Apr 7, 2009 | 1
Forget the Russians moving troops north of the Arctic circle to protect "vital interests," even U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recognizes that the rules for the poles have changed. At the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and the Arctic Council in Baltimore this week she called for "strengthening environmental regulation" for the South Pole in the spirit of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959.
"With the collapse of an ice bridge that holds in place the Wilkins Ice Shelf, we are reminded that global warming has already had enormous effects on our planet, and we have no time to lose in tackling this crisis," she said. "We need to increase our attention not only to the Antarctic but to the Arctic as well."
Sep 17, 2008 | 10
The long, frigid Arctic autumn and winter began late last week—and the shrinking sea ice has begun to expand anew. That's good news for starving polar bears waiting for the ice to come in so they can hunt. But the dwindling ice pack—courtesy of global warming—bodes ill for Earth's future.
"The continued drastic melting of the Arctic sea ice is a disaster for the polar bear and a harbinger of what's to come for the rest of the world if we don't reduce greenhouse gas emissions," says Kassie Siegel, climate program director at the Center for Biological Diversity, who led the charge to list the polar bear as an endangered species.
Aug 27, 2008 | 1
For the second year in a row, the fabled Northwest Passage has opened in the Arctic—thanks to a sea-ice melt that has already shrunk the polar cap to the second smallest extent ever recorded. And with a few more weeks to go in the summer thaw season, 2008 could surpass 2007 as the smallest amount of sea ice on record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
This year's record-breaking melt was, to some extent, set up by the 2007 season—also a record-breaker. More open ocean means more trapped heat in the water, which means that thinner ice forms during the long Arctic winter. Thinner ice melts more readily when temperatures rise. So, despite a relatively cool summer this year, the sea ice is just melting away.
Jul 14, 2008 | 4
It looks as though global warming will cut short a study of… global warming.
That’s what happens when your lab sits on a melting ice floe. Adrift on ice in the Arctic Ocean, 21 Russian scientists (and two dogs) will need an early rescue thanks to global warming. The ice chunk supporting North Pole-35—a project designed to study Arctic flora and fauna, environmental conditions and even geography—has dwindled from 3 square miles to just 0.7 square miles.
That's still 2 million square feet, but it brings the floe's edge too close to the expedition's huts and equipment for comfort. So instead of abandoning the floe in September, as planned, scientists will climb aboard a research vessel towed by the nuclear ice-breaker Arktika in coming days. Just when depends on ice conditions, of course.
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