch

Eco anxiety: In Despair Over the Polar Bear
Oregon, August 17, 2007 - Pamela Larsen, 41, a mother of two young girls, in Mt. Hood, Ore., gets a stomachache every time she looks up at the volcano nearby: the glaciers at its peak have definitely been receding over the years. As the mountainside gets browner and browner — evidence of climate change — the knot in Larsen's gut tightens....
Eco anxiety: Concern for the worsening state of the environment

Arctic sea ice watch...
August 10, 2007 - A few people have already remarked on some pretty surprising numbers in Arctic sea ice extent this year (the New York Times has also noticed). The minimum extent is usually in early to mid September, but this year, conditions by Aug 9 had already beaten all previous record minima.
Given that there is at least a few more weeks of melting to go, it looks like the record set in 2005 will be unequivocally surpassed. It could be interesting to follow especially in light of model predictions discussed previously.
www.realclimate.org: Arctic sea ice watch

The North Pole: A new imperial battleground
London, July 31/August 4 2007 - It is one of the planet's last great wildernesses. But suddenly everybody wants a piece of the Arctic - or more specifically, the reserves of oil and gas below the seabed, which have become a lucrative target for the surrounding powers.
www.economist.com 0803: Gold rush under the ice
news.bbc.co.uk 0801: Russian subs near Arctic target
english.pravda.ru 0801: Russia aims to lay claim to North Pole natural resources
environment.independent.co.uk: The North Pole: A new imperial battleground

Russia Claims the North Pole
Moskwa, July 12, 2007 - President Vladimir Putin has long promised to restore Russian greatness and build an "energy empire." But until now, his empire-building had been confined to taking control of corporations operating on his turf, buying into businesses abroad, and blackmailing former Soviet Republics who dared vote against Moscow-backed candidates, moved to join NATO or acted in otherwise uppity ways. But Putin's imperial ambitions have recently added an element of classic 19th century-style territorial expansion: Late last month, Moscow signaled its intentions to annex the entire North Pole, an area twice the size of France with Belgium and Switzerland thrown in — except all of it under water.
www.time.com: China's Premier Urges Action In Energy-Saving Drive

Melting ice drives polar bear mothers to land
Washington, July 11 2007 - Melting sea ice is driving mother polar bears onto dry land to give birth in northern Alaska, U.S. Geological Survey scientists reported on Thursday.
www.reuters.uk: Melting ice drives polar bear mothers to land

Scientists Find Clues to Ice Cap Longevity


London, July 5/6, 2007 - Scientists using DNA extracted from ice buried deep below the surface have found evidence that a lush forest once existed in southern Greenland, a finding that sheds light on how climate change affects Earth's frozen areas.
www.cnn.com: Greenland really was green!
www.bbc.co.uk: DNA reveals Greenland's lush past
www.monbiot.com: Scientists Find Clues to Ice Cap Longevity

Global warming is evaporating Arctic ponds, new study shows
Kingston, Ont (Canada), July 1, 2007 -- High Arctic ponds -- the most common source of surface water in many polar regions -- are now beginning to evaporate due to recent climate warming, say two of Canada’s leading environmental scientists. Some polar sites 'have already crossed the final ecological threshold,' says Queen's prof.
www.nytimes.com: Global warming is evaporating Arctic ponds, new study shows

Greenland's ice meltdown quickens
Kangerlussuaq, (Greenland), July 1, 2007 - A slab of pale blue ice the size of a semitrailer broke off the side of the Russell Glacier and splashed into a rushing stream of meltwater some 100 feet below....
timesunion.com: Greenland's ice meltdown quickens

Researchers Say Antarctic Ice Sheet Stable
Wellington (NZ), June 27, 2007 - An ice sheet in Antarctica that is the world's largest -- with enough water to raise global sea levels by 200 feet -- is relatively stable and poses no immediate threat, according to new research.
www.enn.com: Researchers Say Antarctic Ice Sheet Stable

