tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/sea_ice1 sea ice news from mongabay.com 2014-10-21T15:32:31Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13887 2014-10-08T14:49:00Z 2014-10-21T15:32:31Z The only solution for polar bears: 'stop the rise in CO2 and other greenhouse gases' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1008.Steveand2Cubs.100.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Steven Amstrup, Chief Scientist for Polar Bears International, has worked diligently on polar bears for over 30 years. He radio-collared some of the first bears and discovered that annual activity areas for 75 tracked females averaged at a stunning 149,000 square kilometers. His recent work highlighted the cost of global warming to these incredible animals and the sea ice they so closely depend on. Jeremy Hance 72.875466 -132.455211 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13858 2014-10-01T22:57:00Z 2014-10-01T23:06:07Z Throng of 35,000 walruses is largest ever recorded on land, sign of warming arctic <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1001-walrus1-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A mass of thousands of walruses were spotted hauled up on land in northwest Alaska during NOAA aerial surveys earlier this week. An estimated 35,000 occupied a single beach – a record number illustrating a trend in an unnatural behavior scientists say is due to global warming. Morgan Erickson-Davis 69.746180 -162.973563 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13791 2014-09-17T16:33:00Z 2014-09-17T17:21:52Z 'We will win this war': Yeb Saño speaks out on global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0917-walrus-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ahead of the upcoming Climate Change Summit to be held in New York, September 23, a Filipino man who last year made headlines around the world on the subject is speaking out. Morgan Erickson-Davis 78.314712 17.687267 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13045 2014-04-07T16:00:00Z 2014-11-25T22:15:38Z From seals to starfish: polar bears radically shift diet as habitat melts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0407-polarbear-seal-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the most iconic species of the ongoing climate change drama, polar bears have dropped in numbers as their habitat melts, with previous estimates forecasting a further 30 percent reduction within three generations. However, their situation may not be as dire as it seems. Morgan Erickson-Davis 58.762237 -94.149545 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13012 2014-03-31T17:37:00Z 2014-12-30T22:50:34Z Apocalypse now? Climate change already damaging agriculture, acidifying seas, and worsening extreme weather <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0331.Tacloban_Typhoon_Haiyan_2013-11-14.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It's not just melting glaciers and bizarrely-early Springs anymore; climate change is impacting every facet of human civilization from our ability to grow enough crops to our ability to get along with each other, according to a new 2,300-page report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The massive report states definitively that climate change is already affecting human societies on every continent. Jeremy Hance 35.463838 139.619164 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12690 2014-01-27T20:22:00Z 2014-12-30T22:55:32Z Amazing discovery in Antarctica: sea anemones found living upside down under ice (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0127.seaanemones.67335.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sea anemones are supposed to sit on the bottom of the ocean, using their basal disc (or adhesive foot) to rest on a coral reef orsand. So, imagine the surprise of geologists in Antarctica when they discovered a mass of sea anemones hanging upside from the underside of the Ross Ice Shelf like a village of wispy ghosts. The researchers weren't even there to discover new life, but to learn about south pole currents through the Antarctic Geological Drilling (ANDRILL) Program via a remotely-operated undersea robot. Jeremy Hance -81.038617 -179.003913 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12641 2014-01-15T16:17:00Z 2014-12-30T22:56:00Z Underestimating global warming: gaps in Arctic temperature data lead scientists and public astray <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0115.800px-Sea_Ice_MeltPonds.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>No place on Earth is heating up faster than the Arctic, but just how fast has remained an open question due to large gaps in temperature data across the vast region. Now, a recent study in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society finds that not only is the Arctic warming eight times faster than the rest of the planet, but failure to account for temperature gaps has led global datasets to underestimate the rise of temperatures worldwide. Jeremy Hance 83.599031 13.652337 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12090 2013-09-18T15:05:00Z 2013-09-18T15:15:23Z 'Heading towards an ice-free Arctic': sea ice extent hits sixth lowest on record <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0918.800px-Sea_ice_terrain.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sea ice cover in the Arctic shrank to one of its smallest extents on record this week, bringing forward the days of an entirely ice-free Arctic during the summer. The annual sea ice minimum of 5,099m sq km reached on 13 September was not as extreme as last year, when the collapse of sea ice cover broke all previous records. Jeremy Hance 82.402423 167.988274 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11945 2013-08-20T16:53:00Z 2013-08-20T17:03:23Z Climate change killing harp seal pups <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0820harpseal150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As sea ice levels continue to decline in the northern hemisphere, scientists are observing an unsettling trend in harp seal young mortalities regardless of juvenile fitness. While a recent study found that in harp seal breeding regions ice cover decreased by up to 6% a decade from 1979 on, a follow-up study in PLoS ONE compared the rate of harp seal strandings to total ice cover from 1992 to 2010. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11856 2013-07-30T13:56:00Z 2013-07-30T14:20:22Z Arctic melt to cost trillions Rapid thawing of the Arctic could trigger a catastrophic "economic timebomb" which would cost trillions of dollars and undermine the global financial system, say a group of economists and polar scientists. Governments and industry have expected the widespread warming of the Arctic region in the past 20 years to be an economic boon, allowing the exploitation of new gas and oilfields and enabling shipping to travel faster between Europe and Asia. Jeremy Hance 84.302183 -2.519538 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11391 2013-05-08T15:48:00Z 2013-05-08T19:11:13Z Featured video: How climate change is messing with the jetstream Weather patterns around the globe are getting weirder and weirder: heat waves and record snow storms in Spring, blasts of Arctic air followed by sudden summer, record deluges and then drought. Jeremy Hance 80.118564 -172.324226 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11251 2013-04-17T13:09:00Z 2013-04-17T16:49:40Z At top of the world, activists say exploiting Arctic is 'utter madness' Four young explorers including American actor Ezra Miller have planted a flag on the seabed at the north pole and demanded the region is declared a global sanctuary. The expedition, organized by Greenpeace, saw the flag lowered in a time capsule that contained the signatures of nearly 3 million people who are calling for a ban on exploitation in the region. Jeremy Hance 89.189705 0.000587 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11115 2013-03-26T06:47:00Z 2013-03-26T07:02:03Z Extreme cold linked to climate change, say scientists Climate scientists have linked the massive snowstorms and bitter spring weather now being experienced across Britain and large parts of Europe and North America to the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10978 2013-03-05T03:34:00Z 2013-03-05T03:41:08Z Global warming to open new Arctic sea lanes Rapidly melting sea ice in the Arctic due to global warming will open new shipping lanes that will speed transit between northern Asia, Europe, Canada and Alaska but unleash new safety, environmental and legal issues, according to scientists writing in this week's issue of the <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. Rhett Butler 84.850027 10.693356 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10886 2013-02-18T20:04:00Z 2013-02-18T20:09:23Z Arctic sea ice volume plunges over a third in less than 10 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0218.52846_web.