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Tag: Arctic

Lead trapped in Arctic ice reveals economic impact of wars, plagues

Lead trapped in Arctic ice reveals economic impact of wars, plagues

Science
July 10 (UPI) -- Today, economists use a wide variety of sophisticated tools to measure economic output. But how does one measure economic activity that happened 1,000 years ago? One way is measure changes in lead pollution levels trapped in ancient ice. Using Arctic ice cores, an international team of researchers successfully retraced the economic ups and down of the last 1,500 years. The findings, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, revealed the the economic impacts of wars and plagues. "We all were surprised at how similarly lead pollution varied across this half of the Arctic and how closely those variations coincided with known historical events," Joe McConnell, director of DRI's Ultra-Trace Ice Core Chemistry Laboratory at the Desert ...
As planet warms, Arctic lakes, rivers will lose their biodiversity

As planet warms, Arctic lakes, rivers will lose their biodiversity

Science
May 22 (UPI) -- As Earth's temperatures continue to rise, freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic are becoming unusually warm -- too warm for many native species. According to a report, the trend could cause regional extinctions, resulting in a tremendous loss of biodiversity in Arctic lakes and rivers. The recently published Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report, a product of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program, CBMP, suggests Arctic species are running out of Arctic habitat. "The findings of the report are alarming. Global warming is reducing the area of the region that can be considered as Arctic," Danny Chun Pong Lau, an ecologist at UmeƄ University in Sweden, said in a news release. "The consequence is that southern species move northwards and cold tolerant species face poss
Thawing permafrost leaves traceable carbon footprint in Arctic rivers

Thawing permafrost leaves traceable carbon footprint in Arctic rivers

Science
May 7 (UPI) -- Researchers have found a way to measure the carbon released into Arctic rivers by thawing permafrost. Carbon is everywhere. It is also often on the move. But some carbon sources are sneakier than others. To better understand the planet's carbon budget and its influence on climate change, scientists must develop ways to more accurately track some of this sneaky carbon. When permafrost thaws, ancient carbon, sometimes frozen for hundreds of thousands of years, is freed up. As the planet continues to warm, more and more of this frozen carbon is escaping. But measuring this climate-carbon feedback is difficult. To better track the phenomena, scientists at Stockholm University decided to measure the radiocarbon signal of runaway carbon in large rivers. "Rivers transport carbon ...
Researchers find the source of black carbon in the Arctic

Researchers find the source of black carbon in the Arctic

Science
Feb. 15 (UPI) -- When black carbon coats the surface of snow and ice in the Arctic, it reduces the surface's reflectivity, causing the snow and ice to absorb more of the sun's energy, amplifying melt rates and accelerating global warming. Now, scientists have an accurate picture of where most of the Arctic's black carbon comes from. The soot that falls as black carbon is produced by wildfires, diesel engines, kilns and wood burning stoves. To better understand where the region's black carbon deposits originate from, scientists conducted a chemical analysis of soot samples from across the Arctic. By measuring the isotopic ratios in the black carbon samples, researchers can determine during which season it was deposited and where it came from. "The significance of studying atmospheric poll...
Wintertime ice growth in the Arctic is accelerating, slowing historic decline

Wintertime ice growth in the Arctic is accelerating, slowing historic decline

Science
Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Sea ice coverage in the Arctic has been on a precipitous decline over the last few decades, but new research from NASA suggests an increase in wintertime ice growth could help slow the trend -- but only momentarily. Despite the study's surprising revelation, scientists say the longterm prognosis for the ice caps remains poor. "This increase in the amount of sea ice growing in winter doesn't overcome the large increase in melting we've observed in recent decades," Alek Petty, a sea ice scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a news release. "Overall, thickness is decreasing. Arctic sea ice is still very much in decline across all seasons and is projected to continue its decline over the coming decades." Petty is the lead author of the new study of wintertim...