Greenland Ice May Melt Much Faster
London, June 26, 2007 - New research shows that man-made climate change could cause the Greenland ice sheet to break up in hundreds, rather than thousands, of years, the chair of a United Nations panel of scientists said on Monday.
www.planetark.com: Greenland Ice May Melt Much Faster
www.climatetark.com / Greenland: Situation critical on climate
June 19 2007: Planet Earth today is in "imminent peril"

Russia eyes vast Arctic territory
London, June 26, 2007 - Russia may lay a claim to some of the energy riches of the Arctic. Russian geologists say they have data that would support a claim to about 1.2m sq km (463,000 sq miles) of energy-rich territory in the Arctic.
news.bbc.co.uk: Russia eyes vast Arctic territory

Rising sea levels could divide and conquer Antarctic ice
Wellington, June 23, 2007 - EARTH'S largest ice sheet has till now seemed well able to withstand the effects of climate change, but it may have a hidden weakness. While models predict the air over the East Antarctic ice sheet will remain chilly enough to prevent significant melting for at least a century, a new study suggests that rising sea levels - caused by melting elsewhere - could be its undoing (Geology, vol 35, p 551).
www.newscientist.com: Rising sea levels could divide and conquer Antarctic ice

Icebergs are 'ecological hotspot'
London, June 22, 2007 - Drifting icebergs are "ecological hotspots" that enable the surrounding waters to absorb an increased volume of carbon dioxide, a study suggests.
news.bbc.co.uk: Icebergs are 'ecological hotspot'

Arctic spring comes weeks earlier than a decade ago
Copenhagen / London, June 18 2007 - Spring in the Arctic is arriving "weeks earlier" than a decade ago, a team of Danish researchers have reported. Earlier ice melt could disrupt the area's ecosystems, the study says.
news.bbc.co.uk: Arctic spring's 'rapid advance'
environment.independent.co.uk: Climate change brings early spring in the Arctic
environment.guardian.co.uk: Early springs bring problems for the creatures of the high Arctic
www.physorg.com: Arctic spring comes weeks earlier than a decade ago
www.sciam.com: Winter ends in the Arctic earlier than a decade ago

Global Warming Threatens Scott's Antarctic Base
New York, June 9 2007 - The Antarctic base occupied by British explorer Robert Falcon Scott on his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole on foot early last century has been included by World Monuments Fund (WMF) on a list of the world's 100 most endangered sites.
The WMF identified climate change as the biggest threat to the hut, built in 1911 at Cape Evans by Captain Scott's British Antarctic expedition. The hut is wooden but for decades was permanently frozen. With the ice melting, the timbers have become waterlogged and are rotting.
www.usatoday.com: Global Warming Threatens Scott's Antarctic Base
www.panda.org / Climate Witness: Robert Swan, Antarctica

Thunder? It's the Sound of Greenland Melting
Ilulissat, Greenland, June 7, 2007 - (Reuters) - Atop Greenland's Suicide Cliff, from where old Inuit women used to hurl themselves when they felt they had become a burden to their community, a crack and a thud like thunder pierce the air.
"We don't have thunder here. But I know it from movies," says Ilulissat nurse Vilhelmina Nathanielsen, who hiked with us through the melting snow. "It's the ice cracking inside the icebergs. If we're lucky we might see one break apart."
www.planetark.com: Thunder? It's the Sound of Greenland Melting

Steffen: IPCC underestimates sealevel rise
Global Warming and the Melting of Greenland
Swiss Camp, Greenland Ice Cap - June 7, 2007 - (Reuters) - Dr. Konrad Steffen is the director of University of Colorado at Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and a veteran researcher of Arctic climate. He discussed the accelerating melting of Greenland's ice cap and its effects on global ocean levels in an interview with Reuters on May 18 at his field research camp.
www.planetark.com: Global Warming and the Melting of Greenland