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Few places are changing as rapidly as the Arctic due to global warming. Last year, scientists were stunned when the Arctic's seasonal ice extent fell to record low that was 18 percent below the previous one set in 2007. But new research in Geophysical Research Letters finds that the volume of ice is melting away just as quickly: satellite and ocean-based measurement have found that Arctic sea ice has fallen by 36 percent in Autumn since 2003. In winter, the ice volume has dropped 9 percent. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10463 2012-11-28T18:48:00Z 2013-02-05T15:15:15Z Reduction in snow threatens Arctic seals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/Pusa_hispida_pup.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Arctic snowfall accumulation plays a critical role in ringed seal breeding, but may be at risk due to climate change, according to a new study in Geophysical Research Letters. Sea ice, which is disappearing at an alarming rate, provides a crucial platform for the deep snow seals need to reproduce. Ringed seals (Phoca hispida) require snow depths of at least 20 centimeters (8 inches): deep enough to form drifts that seals use as birth chambers. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10321 2012-10-29T15:53:00Z 2012-10-29T16:02:37Z Picture of the day: Shell drilling rig within view of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Twelve miles off shore from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge floats a seemingly tiny man-made device&#8212;at least from an airplane&#8212;but it's actually a 160-foot high Shell Dutch Royal oil drilling rig. While the hugely controversial plan to drill for oil in the Arctic ocean was postponed this year due to a variety of mishaps and delays, the Shell rig is expected to be in the area until the end of month drilling top holes in the ocean floor to prep oil drilling next year. Jeremy Hance 70.281704 -145.308838 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10179 2012-09-19T23:01:00Z 2012-09-20T13:53:29Z Arctic sea ice is 'toast' as old record shattered Some twenty days after breaking the record for the lowest sea ice extent, the Arctic sea ice has hit a new rock bottom and finally begun its seasonal recovery. In the end, the Arctic sea ice extent fell to just 3.4 million square kilometers (1.32 million square miles) when only a few months ago scientists were wondering if it would break the 4 million square kilometers. The speed of the sea ice decline due to climate change has outpaced all the computer models, overrun all expert predictions, and shocked even the gloomiest scientists. Jeremy Hance 84.267172 -13.066413 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10065 2012-08-27T18:33:00Z 2012-10-31T15:54:56Z Sea ice falls to record low with over two weeks of melting left One of the most visible impacts of climate change&#8212;melting summer sea ice in the Arctic&#8212;just hit a new milestone. Scientists with the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) have declared that this year's Arctic sea ice extent dipped below the previous record set in 2007 as of yesterday. The record is even more notable, however, as it occurred more than a fortnight before the Arctic's usual ice melt season ends, meaning the old record will likely not just be supplanted, but shattered. Jeremy Hance 84.267172 -13.066413 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10050 2012-08-22T14:50:00Z 2012-08-22T15:45:50Z Arctic sea ice approaches another record melt Sea ice extent in the Arctic is very near to beating the previous record low set in 2007, according to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. Researchers told Reuters that they expect the record to be beaten by the end of month, well over a week before the melt season ends in the frozen north. Jeremy Hance 84.267172 -13.066413 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10016 2012-08-15T02:32:00Z 2012-08-15T03:01:18Z NASA image shows Northwest Passage open A satellite image released by NASA last week shows a key channel that forms part of the Northwest Passage is partially free of ice. Rhett Butler 74.271655 -107.629395 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9940 2012-07-30T21:05:00Z 2012-07-30T21:57:55Z Humpback whales delaying migration due to Antarctic changes Humpback whales in the Antarctic are delaying their migration to feed on krill that are staying later due to reduced extent of sea ice, a possible consequence of climate change, reports a study published in the journal <i>Endangered Species Research</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9647 2012-06-11T14:57:00Z 2012-06-11T15:21:53Z Massive algae bloom in Arctic like "finding the Amazon rainforest in the Mojave Desert" <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/655897main_icescape-Picture3.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Given everything marine researchers know about phytoplankton, a type of algae, no one expected to find some of the world's largest blooms beneath Arctic sea ice. But this is exactly what scientists stumbled on during an ICESCAPE expedition in the Chukchi Sea, which is examining the massive impacts of climate change in the region. Researchers recorded a 100 kilometer (62 miles) long bloom underneath the Arctic ice pack that was four times richer than adjacent ice-free waters. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9341 2012-04-02T12:05:00Z 2012-04-02T12:31:42Z Obama Administration, Shell moving ahead with Arctic oil exploitation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/bigstock_Arctic_Ice_Pack_Beaufort_Sea_1638808.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last week, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved oil spill clean-up plans by Royal Dutch Shell Oil in the Beaufort Sea, paving the way for offshore oil drilling in the Arctic to begin as soon this year. The Interior's approval was blasted by environmentalists, who contend that oil companies have no viable way of dealing with a spill in the icy, hazardous conditions of the Arctic, far from large-scale infrastructure. Shell, which has spent $4 billion to date to gain access to the Arctic, must still be granted final permits for drilling. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9318 2012-03-28T06:07:00Z 2012-03-28T06:12:34Z NASA image shows decline in maximum sea ice extent Data released by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) shows that Arctic sea ice for the winter of 2011-2012 reached its maximum extent on March 18 at 15.24 million square kilometers (5.88 million square miles). The mark is well below the 1979–2000 average, but was above the record low of the 2010–2011 winter. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9088 2012-02-13T15:49:00Z 2012-02-13T16:09:17Z Arctic warms to highest level yet as researchers fear tipping points <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/800px-Polar_bears_near_north_pole.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year the Arctic, which is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth due to global climate change, experienced its warmest twelve months yet. According to recent data by NASA, average Arctic temperatures in 2011 were 2.28 degrees Celsius (4.1 degrees Fahrenheit) above those recorded from 1951-1980. As the Arctic warms, imperiling its biodiversity and indigenous people, researchers are increasingly concerned that the region will hit climatic tipping points that could severely impact the rest of the world. A recent commentary in Nature Climate Change highlighted a number of tipping points that keep scientists awake at night. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8993 2012-01-23T21:51:00Z 2012-01-23T21:54:30Z The Cryosphere-Princeton primers in climate: A Book Review The Cryosphere by Dr. Shawn J. Marshall, Canada Research Chair in Climate Change, University of Calgary, is an excellent book because it summarizes leading scientific research into easily accessible chapters each one on a different component of the cryosphere. The cryosphere, which incorporates the Earth's snow and ice mass including seasonal snow, permafrost (both land-based permafrost and below water permafrost), river and lake ice, sea ice, glaciers, ice sheets, and ice shelves, is intrinsically related to global climate change. Hence, understanding how the cryosphere interacts with and is at risk because of climate change and its greenhouse gases is fundamental to developing effective policy mechanisms that mitigate climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8943 2012-01-11T19:36:00Z 2012-01-12T20:05:59Z Seals, birds, and alpine plants suffer under climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Blanchon-idlm2006.harpseak.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The number of species identified by scientists as vulnerable to climate change continues to rise along with the Earth's temperature. Recent studies have found that a warmer world is leading to premature deaths of harp seal pups (Pagophilus groenlandicus) in the Arctic, a decline of some duck species in Canada, shrinking alpine meadows in Europe, and indirect pressure on mountain songbirds and plants in the U.S. Scientists have long known that climate change will upend ecosystems worldwide, creating climate winners and losers, and likely leading to waves of extinction. While the impacts of climate change on polar bears and coral reefs have been well-documented, every year scientists add new species to the list of those already threatened by anthropogenic climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8767 2011-11-30T16:21:00Z 2011-11-30T16:38:34Z Another record breaker: 2011 warmest La Niña year ever As officials meet at the 17th UN Climate Summit in Durban, South Africa, the world continues to heat up. The UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has announced that they expect 2011 to be the warmest La Niña year since record keeping began in 1850. The opposite of El Nino, a La Niña event causes general cooling in global temperatures. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8738 2011-11-24T18:43:00Z 2011-11-24T19:04:57Z Arctic sea ice melt 'unprecedented' in past 1,450 years Recent arctic sea ice loss is 'unprecedented' over the past 1,450 years, concludes a reconstruction of ice records published in the journal <i>Nature</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8486 2011-09-29T22:31:00Z 2011-09-29T22:38:30Z Deepwater spill 'meets the Titanic': groups sue to stop Arctic drilling Following the Obama administration's approval of Royal Dutch Shell to drill in the Arctic's Beaufort Sea, a wide-swathe of environmental have filed a lawsuit to stop the drilling, which could begin as early as next summer. Those filing the lawsuit today blasted Shell for what they perceived as a pathetic oil spill response plan, and the Obama administration for acquiescing to the big oil company. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8384 2011-09-12T18:27:00Z 2011-09-12T23:31:13Z Northwest Passage open as sea ice falls to lowest cover ever recorded Arctic sea ice cover fell to its lowest level on record, report researchers from the University of Bremen. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8355 2011-09-01T20:10:00Z 2011-10-12T12:05:02Z Mass walrus haul-outs, polar bear cub mortality linked to climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/DSC_5048.walrus.ice.150.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>Recent, unprecedented walrus haul-outs and increased instances of long-distance swims by polar bears show the direct impacts on wildlife of dwindling Arctic sea ice from climate change. These threatened species also face the prospect of offshore drilling in the Arctic after the Obama Administration recently approved a number of plans to move forward on oil exploration. At least 8,000 walruses hauled out on an Alaskan beach along the Chukchi Sea on August 17. Only a day before, the U.S. Geological Survey announced it would begin tagging walruses near Point Lay, Alaska to study how a lack of sea ice is affecting the species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8269 2011-08-10T16:39:00Z 2011-08-10T16:40:58Z Arctic sea ice in free fall: new record low for July Average Arctic sea ice extent hit a new record low for July according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).If the melt continues apace, the sea ice extent could hit its lowest point since record keeping by satellite began 32 years ago. However, ice loss slowed through the second half of July as weather grew colder in the Arctic, and by the end of the month was slightly above conditions in 2007, in which the lowest sea ice extent ever was measured. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8260 2011-08-08T17:28:00Z 2011-08-09T13:17:12Z Arctic open for exploitation: Obama administration grants Shell approval to drill Less than a year and a half after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration has bucked warnings from environmentalists to grant preliminary approval to oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell, to drill off the Arctic coast. Exploratory drilling will occur just north of the western edge of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in the Beaufort Sea, home to bowhead and beluga whales, seals, walruses, polar bears, and a wide variety of migrating birds. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8191 2011-07-21T16:31:00Z 2011-07-21T18:35:55Z 'Heatwave' in Arctic decimating sea ice Arctic sea ice could hit a record low by the end of the summer due to temperatures in the North Pole that are an astounding 11 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (6 to 8 degrees Celsius) above average in the first half of July, reports the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Already the sea ice extent is tracking below this time in 2007, which remains the record year for the lowest sea ice extent. The sea ice hits its nadir in September before rebounding during the Arctic winter. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8043 2011-06-21T18:46:00Z 2011-07-11T13:25:16Z The truth about polar bears and climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/polar_bears_01.ngm.150.