Tag Archives: polar regions

‘They’re everywhere’: has the decline of the seal hunt saved the polar bear

labrador's polar bear
There are over 2,500 polar bears in the coastal area that includes Labrador and northern Quebec, according to Environment Canada. Photograph: Danita Delimont/Getty Images/Gallo Images

Despite vanishing sea ice and shorter winters, Labrador’s polar bear population is among the healthiest in the world – and it could be thanks to the harp seals

May 24, 2018 — Guido Rich, 28, an Inuit hunter from Rigolet, Labrador, brings his Ski-Doo to a careful stop on the sea ice, mindful of the precious cargo it hauls: the body of an 800lb male polar bear. It takes Rich and two other men to roll the animal off the sled and on to the ice, while his wife and young children watch. Continue reading ‘They’re everywhere’: has the decline of the seal hunt saved the polar bear

Antarctic sea ice levels hit record low, but experts are not sure why

sea ice in the antarctic
Sea ice levels in the Antarctic have experienced huge variability in the last few years. Photograph: Pauline Askin/Reuters

Unpredictable nature of Antarctic sea ice levels the focus at conference of meteorology experts in Australia this week

September 26, 2017 — Sea ice levels in Antarctica dropped to a record low this year, but experts say there is not a clear link to climate change. Continue reading Antarctic sea ice levels hit record low, but experts are not sure why

Melting Arctic ice cap falls to well below average

2017 summer ice
The 2017 summer ice minimum was 610,000 sq miles below average as part of an ongoing decline driven by climate change. Photograph: Lev Fedoseyev/TASS

This summer’s minimum is the eighth lowest on record and shrinking ice cap increasingly linked to extreme weather events around the world, say scientists

September 21, 2017 — The Arctic ice cap melted to hundreds of thousands of square miles below average this summer, according to data released late on Tuesday. Continue reading Melting Arctic ice cap falls to well below average

Arctic sea ice summer minimum in 2017 is eighth lowest on record

arctic ice aerial view
Aerial view of ice in the Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean, Alaska, 21/05/2011. Credit: Vicki Beaver/Alamy Stock Photo.

Arctic sea ice has dwindled to its summer minimum for 2017, with its smallest extent for the year clocking in at 4.64m square kilometres (sq km) on 13 September

September 21, 2017 — At 1.58m sq km below the 1981-2010 average, this puts 2017 as the eight lowest summer minimum in the satellite record, according to preliminary figures from the US Continue reading Arctic sea ice summer minimum in 2017 is eighth lowest on record

What happened next to the giant Larsen C iceberg

a68 iceberg
View of the A68 iceberg on the 30 July 2017, taken from a European Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite image. Photograph: A. Fleming, British Antarctic Survey.

Scientists have revealed exactly how the trillion-tonne A68 iceberg broke free of the Antarctic ice shelf last month – and say it has spawned smaller icebergs

August 2, 2017 — The fate of the giant iceberg that broke free from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf last month has been revealed. Continue reading What happened next to the giant Larsen C iceberg

Iceberg twice size of Luxembourg breaks off Antarctic ice shelf

larsen c ice shelf
NASA handout photo dated 10/11/16 showing a rift in the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, as scientists have said that an iceberg a quarter the size of Wales is poised to break off from it. Photograph: NASA/John Sonntag/PA

Satellite data confirms ‘calving’ of trillion-tonne, 5,800 sq km iceberg from the Larsen C ice shelf, dramatically altering the landscape

July 12, 2017 — A giant iceberg twice the size of Luxembourg has broken off an ice shelf on the Antarctic peninsula and is now adrift in the Weddell Sea. Continue reading Iceberg twice size of Luxembourg breaks off Antarctic ice shelf

Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts

seed vault
The Svalbard ‘doomsday’ seed vault was built to protect millions of food crops from climate change, wars and natural disasters. Photograph: John Mcconnico/AP

No seeds were lost but the ability of the rock vault to provide failsafe protection against all disasters is now threatened by climate change

May 19, 2017 — It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Continue reading Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts

Arctic sea ice could disappear even if world achieves climate target

polar bear
A polar bear drinks Arctic water in Svalbard, Norway. The animals’ habitat is threatened by climate change. Photograph: Barcroft

Goal of limiting rise in average global temperatures to below 2°C may not prevent ice-free Arctic, scientists warn

March 6, 2017 — Arctic sea ice could vanish in summers this century even if governments achieve a core target for limiting global warming set by almost 200 countries, scientists have said. Continue reading Arctic sea ice could disappear even if world achieves climate target

Thawing Arctic is turning oceans into graveyards

arctic polar bear
‘Arctic sea ice is the vital seal-hunting platform of the polar bear.’ Photograph: Alamy

NASA research shows that ice-free summers are now imminent, posing a peril to us all

January 8, 2017 — Something is happening to the floating sea ice of the Arctic, other than the well-documented retreat in its surface coverage each summer. Scientists are finding that Arctic sea ice is Continue reading Thawing Arctic is turning oceans into graveyards

Your carbon footprint destroys 30 square metres of Arctic sea ice a year

a satellite-based view of the arctic
A satellite-based view of the Arctic. Scientists say it will be ice-free in summer in about 20 years under current climate action. Photograph: VIIRS/Suomi NPP/NASA

New research calculates the impact of the average westerner’s carbon emissions to help people understand their own contribution to climate change

November 3, 2016 — The average westerner’s carbon emissions destroy 30 square metres of Arctic sea ice every year, according to new research.  Continue reading Your carbon footprint destroys 30 square metres of Arctic sea ice a year