Dirty snow may warm Arctic as much as greenhouse gases
Irvine, (Calif/USA), June 6, 2007 - The global warming debate has focused on carbon dioxide emissions, but scientists at UC Irvine have determined that a lesser-known mechanism – dirty snow – can explain one-third or more of the Arctic warming primarily attributed to greenhouse gases.
today.uci.edu: Dirty snow may warm Arctic as much as greenhouse gases

World Environment Day homes in on fear of melting ice


Tromsoe, Norway - June 5, 2007 - The world marked Environment Day on Tuesday with cheerful events like tree-planting and solar cooking in the heat of Asia, but also gloomier talk in the not-so-frozen north of melting polar caps.
A new United Nations report says melting glaciers and ice sheets caused by global warming could disrupt drinking and agricultural water supplies for up to 40 percent of the world's population. The report released Monday said the depletion of ice caps could also contribute to global warming because the ice sheets reflect the sun's heat away from the Earth's surface. It also warns that such low-lying countries as Bangladesh and Indonesia could face severe flooding by melting.
www.reuters.com: World Environment Day homes in on fear of melting ice
www.reuters.com: Melting Ice, Snow to Hit Livelihoods Worldwide - UN
www.aftenposten.no: Climate experts sound new alarms in Tromsø
www.unep.org: Melting Ice-A Hot Topic? New UNEP Report Shows Just How Hot It's Getting
www.unep.org: Melting Ice, a Hot Topic?

Limits put on Arctic cruises
Oslo, June 4 2007 - Norway's government plans to restrict cruise traffic around the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, and prohibit the use of heavy fuel oil.
"The goal is to hinder spills that could have hugely negative consequences for the environment in the fragile and valuable areas around Svalbard," said Minister of the Environment Helen Bjørnøy, who is in Tromsø this week in connection with the UN's World Environment Day and International Climate Conference.
www.aftenposten.no: Limits put on Arctic cruises

NASA Researcher Finds Days of Snow Melting on the Rise in Greenland
May 29 2007 - In 2006, Greenland experienced more days of melting snow and at higher altitudes than average over the past 18 years, according to a new NASA-funded project using satellite observations.
Daily satellite observations have shown snow melting on Greenland’s ice sheet over an increased number of days. The resulting data help scientists understand better the speed of glacier flow, how much water will pour from the ice sheet into the surrounding ocean and how much of the sun’s radiation will reflect back into the atmosphere.
www.nasa.gov: NASA Researcher Finds Days of Snow Melting on the Rise in Greenland

Global warming's boom town
Ilulissat, May 24th 2007 - ILULISSAT, a town of 5,000 people in the chilly north of Greenland, is hot. Majestic blue icebergs the size of small islands float outside its harbour; its ice fjord drains 7% of the area of the Greenland ice sheet. It is the place to go to see global warming in action. And getting there has just become much easier. This week Air Greenland began commercial flights between Kangerlussuaq, a former military airstrip to the south, and Baltimore in Maryland. American eco-tourists can now fly straight to the Danish territory without going via Copenhagen.
www.economist.com: Global warming's boom town

Polar bears at risk as warming thaws icy home
Longyearbyen, Norway (Reuters) - May 21 2007 - Time may be running out for polar bears as global warming melts the ice beneath their paws.
Restrictions or bans on hunting in recent decades have helped protect many populations of the iconic Arctic carnivore, but many experts say the long-term outlook is bleak.
An estimated 20,000-25,000 bears live around the Arctic -- in Canada, Russia, Alaska, Greenland and Norway -- and countries are struggling to work out ways to protect them amid forecasts of an accelerating thaw.
www.cnn.com: Alarming acceleration in CO2 emissions worldwide