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although scientists say innumerable species are threatened by climate change, polar bears have been the global symbol of the movement to rein-in greenhouse gas emissions. This is perhaps not surprising, since polar bears are well known to the public—even though they inhabit a region largely absent of humans—and they make a big impression. Their glaringly white coat contrasts with their deadly skills: as the world's biggest terrestrial predators, they are capable of killing a seal with single blow. When young they are ridiculously adorable, but when adults they are stunning behemoths. But that's not all. Unlike many other species, the perils of climate change are also easy to visualize in connection with polar bears: their habitat is literally melting away. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8038 2011-06-20T16:26:00Z 2012-12-05T18:38:17Z Ocean prognosis: mass extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/sulawesi-bunaken_0084.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Multiple and converging human impacts on the world's oceans are putting marine species at risk of a mass extinction not seen for millions of years, according to a panel of oceanic experts. The bleak assessment finds that the world's oceans are in a significantly worse state than has been widely recognized, although past reports of this nature have hardly been uplifting. The panel, organized by the International Program on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), found that overfishing, pollution, and climate change are synergistically pummeling oceanic ecosystems in ways not seen during human history. Still, the scientists believe that there is time to turn things around if society recognizes the need to change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8034 2011-06-19T16:21:00Z 2011-06-19T16:22:09Z Greenpeace head arrested after nonviolent protest on Arctic oil rig <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Sunny_Skies_over_the_Arctic_in_Late_June_2010.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Kumi Naidoo, the head of Greenpeace, has been arrested after scaling a deepwater oil rig in the Arctic run by Cairn Energy. Naidoo was attempting to deliver a petition to the captain signed by 50,000 people demanding that Cairn Energy release details on how it would respond to an oil spill. "For me and for many people around the world this is now one of the defining environmental struggles of our time," Naidoo said on a video before scaling the rig. "It's a fight for sanity against the madness that sees the disappearance of the Arctic ice not as a warning, but as an opportunity to seek further profits." Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8002 2011-06-09T17:40:00Z 2011-06-09T17:49:37Z Russia and Norway carve up wildlife-rich Arctic sea for fossil fuels As climate change melts the Arctic sea ice, nations are rushing to carve up once-inaccessible areas for oil and gas exploitation, industrial fishing, and shipping routes. Now, BBC reports that Russia and Norway have essentially agreed to split the Arctic's Barents Sea in half —one of the region's richest in biodiversity and ecological productivity—for industrial exploitation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7978 2011-06-06T17:36:00Z 2011-06-19T17:59:44Z Arctic on the line: oil industry versus Greenpeace at the top of the world <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Sunny_Skies_over_the_Arctic_in_Late_June_2010.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>At the top of the world sits a lone region of shifting sea ice, bare islands, and strange creatures. For most of human history the Arctic remained inaccessible to all but the hardiest of peoples, keeping it relatively pristine and untouched. But today, the Arctic is arguably changing faster than anywhere else on Earth due to global climate change. Greenhouse gases from society have heated up parts of the Arctic over the past half-century by 4-5 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to a staggering decline in the Arctic sea ice. The large-scale changes suffered by the Arctic have created a new debate over conservation and exploitation, a debate currently represented by the protests of Greenpeace against oil company Cairn Energy, both of whom have been interviewed by mongabay.com (see below). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7796 2011-04-27T21:57:00Z 2011-05-09T17:51:17Z With pressure to drill, what should be saved in the Arctic? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/super_ebsa_overview_v5.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two major threats face the Arctic: the first is global climate change, which is warming the Arctic twice as fast the global average; the second is industrial expansion into untouched areas. The oil industry is exploring new areas in the Arctic, which they could not have reached before without anthropogenic climate change melting the region’s summer ice; but, of course, the Arctic wouldn't be warming without a hundred years of massive emissions from this very same industry, thus creating a positive feedback loop that is likely to wholly transform the Arctic. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7763 2011-04-19T20:58:00Z 2011-04-19T22:06:14Z Demand for gold pushing deforestation in Peruvian Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/journal.pone.0018875.g002.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation is on the rise in Peru's Madre de Dios region from illegal, small-scale, and dangerous gold mining. In some areas forest loss has increased up to six times. But the loss of forest is only the beginning; the unregulated mining is likely leaching mercury into the air, soil, and water, contaminating the region and imperiling its people. Using satellite imagery from NASA, researchers were able to follow rising deforestation due to artisanal gold mining in Peru. According the study, published in PLoS ONE, Two large mining sites saw the loss of 7,000 hectares of forest (15,200 acres)—an area larger than Bermuda—between 2003 and 2009. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7728 2011-04-11T19:29:00Z 2011-04-11T19:38:52Z Antarctic penguins losing to climate change through 80% krill decline Climate change has hit species of Antarctic penguins by causing a staggering decline in their prey: krill. A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has found that both chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarcticus) and Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) have seen their populations decline likely do to less krill, instead of habitat changes. Since 1970 krill populations have fallen by 80% in the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica. Because krill require sea ice to reproduce, shrinking sea ice from climate change has made it more difficult for them to breed. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7634 2011-03-24T18:42:00Z 2011-03-24T18:44:08Z Arctic sea ice maximum ties for lowest on record Providing more data on how climate change is impacting the Arctic, the maximum extent of sea ice this year was tied with 2006 for the lowest on record. Maximum sea ice simply means the territory the sea ice covers at its greatest point before the seasonal melt begins. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7573 2011-03-14T23:58:00Z 2011-03-16T17:19:19Z 15 conservation issues to watch <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Aedes_aegypti_larva.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation, oil spills, coral acidification: these are just a few examples of ongoing, and well-researched, environmental changes that are imperiling the world's biodiversity. But what issues are on the horizon? At the end of 2010, experts outlined in <i>Trends in Ecology & Evolution</i> 15 issues that may impact conservation efforts this year and beyond, but are not yet widely known. These are issues you may never hear about it again or could dominate tomorrow's environmental headlines. "Our aim was to identify technological advances, environmental changes, novel ecological interactions and changes in society that could have substantial impacts on the conservation of biological diversity […] whether beneficial or detrimental," the authors write in the paper. Experts originally came up with 71 possible issues and then whittled it down to the 15 most important—and least known. