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Tag: Arctic

Arctic experiences second warmest year since 1900

Arctic experiences second warmest year since 1900

Science
Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Land-surface air temperatures recorded between October 2019 and September 2020 show the Arctic experienced the second warmest year since record-keeping began in 1900. The near-record, detailed in the latest edition of NOAA's annual Arctic Report Card, fits into a broader pattern of rising temperatures, shrinking ice sheets, melting sea ice and declining snow coverage. Advertisement "Taken as a whole, the story is unambiguous," Rick Thoman, one of the report card's three editors, said in a news release. "The transformation of the Arctic to a warmer, less frozen and biologically changed region is well underway," said Thoman, a climate scientist with the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. NOAA has been publishing the annual report car...
Arctic ground squirrels recycle their body’s own nutrients to survive the long winters

Arctic ground squirrels recycle their body’s own nutrients to survive the long winters

Science
Dec. 7 (UPI) -- By analyzing the body chemistry of hibernating Arctic ground squirrels, scientists found the rodents are able to recycle their body's own nutrients during deep hibernation. The discovery, detailed Monday in the journal Nature Metabolism, may explain how mammals survive prolonged periods of inactivity during the winter, as well as offer insights into muscle loss in humans. Advertisement For the study, researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks monitored ground squirrels in a lab for more than two years. Using pulse isotopic tracing, scientists were able to track the movements of nearly undetectable levels of nutrients through the squirrels' bodies. As the rodents slept away the winter, with temperatures just above freezing, the instruments observed the conversion of ...
New rules for Arctic shipping ‘a missed opportunity’

New rules for Arctic shipping ‘a missed opportunity’

Science
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Phytoplankton perform photosynthesis, bloom beneath Arctic sea ice

Phytoplankton perform photosynthesis, bloom beneath Arctic sea ice

Science
Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Phytoplankton, tiny single-celled algae, anchor marine food webs throughout Earth's oceans. Now, new research suggests the tiny free-floating microorganisms play a central role in the functioning Arctic marine ecosystem. For decades, scientists assumed phytoplankton in the Arctic go dormant during the winter and early spring, proliferating only after Arctic sea ice begins to recede during the summer. Advertisement But a new review of the scientific literature on the subject -- published Thursday in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science -- suggests phytoplankton continue to perform photosynthesis and bloom beneath Arctic sea ice. "There was a long-standing assumption that what was happening under the sea ice in the water column was almost 'on pause' during the polar nigh...
German ship completes historic Arctic expedition

German ship completes historic Arctic expedition

Science
The German Research Vessel Polarstern has sailed back into its home port after completing a remarkable expedition to the Arctic Ocean.The ship spent a year in the polar north, much of it with its engines turned off so it could simply drift in the sea-ice.The point was to study the Arctic climate and how it is changing.And expedition leader, Prof Markus Rex, returned with a warning. "The sea-ice is dying," he said."The region is at risk. We were able to witness how the ice disappears and in areas where there should have been ice that was many metres thick, and even at the North Pole - that ice was gone," the Alfred Wegener Institute scientist told a media conference in Bremerhaven on Monday. ...