Schwarzenegger invited to symposium on Svalbard


May 15, 2007 - Norway's Minister of the Environment Helen Bjørnøy has invited Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to a summit meeting at arctic Svalbard.
The news was reported by web site abcnyheter.no, which cited confirmation from senior ministry adviser Inger Johanne Wiese.
www.aftenposten.no: Schwarzenegger invited to symposium on the future of Svalbard
www.aftenposten.no: Svalbard ice melting

NASA Finds Vast Regions of West Antarctica Melted in Recent Past


May 15, 2007 - A team of NASA and university scientists has found clear evidence that extensive areas of snow melted in west Antarctica in January 2005 in response to warm temperatures. This was the first widespread Antarctic melting ever detected with NASA's QuikScat satellite and the most significant melt observed using satellites during the past three decades. Combined, the affected regions encompassed an area as big as California.
www.jpl.nasa.gov: NASA Finds Vast Regions of West Antarctica Melted in Recent Past
www.iht.com: Snow has melted deep in the interior of Antarctica
www.spiegel.de: Großflächige Schneeschmelze in der Antarktis beobachtet (incl Video

Half of Barents ice is gone
Oslo, May 8 2007 - A new report on the state of the Barents Sea is setting off new alarms within Norway’s government and the institute that tracks developments in the Arctic.
www.aftenposten.no: Half of Barents ice is gone

Arctic ice retreating more quickly than computer models project
Washington, April 30 2007 - A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters concludes that Arctic sea ice is melting faster than indicated by the computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The shrinking of summertime ice is about 30 years ahead of IPCC projections.
www.ucar.edu: Arctic Ice Retreating More Quickly Than Computer Models Project
www.jpl.nasa.gov: NASA Finds Arctic Replenished Very Little Thick Sea Ice in 2005
www.agu.org: Arctic ice retreating more quickly than computer models project
news.bbc.co.uk: Earth - melting in the heat?
news.bbc.co.uk: Climate change around the world

Another alarm bell in a global wake-up


London, April 24, 2007 - The melting of the great Greenland ice sheet has produced its most remarkable phenomenon. A new island has appeared off its coast, a development that is being seen as an alarming sign of global warming.
news.independent.co.uk: An island made by global warming
news.independent.co.uk: Another alarm bell in a global wake-up

Canadian north offers 'ground zero' view of global warming
April 16, 2007 — IQALUIT, Nunavut — Inuit hunters are falling through thinning ice and dying. Dolphins are being spotted for the first time. There's not enough snow to build igloos for shelter during hunts.
www.usatoday.com: Canadian north offers 'ground zero' view of global warming

Russia Tries to Save Polar Bears With Legal Hunt
Vankarem, (Russia), April 16, 2007 — Here on the frozen edge of the country’s Arctic expanse, where a changing climate has brought polar bears into greater contact with people, Russia has embraced a counterintuitive method of trying to preserve the creatures: hunting them, legally.
www.nytimes.com: Russia Tries to Save Polar Bears With Legal Hunt

IPCC Report - The Arctic: Thawing Permafrost, Melting Sea Ice And More Significant Changes
London, April 11, 2007 - (Unep/Science Daily) - Dramatic changes to the lives and livelihoods of Arctic-living communities are being forecast unless urgent action is taken to reduce greenhouse gases, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
www.sciencedaily.com: The Arctic: Thawing Permafrost, Melting Sea Ice And More Significant Changes

Arctic Fox May Be Left Behind By Warming, Study Suggests
April 10, 2007 - Arctic foxes in Europe died out as the last ice age ended, suggesting many cold-loving animals are much more vulnerable to global warming than previously believed.
news.nationalgeographic.com: Arctic Fox May Be Left Behind By Warming, Study Suggests

Scientists: Antarctic ice sheet thinning
Houston, March 29, 2007 - A Texas-sized piece of the Antarctic ice sheet is thinning, possibly due to global warming, and could cause the world's oceans to rise significantly, polar ice experts said on Wednesday.
They said "surprisingly rapid changes" were occurring in Antarctica's Amundsen Sea Embayment, which faces the southern Pacific Ocean, but that more study was needed to know how fast it was melting and how much it could cause the sea level to rise. Amundsen holds enough water to raise world sea levels close to 20 feet.
www.cnn.com: Antarctic ice sheet thinning
www.eurekalert.org: Warm winter also in the Arctic