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7409 2011-02-08T17:38:00Z 2011-02-08T17:39:40Z Another low record for Arctic ice in January The extent of ice cover in the Arctic for January was the lowest on record, following another record-low in December for that month, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7405 2011-02-07T17:51:00Z 2013-07-20T05:32:19Z The ocean crisis: hope in troubled waters, an interview with Carl Safina <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/lazy.point.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Being compared—by more than one reviewer—to Henry Thoreau and Rachel Carson would make any nature writer's day. But add in effusive reviews that compare one to a jazz musician, Ernest Hemingway, and Charles Darwin, and you have a sense of the praise heaped on Carl Safina for his newest work, The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World. Like Safina's other books, The View from Lazy Point focuses on the beauty, poetry, and crisis of the world's oceans and its hundreds-of-thousands of unique inhabitants. Taking the reader on a journey around the world—the Arctic, Antarctic, and the tropics—Safina always returns home to take in the view, and write about the wildlife of his home, i.e. Lazy Point, on Long Island. While Safina's newest book addresses the many ways in which the ocean is being degraded, depleted, and ultimately imperiled as a living ecosystem (such as overfishing and climate change) it also tweezes out stories of hope by focusing on how single animals survive, and in turn how nature survives in an increasingly human world. However, what makes Safina's work different than most nature writing is his ability to move seamlessly from contemporary practical problems to the age-old philosophical underpinnings that got us here. By doing so, he points a way forward. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7232 2010-12-29T23:05:00Z 2010-12-29T23:28:56Z Ringed and bearded seals to be listed as Threatened The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has proposed listing bearded and ringed seals as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. NOAA highlights the disappearance of arctic sea ice and reduced snow cover as the major threats to the species. Morgan Erickson-Davis tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7207 2010-12-22T04:16:00Z 2010-12-24T15:49:13Z Disappearance of arctic ice could create 'grolar bears', narlugas; trigger biodiversity loss The melting of the Artic Ocean may result in a loss of marine mammal biodiversity, reports a new study published in the journal <i>BNature</i> and conducted jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the University of Alaska, and the University of Massachusetts. The study is the first to project what might happen if species pushed into new habitats because of ice loss hybridize with one another, resulting in such crossbreeds as "narlugas" and "grolar bears". Morgan Erickson-Davis tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7185 2010-12-17T05:12:00Z 2010-12-17T05:17:36Z New hope for polar bears Once thought of as a doomed species, new research published in the journal <i>Nature</i> and conducted by scientists from several institutions, including the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Geological Survey, finds that polar bears could be saved from extinction - if certain measures are taken. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6518 2010-07-20T19:31:00Z 2010-07-20T19:32:21Z June was the 304th month in a row above average temperatures Data released from the US's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Climatic Data Center shows that June 2010 was a record breaker. It was the warmest month of June globally since record-taking began in 1880 and it is the 304th month in a row that has been above the 20th Century average. The last month to fall below the average was February 1985: the month Nelson Mandela, who recently celebrated his 92nd birthday, rejected an offer of freedom from the then apartheid government. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6499 2010-07-14T16:00:00Z 2010-07-14T16:07:25Z Arctic ice hits lowest record for June In June the average sea ice extent in the Arctic was the lowest on record for that month, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Measured by satellites, the seasonal movements of Arctic ice have been tracked since 1979 with a dramatic decline seen over the last 30 years. This decline is linked by climatologists to climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5835 2010-03-18T17:12:00Z 2010-03-20T14:36:58Z High Arctic species plummeting across the board, others Arctic residents on the rise <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/spectacled_eider_USFWS.thumb.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>Between 1970 and 2004 species populations in the high Arctic have declined by 26 percent, according to the first report by the Arctic Species Trend Index (ASTI). While this may be a natural cycle, scientists are concerned that environmental impacts such as climate change are worsening natural population fluctuations in the high Arctic. Declining species include lemmings, red knot, and caribou. "Rapid changes to the Arctic’s ecosystems will have consequences for the Arctic that will be felt globally. The Arctic is host to abundant and diverse wildlife populations, many of which migrate annually from all regions of the globe. This region acts as a critical component in the Earth’s physical, chemical, and biological regulatory system," lead-author Louise McRae from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) said in a press release. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5712 2010-02-23T17:22:00Z 2010-02-23T17:42:45Z Climate change melting southern Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves The US Geological Survey (USGS) has found that every ice front in the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula—the coldest part—has been retreating overall for the past sixty years with the greatest changes visible since 1990. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5289 2009-12-14T20:06:00Z 2015-01-20T23:39:40Z Photos: ten beloved species threatened by global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/clownfish__thumb.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has released a list of ten species that are likely to be among the hardest hit by climate change, including beloved species such as the leatherback sea turtle, the koala, the emperor penguin, the clownfish, and the beluga whale. The timing of the list coincides with the negotiations by world leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference to come up with an international agreement to combat climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5288 2009-12-14T18:11:00Z 2009-12-14T18:55:44Z Sea levels set to rise more than expected due to 'deeply surprising' Greenland melt A new study by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program estimates that the sea will rise by 0.5 to 1.5 meters by 2100, threatening coastal cities and flooding island nations. This is double the predicted rise estimated by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change (IPCC) in 2007, which did not incorporate sea level rise due to the melting of Greenland and Antarctica's ice sheets. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5009 2009-09-23T19:25:00Z 2013-07-07T23:18:49Z Satellite lasers show melting of Greenland, Antarctic worse than expected Researchers examining 43 million satellite measurements of Antarctica's thinning ice sheets and 7 million of Greenland's, show that the ice is melting faster than expected. Published in <i>Nature</i> the research is the most comprehensive picture to date of the melting glaciers, allowing scientists to better predict how sea levels may rise. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4933 2009-09-03T17:54:00Z 2009-09-06T05:15:15Z Sea levels set to rise as Arctic warming replaces millennia long natural cooling cycle <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/troufs/16467-1.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to a new study published in <i>Science</i> the Arctic should be cooling, and in fact has been cooling for millennia. But beginning in 1900 Arctic summer temperatures began rising until the mid-1990s when the cooling trend was completely overcome. Researchers fear that this sudden up-tick in temperatures could lead to rising sea levels threatening coastal cities and islands. "Scientists have known for a while that the current period of warming was preceded by a long-term cooling trend," said lead author Darrell Kaufman of Northern Arizona University. "But our reconstruction quantifies the cooling with greater certainty than ever before." Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4918 2009-08-31T23:50:00Z 2009-09-01T18:43:59Z Summer sea ice likely to disappear in the Arctic by 2015 If current melting trends continue, the Arctic Ocean is likely to be free of summer sea ice by 2015, according to research presented at a conference organized by the National Space Institute at Technical University of Denmark, the Danish Meteorological Institute and the Greenland Climate Center. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4871 2009-08-19T03:10:00Z 2009-08-19T03:11:30Z Record global ocean temperature in July The world's ocean surface temperature was the warmest on record for July, breaking the previous record set in 1998, reports NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. At 62.56&deg;F (16.99&deg;C), ocean temperatures were 1.06&deg;F (0.59&deg;C) above the 20th century average. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4709 2009-07-07T20:58:00Z 2009-07-07T21:19:05Z NASA reveals dramatic thinning of Arctic sea ice <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/09/0707ice150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Arctic sea ice thinned dramatically between the winters of 2004 and 2008, with thin seasonal ice replacing thick older ice as the dominant type of sea ice for the first time on record, report NASA researchers. Scientists from NASA and the University of Washington used observations from NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) to make the first Arctic Ocean basin-wide estimate of the thickness and volume of sea ice cover. The researchers found that overall Arctic sea ice thinned about 17.8 centimeters (7 inches) a year, for a total of 67 cm (2.2 feet) over the four winters from 2004 to 2008. The total area covered by thick older ice that survives one or more summers ("multi-year ice") shrank 42 percent or 1.54 million square kilometers (595,000 square miles), leaving thinner first-year ice ("seasonal ice") as the dominant type of ice in the region. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4624 2009-06-10T17:10:00Z 2015-01-19T00:07:49Z Photo: guano stains helps researchers track penguins by satellite <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/troufs/luitpold_etm_2002338_lrg-3.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have uncovered a novel way to locate the world’s largest penguin’s breeding sites, employing satellite imagery they seek out Emperor penguin guano, droppings which show up starkly on the otherwise unsullied white sea ice of Antarctica. Searching for the penguins themselves had proven too difficult, since the birds’ black-and-white coloring allowed them to blend in with the shadows made by the ice. The penguin droppings however are light-brown—a colors that has no other source on sea ice, besides guano. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4558 2009-05-20T16:08:00Z 2009-05-20T16:11:37Z Study refutes criticism of polar bear listing under the Endangered Species Act <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/troufs/Polarbearonice-1-1.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In May 2008 the Bush Administration listed the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The listing immediately received allegations of being politically biased and not based on sound science. However, a new paper addresses the allegations point by point and concludes that the decision to add the polar bear under the ESA was not only scientifically sound, but right. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4505 2009-04-23T17:04:00Z 2009-04-23T17:05:32Z Antarctica’s sea ice increasing due to ozone hole, but scientists predict global warming will catch-up Increasing ice in Antarctica is not a sign that the earth is actually cooling instead of warming as some climate change-skeptics have attested. A new study finds that the growth in Antarctic ice during the last 30 years is actually due to shifting weather patterns caused by the hole in the ozone layer. The researchers predict that eventually global warming will catch up to Antarctica leading to overall melting as it has in the Arctic. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4469 2009-04-14T15:52:00Z 2009-04-14T16:17:04Z Cutting greenhouse gases now would save world from worst global warming scenarios <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/troufs/lamplugh_glacier_016-3.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If nations worked together to produce large cuts in greenhouse gases, the world would be saved from global warming's worst-case-scenarios, according to a new study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The study found that, although temperatures are set to rise this century, cutting greenhouse gases by 70 percent the globe could avoid the most dangerous aspects of climate change, including a drastic rise in sea level, melting of the Arctic sea ice, and large-scale changes in precipitation. In addition such cuts would eventually allow the climate to stabilize by the end of the century rather than a continuous rise in temperatures. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4459 2009-04-13T01:42:00Z 2009-12-16T00:13:30Z How satellites are used in conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/external/2006/satellite/sat_braz_101x.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In October 2008 scientists with the Royal Botanical Garden at Kew discovered a host of previously unknown species in a remote highland forest in Mozambique. The find was no accident: three years earlier, conservationist Julian Bayliss identified the site—Mount Mabu—using Google Earth, a tool that’s rapidly becoming a critical part of conservation efforts around the world. As the discovery in Mozambique suggests, remote sensing is being used for a bewildering array of applications, from monitoring sea ice to detecting deforestation to tracking wildlife. The number of uses grows as the technology matures and becomes more widely available. Google Earth may represent a critical point, bringing the power of remote sensing to the masses and allowing anyone with an Internet connection to attach data to a geographic representation of Earth. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4451 2009-04-07T19:23:00Z 2009-05-04T00:27:43Z Arctic ecosystem in danger as ice thins <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/troufs/13328_web-2.