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By Rebecca Bowe
Send an army of industry workers into remote polar bear territory in the dead of winter, and things are not going to end well.
The results of what researchers say is the longest-running study of Antarctica's ice mass have been published, and they are dramatic. Yearly ice loss has increased by a factor of six in the past 40 years, contributing more than half an inch to global sea level rise, a University of California, Irvine (UCI) press release reported. The researchers also observed consistent ice loss from East Antarctica, which boasts the world's largest ice sheet and has traditionally been assumed to be more stable.
"The places undergoing changes in Antarctica are not limited to just a couple places," lead author and UCI chair of earth system science Eric Rignot told The Washington Post. "They seem to be more extensive than what we thought. That, to me, seems to be reason for concern."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Erika Spanger-Siegfried
We're stepping into a new year in the climate fight. The turning of the year is a milestone both for stoking our resolve, and for noting how deep we now are into climate overtime. In 2018 there was a lot of talk of diminishing odds and despair, and not without reason. So if, like me, you're heading into 2019 discouraged or even despairing, I have three things to say: you're not wrong; the fight from here on out is not the one you signed up for; but there's more to hope, even your own, than meets the eye.
2018 is set to rank as the fourth warmest year on record—and the fourth year in a row reflecting a full degree Celsius (1.8° Fahrenheit) temperature rise from the late 1800s, climate scientists say.
This was the year that introduced us to fire tornadoes, bomb cyclones and in Death Valley, a five-day streak of 125°F temperatures, part of the hottest month ever documented at a U.S. weather station.
Ice Sheets in Greenland, Antarctica Could Reach Catastrophic 'Tipping Points' if We Don't Limit Warming
Scientists just gave us another terrifying reason to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels: If temperatures push much beyond that point, both Greenland and Antarctica's ice sheets could reach a point where nothing can stop them from melting.
An international team of researchers published this chilling finding in Nature Climate Change Monday. The researchers set out to study how the ice sheets would fare in a warming world, and the results were urgent.
By Donna Hauser, Harry Stern and Kristin Laidre
Americans often associate fall with football and raking leaves, but in the Arctic this season is about ice. Every year, floating sea ice in the Arctic thins and melts in spring and summer, then thickens and expands in fall and winter.
As climate change warms the Arctic, its sea ice cover is declining. This year scientists estimate that the Arctic sea ice minimum in late September covered 1.77 million square miles, tying the sixth lowest summertime minimum on record.
By Daniel Ross
A rock seawall protecting the Air Force's Cape Lisburne Long Range Radar Station on the North East Alaska coast is under increasing duress from extreme weather patterns affecting Arctic sea ice—nearly $50 million has been spent replacing vulnerable parts of the wall already.
By Robert McSweeney
Arctic sea ice has reached its summer minimum extent for the year, clocking in at 4.59m square kilometers (sq km) (approximately 1.77m square miles), which puts it joint sixth lowest in the 40-year satellite record alongside 2008 and 2010.
The twelve smallest summer lows in the satellite record have all occurred in the last twelve years.
Scientists warn that a warm layer of salty ocean water accumulating 50 meters beneath the Arctic's Canadian Basin could potentially melt the region's sea-ice pack for much of the year if it reaches the surface.
The findings were published Thursday in the journal Science Advances by researchers from Yale University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Denmark's Maersk Line, the world's largest shipping company, will soon be the first to send a container vessel through Russia's Northern Sea Route, as the melting Arctic opens up new trade possibilities.
The Northern Sea Route has been historically impossible or prohibitively expensive to cross due to frozen sea ice. But the Arctic is warming at a rate twice as fast as the rest of the globe due to climate change and has significantly thawed the region's ice.
By Daisy Dunne
Sharp declines in summer rainfall could be a "primary driver" of the record-breaking wildfires ripping across the western U.S., research shows.
Using satellite data, the study finds that there have been "previously unnoted" declines in summer rainfall across close to a third of forests in the western U.S. over the past four decades. These declines are "strongly correlated" with wildfire increases, the study finds.