Antarctic melting may be speeding up
Hobart, March 23, 2007 - (Reuters) - Rising sea levels and melting polar ice-sheets are at upper limits of projections, leaving some human population centers already unable to cope, top world scientists say as they analyze latest satellite data.
www.reuters.com: Antarctic melting may be speeding up
www.planetark.com: Southern Ocean Current Faces Slowdown Threat

Gravity Measurements Help Melt Ice Mysteries
Greenbelt (MD/USA), March 23, 2007 - Greenland is cold and hot. It's a deep freezer storing 10 percent of Earth's ice and a subject of fevered debate. If something should melt all that ice, global sea level could rise as much as 7 meters (23 feet). Greenland and Antarctica - Earth's two biggest icehouses - are important indicators of climate change and a high priority for research, as highlighted by the newly inaugurated International Polar Year.
Just a few years ago, the world's climate scientists predicted that Greenland wouldn't have much impact at all on sea level in the coming decades. But recent measurements show that Greenland's ice cap is melting much faster than expected.
www.nasa.gov: Gravity Measurements Help Melt Ice Mysteries

Arctic ocean may lose all its ice by 2040, disrupting global weather
London, March 16, 2007 - Rapidly thinning Arctic sea ice may have reached a tipping point that threatens to disrupt global weather patterns, bringing intense winter storms and heavier rainfall to western Europe, scientists warn today.
environment.guardian.co.uk: Arctic ocean may lose all its ice by 2040, disrupting global weather
www.sciencemag.org: Polar Science
www.sciencemag.org: Momentous Changes at the Poles
priceofoil.org: Winter “Warmest on Record” As Arctic Reaches “Tipping Point”

Collapse of Arctic sea ice 'has reached tipping-point'
London, March 16, 2007 - A catastrophic collapse of the Arctic sea ice could lead to radical climate changes in the northern hemisphere according to scientists who warn that the rapid melting is at a "tipping point" beyond which it may not recover.
www.independent.co.uk: Collapse of Arctic sea ice 'has reached tipping-point'

Pollution From U.S., Europe, Others Speeding Arctic Warming, Study Says
March 16, 2007 Pollution from industrialized countries is heating the Arctic atmosphere faster than any region on Earth, a new study warns.
news.nationalgeographic.com: Pollution From U.S., Europe, Others Speeding Arctic Warming, Study Says

Asia smog fuelling Pacific storms 'will melt Arctic ice'
London, March 6, 2007 - Smog and air pollution from Asian cities have intensified storms over the Pacific Ocean, which will result in increased warming of the Arctic, scientists have warned. They report that the number of storm clouds in the region has increased by up to a half over the last 20 years as rapidly industrialised cities in countries such as India and China burn more coal as they grow.
environment.guardian.co.uk: Asia smog fuelling Pacific storms 'will melt Arctic ice'

Antarctic Ice Sheet's Hidden Lakes Speed Ice Flow Into Ocean, May Disrupt Climate

New York, 05 March 2007 - Researchers have unearthed how water from a vast subglacial system contributes to the formation of ice streams and plays a crucial role in transporting ice from the remote interior of Antarctica toward the surrounding ocean.
earthobservatory.nasa.gov: Antarctic Ice Sheet's Hidden Lakes Speed Ice Flow Into Ocean, May Disrupt Climate
www.nasa.gov: idem / pictures

Tundra disappearing at rapid rate
Alberta, 05 March 2007 - Forests of spruce trees and shrubs in parts of northern Canada are taking over what were once tundra landscapes -- forcing out the species that lived there. This shift can happen at a much faster speed than scientists originally thought, according to a new University of Alberta study that adds to the growing body of evidence on the effects of climate change.
www.eurekalert.org: Tundra disappearing at rapid rate
www.sciencedaily.com: Tundra disappearing at rapid rate