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Recent dramatic news points to both poles undergoing transformation due to climate change. This weekend an ice bridge disintegrated on the Wilkins Ice Shelf in Antarctica, leaving the whole shelf vulnerable to melting, and then yesterday new evidence was released of the impact of warming in the Arctic. Younger thinner ice has become the dominant type in the Arctic over the past five years, reports a new study led by Research Associate Charles Fowler of the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research. The thinner ice does not bode well for the Arctic ecosystem, as the ice is more prone to summer melting. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4446 2009-04-05T21:30:00Z 2009-05-04T00:28:44Z Ice bridge collapses, leaving Wilkins Ice Shelf vulnerable As though commenting on world leader's lack of progress in combating climate change at the G20 conference last week, an ice bridge connecting the Wilkins Ice Shelf to the Antarctic continent broke off over the weekend. Long expected by scientists, the break is perhaps the beginning of the Wilkins Ice Shelf completely coming loose from Antarctica. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4305 2009-02-18T17:10:00Z 2009-02-18T17:21:27Z Climate change doubles coastal erosion in Alaska over 5-year period Coastal erosion along a 64-kilometer (40-mile) stretch of Alaska's Beaufort Sea doubled between 2002 and 2007, report researchers, who link the development to "declining sea ice extent, increasing summertime sea-surface temperature, rising sea level, and increases in storm power and corresponding wave action." Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4272 2009-02-06T20:08:00Z 2009-02-06T20:40:37Z As sea ice retreats, swathe of Arctic closed to fishing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/09/0205close150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) voted unanimously to close off more than 150,000 square nautical miles of the Arctic sea to commercial fishing. The decision, welcomed by an array of environmentalists and industry groups, is a preventative measure to protect fisheries that have become more accessible as a result of declining sea ice in the Arctic. It is the first time that the federal government has closed a fishery due to climate change instead of over-fishing, says supporters of the ban. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4262 2009-02-05T16:30:00Z 2009-02-05T16:44:30Z Global warming to strengthen Arctic storms Arctic storms could worsen due to climate change, putting fisheries, oil and gas exploration, and sea lanes at risk, warn researchers writing in the journal <i>Climate Dynamics</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4217 2009-01-27T20:25:00Z 2009-01-27T20:54:16Z Global warming may doom emperor penguins to extinction Disappearing sea ice around Antarctica may put emperor penguins at risk of extinction within the next century, warn scientists writing in this week's <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3560 2008-12-17T21:09:00Z 2008-12-18T00:58:11Z Arctic sea ice fell to the lowest volume on record in 2008 Arctic sea ice fell to the lowest volume &#8212; and second lowest extent &#8212; on record, according to the annual World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Statement on the Status of the Global Climate. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3557 2008-12-17T01:26:00Z 2008-12-17T02:35:43Z Observed sea level rise, ice melt far outpaces projections <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/us/alaska/150/margerie_glacier_053.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sea levels will rise faster than previously estimated due to rapid melting of glaciers and ice sheets, according to a U.S government report released at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. The report, titled Abrupt Climate Change, incorporates research published since last year's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which drew largely from studies dating up to 2006. Most significantly, Abrupt Climate Change suggests that IPCC estimates for future sea level rise (18-58 cm) are conservative, noting that recent observations on sea level rise and loss of sea ice are far outpacing previous projections. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3412 2008-10-16T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:39Z NOAA offers "dramatic evidence" of Arctic warming Fall air temperatures 9&deg;F (5&deg;C) above normal, the second lowest-ever extent of summer sea ice, and the melting of surface ice in Greenland are signs of continued warming in the Arctic, according to the Arctic Report Card, an annual review of Arctic conditions by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its partners. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3456 2008-10-07T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:47Z U.S. to ban oil drilling in new Arctic reserves for polar bears The U.S. Department of the Interior will designate two Arctic reserves in areas considered critical habitat for polar bears as part of a legal settlement with environmental groups, reports Reuters. The reserves will be off-limits of oil development and must be established by June 30, 2010. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3467 2008-10-03T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:48Z Arctic sea ice "likely" hit lowest volume on record in 2008 The volume of sea ice in the Arctic has likely hit its lowest level since satellite measurements began in 1979, report researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center, who confirmed that Arctic sea ice extent was the second-lowest on record this year. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3309 2008-09-16T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:16Z Arctic sea ice falls to second lowest on record Arctic sea ice retreated to the second lowest level on record but remains about 9 percent above the low set last September, reports the NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3334 2008-09-09T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:23Z NASA: Sea ice melt opens the Northwest and Northeast Passage An image released by NASA shows that Arctic sea ice has retreated to the point where both the Northwest Passage around North America and the Northern Sea Route around Russia are open simultaneously. The occurrence marks the first time on record that both passages have been open. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3351 2008-09-03T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:26Z Canada's ice shelves lost 23% of their area this summer A 19-square-mile (50 sq km) chuck of ice shelf broke off from Canada's Ellesmere Island in the northern Arctic, reports the Associated Press. The Manhattan-sized ice shelf is now adrift in the Arctic Ocean. It is the largest of more than 83 sq mi (214 sq km) of ice shelf that has broken up in the Canadian Arctic this year. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3189 2008-08-27T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:50Z Sea ice extent falls to second lowest on record Arctic sea ice extent presently stands at it second-lowest level on record and could set a new low in coming weeks, reports the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3252 2008-08-07T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:02Z Researchers evacuated due to polar bear trapped on land by melting sea ice The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) evacuated five of its scientists from a remote camp in northern Alaska because of a new and unusual threat: a polar bear stuck on land due to climate change. Polar bears would normally be out on sea ice this time of year, but with recent warming the ice is miles from shore and bears are becoming increasingly trapped on land well away from their usual seal prey. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3061 2008-06-11T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:25Z Sea ice loss may triple warming over northern Alaska, Canada, and Russia Fast-declining Arctic sea-ice could spur rapid warming in northern Alaska, Canada, and Russia triggering thawing of permafrost and a release greenhouse gases from the frozen soils, reports a new study published in <I>Geophysical Research Letters</I>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2990 2008-05-14T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:10Z U.S. lists the polar bear as threatened, but decision won't affect emissions rules The U.S. Interior Department has decided to list the polar bear as a threatened species due to declining sea ice cover in the Arctic, according to the The Associated Press. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has scheduled a news conference Wednesday to announce the action. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2875 2008-04-29T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:48:40Z Endangered species status of the polar bear to be decided May 15 A federal judge has ordered the Bush administration to stop delaying its decision on whether to list the polar bear as an endangered species. Environmentalists say the bear is threatened by melting sea ice in its Arctic habitat. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2884 2008-04-25T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:52Z The Arctic's most threatened marine mammals due to climate change A recent study has measured the sensitivity to Arctic marine mammals to climate change. The study found that the three species most vulnerable to climate change are the hooded seal, the polar bear, and the narwhal: the common thread between these species being the loss of sea ice. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2897 2008-04-21T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:55Z Sunshine worsens Arctic sea ice melt Arctic sea ice is increasingly vulnerable to sunny days, concludes new research published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2794 2008-03-25T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:33Z Swan finds love with paddleboat In a bizarre story out of Muenster, Germany, a black swam will be reunited with its companion &#8212; a paddleboat shaped like an outsized white swan, reports the Associated Press. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2795 2008-03-25T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:34Z Photos: Warming triggers massive Antarctic ice shelf collapse <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/08/0325_wilkins_figure3a.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Satellites have captured the collapse of a massive ice shelf in Antarctica. At 160 square miles the area of collapsed ice was seven times the size of Manhattan. Scientists say the collapse is the beginning of a "runaway" disintegration of the 13,680 square kilometer (5,282 square mile) Wilkins Ice Shelf on the southwest Antarctic Peninsula. The region has experienced the largest temperature increase on the planet, rising by 0.5 degree Celsius (0.9 degree Fahrenheit) per decade over the past 50 years. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2807 2008-03-19T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:48:23Z Perennial ice disappearing in the Arctic receives little attention from the media A big story came out on the loss of perennial ice in Arctic from NASA on Wednesday &#8212; and was mostly ignored by the media. Despite a colder winter than usual, the Arctic is losing its perennial ice (ice that lasts longer than a season) making the region even more susceptible to global warming. Perennial ice used to cover 50-60 percent of the Arctic. Results from this year's satellites show that perennial ice has decreased to less than 30 percent. In addition ice older than six years has declined from 20 percent in the eighties to six percent today. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2778 2008-02-04T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:31Z Climate system approaching 9 critical tipping points Earth is approaching and may pass nine important climate tipping points this century, according to research published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2477 2007-11-13T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:47:14Z NASA: Arctic Ocean circulation reversal not due to global warming A study published in Geophysical Research Letters shows that weakening of the Arctic Oscillation results from a cyclical process rather than climate change. The results suggest not all the large changes seen in Arctic climate in recent years are a result of long-term trends associated with global warming. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2410 2007-10-16T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:47:00Z Arctic sea ice extent hits record low in September Arctic sea ice reached a record low in September 2007, well below the previous record set in 2005 and substantially below the long-term average, according to an image released by NASA. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2308 2007-09-15T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:46:38Z Northwest Passage now open for business Melting sea ice has opened the Northwest Passage in the Arctic to navigation, reports the European Space Agency. The clearing allows direct access between the North Pacific and North Atlantic and could eventually be a cheaper shipping route that the Panama Canal. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2309 2007-09-14T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:46:38Z Arctic sea ice thickness only half of 2001 level Arctic sea is thinning and disappearing, report German researchers. An Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research expedition to the North Polar Sea found that large areas of the Arctic sea-ice are only one meter thick this year -- half the thickness found in 2001. The findings support concerns that large expanses of polar ice could soon disppaear from the Arctic during summer months. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2316 2007-09-12T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:46:40Z Arctic sea ice melts to all-time record low Sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean is presently 20 percent below its all time lowest extent and may decline further before winter, said scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder (NSIDC). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2336 2007-09-07T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:46:44Z Two-thirds of polar bears at risk of extinction by 2050 Two-thirds the world's polar bears could be threatened with extinction by 2050 due to melting sea ice, said U.S. government scientists Friday. U.S. Geological Survey scientists said that the United States (the north coast of Alaska) and Russian would likely lose all of their polar bear populations. The only bears expected to survive would be those in the northern Canadian Arctic islands and the west coast of Greenland. Overall, bears are forecast to lose 42 percent of the Arctic range they need to hunt and breed during summer months. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2340 2007-09-07T14:30:00Z 2009-03-01T22:25:28Z Experts forecast large decline in Arctic sea ice Summer sea ice off Alaska's north coast will likely shrink to nearly half the area it covered in the 1980s by 2050, report scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The loss of ice would have a significant impact on mammals dependent on sea ice, including polar bear and walrus. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2191 2007-08-28T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:46:16Z Northwest Passage Nearly Open, reports NASA The fabeled Northwest Passage is nearly open, with implications for trade and natural resource exploitation, reports NASA. Rhett Butler