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Climate
Icebergs calving from an ice shelf in West Antarctica. NASA / GSFC / Jefferson Beck / CC BY-SA 2.0

Good News From Antarctica: Rising Bedrock Could Save Vulnerable Ice Sheet

After last week's disturbing news that ice melt in Antarctica has tripled in the last five years, another study published Thursday offers some surprising good news for the South Pole and its vulnerable West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS).

The study, published in Science by an international research team, found that the bedrock below the WAIS is rising, a process known as "uplift," at record rates as melting ice removes weight, potentially stabilizing the ice sheet that scientists feared would be lost to climate change.

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The tongue of Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier, which is melting at an accelerated pace. NASA ICE / James Yungel / CC BY 2.0

Antarctic Ice Melt Has Tripled in Five Years

Ice melt in Antarctica has tripled in the last five years, according to the most comprehensive assessment of the state of South Pole ice to date, published in Nature Wednesday.

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Christian Åslund / Greenpeace

Greenpeace Finds Microplastics and Hazardous Chemicals in Remote Antarctic Waters

Another day, another sign of the reach of the global ocean plastics crisis. A Greenpeace expedition to Antarctica turned up microplastics in more than half of ocean water samples taken in the world's southernmost waters. It also found chemicals dangerous to wildlife in a majority of snow samples, Greenpeace reported Wednesday.

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Climate
April 2018 Temperature. NOAA

We Just Experienced 400 Straight Months of Unusual Warmth

April 2018 was the 400th consecutive month of global temperatures above the 20th century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA) announced Thursday.

That means the last time Earth was cooler than that average was December 1984—the same month Band Aid released "Do They Know It's Christmas."

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Animals
Weddell seals. U.S. Geological Survey

Antarctic Seals Help Scientists Track Melting Ice Sheet

Scientists studying the warming waters and salinity of the Southern Ocean's Amundsen Sea—which surrounds the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers, two of the largest and fastest-retreating glaciers in Antarctica—are using a novel method collect data.

They temporarily glued sensors onto the fur of Antarctic seals. Really.

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Study Reveals Dangerous Antarctic Feedback Loop

A new study of the melting patterns of glaciers in Antarctica provides real-world evidence for one of the more troubling model-based climate change predictions, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The study, published April 18 in Science Advances, found that fresh water melting off of glaciers in some regions of Antarctica caused a layer of cold, fresh water to float above warmer, saltier water, both slowing ocean circulation and melting lower parts of the ice sheets.

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Animals
A fin whale surfacing in Greenland. Aqqa Rosing-Asvid / CC BY 2.0

Iceland to Resume Killing Endangered Fin Whales

By Kitty Block

Iceland seems to be the most confused of nations when it comes to whales. On the one hand it attracts international tourists from all over the world to go out and see whales as part of their encounters with Iceland's many natural wonders. On the other hand it kills whales for profit, with some portion of the kill even being fed to some of the same tourists in restaurants and cafes.

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Fourpeaked volcano, Alaska, in September 2006 after being thought extinct for more than 10,000 years. Cyrus Read, USGS

Climate Change Could Set Off Volcanoes

We can add volcanic eruptions to the list of potential climate change hazards.

In a presentation at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly held from April 8 to 13, University of Clermont Auvergne Ph.D. student Gioachino Roberti explained research indicating that melting glaciers could trigger eruptions, the Independent reported Wednesday.

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Climate
Wikimedia Commons

Antarctica Lost a London-Sized Area of Underwater Ice in Only 6 Years

Antarctica's ice sheet is retreating due to warm ocean water circulating beneath its floating edge, researchers from the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds have found.

The study, published in Nature Geoscience, shows that the Southern Ocean melted 1,463 square kilometers of Antarctica's underwater ice between 2010 and 2016—an area roughly the size of Greater London.

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