Svalbard ice melting

Oslo, 1 March 2007 - The glaciers on arctic Svalbard are melting faster than researchers believed and the pace has accelerated over the past five years.
Over 16 cubic kilometers of ice from the many Svalbard glaciers vanishes each year. At the same time record summer temperatures have been measured in Longyearbyen, and snowfall has declined.
www.aftenposten.no: Svalbard ice melting

Climate change: scientists warn it may be too late to save the ice caps
London, February 20, 2007 - A critical meltdown of ice sheets and severe sea level rise could be inevitable because of global warming, the world's scientists are preparing to warn their governments. New studies of Greenland and Antarctica have forced a UN expert panel to conclude there is a 50% chance that widespread ice sheet loss "may no longer be avoided" because of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
environment.guardian.co.uk: Scientists warn it may be too late to save the ice caps
news.independent.co.uk 160207: Scientists sound alarm over melting Antarctic ice sheets

Scientists sound alarm over melting Antarctic ice sheets
San Fransisco, 16 February 2007 - The long-term stability of the massive ice sheets of Antarctica, which have the potential to raise sea levels by hundreds of metres, has been called into question with the discovery of fast-moving rivers of water sliding beneath their base.
independent.co.uk: Scientists sound alarm over melting Antarctic ice sheets

Alaska natives left out in the cold
Anchorage, January 4 2007 - While the rest of the world argues about the best way to curb future climate change, says Patricia Cochran in this week's Green Room, native communities within the Arctic Circle are having to draw on their own ancestral strengths to adapt to a rapidly changing world.
www.bbc.co.uk: Alaska natives left out in the cold

Scientists plead for action to save poles from 'tipping point' disaster
Pollution Soaring to Crisis Levels in Arctic
Svalbard, March 12, 2006 - Researchers have uncovered compelling evidence that indicates Earth's most vulnerable regions - the North and South Poles - are poised on the brink of a climatic disaster.
The scientists, at an atmospheric monitoring station in the Norwegian territory of Svalbard, have found that levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere near the North Pole are now rising at an unprecedented pace.
In 1990 this key cause of global warming was rising at a rate of 1 part per million (ppm). Recently, that rate reached 2 ppm per year. Now, scientists at the Mount Zeppelin monitoring station have discovered it is rising at between 2.5 and 3 ppm.
observer.guardian.co.uk: Pollution Soaring to Crisis Levels in Arctic
www.commondreams.org: Idem

The Tipping Point?
December 6, 2005 - (by Jim Hansen) - The Earth's climate is nearing, but has not passed, a tipping point beyond which it will be impossible to avoid climate change with far-ranging undesirable consequences. These include not only the loss of the Arctic as we know it, with all that implies for wildlife and indigenous peoples, but losses on a much vaster scale due to rising seas.
Ocean levels will increase slowly at first, as losses at the fringes of Greenland and Antarctica due to accelerating ice streams are nearly balanced by increased snowfall and ice sheet thickening in the ice sheet interiors.
But as Greenland and West Antarctic ice is softened and lubricated by meltwater, and as buttressing ice shelves disappear because of a warming ocean, the balance will tip toward the rapid disintegration of ice sheets.
The Earth's history suggests that with warming of two to three degrees, the new sea level will include not only most of the ice from Greenland and West Antarctica, but a portion of East Antarctica, raising the sea level by twenty-five meters, or eighty feet. Within a century, coastal dwellers will be faced with irregular flooding associated with storms. They will have to continually rebuild above a transient water level.
This grim scenario can be halted if the growth of greenhouse gas emissions is slowed in the first quarter of this century.
(From a presentation to the American Geophysical Union, December 6, 2005)

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