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Analysis and Comment (17)

In the deep freeze. In the deep freeze. akasped

Arctic warming will bring fewer cold weather extremes

The climate is warming, and so basic logic would suggest we should expect fewer bouts of cold weather. Yet severe winter weather, such as the cold wave over the US this year, and the chilly winter of 2009/10…
Icebergs calve from the Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Icebergs calve from the Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Ted Scambos, NSIDC

The Arctic melts, but oceans and ozone hole may cool Antarctica

Over recent decades, scientists have watched the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions respond in starkly different and perhaps surprising ways to the effects of increasing human influence on the Earth’s…
The huge caldera of Mount Tambora, Indonesia – still active today. The huge caldera of Mount Tambora, Indonesia – still active today. Jialiang Gao

Largest volcanic eruption in human history changed the 19th century as much as Napoleon

Most have heard of the Battle of Waterloo, but who has heard of the volcano called Tambora? No school textbook I’ve seen mentions that only two months before Napoleon’s final defeat in Belgium on June…
Things continue to hot up for polar bears in the Arctic. Things continue to hot up for polar bears in the Arctic. Gerard Van der Leun

Cold weather in the US no solace for starving polar bears

During the “polar vortex” that recently swept the US, Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo was forced to bring its polar bear indoors as it was “too cold” for a bear acclimated to Chicago’s “normal” winters (where…
European green crabs, the party crashers of the American coasts. European green crabs, the party crashers of the American coasts. Lmbuga

Heed past lessons to save Arctic from invasive species

More shipping is sailing through thawing Arctic waters, but while these northern routes might provide opportunities for tourism, mining and cutting down delivery times, the ships may also carry stowaways…
Hudson Bay Lowlands are staying greener for longer as temperatures rise. Hudson Bay Lowlands are staying greener for longer as temperatures rise. K. Rühland

Global warming finally reaches the last Arctic region

Lakes of the Hudson Bay Lowlands, in northeast Canada, are showing evidence of abrupt change in one of the last Arctic regions of the world to have experienced global warming, according to Canadian research…
Another great British summer. Another great British summer. [Duncan]

If next summer is rained off, blame the melting Arctic

Most people saw the warm dry weather from June to September as a welcome, but freak, occurrence. Because, as anyone who invested in floaty dresses, barbecues or expensive sunglasses in previous years will…
The not just cold, but troubled waters of the Russian Arctic. The not just cold, but troubled waters of the Russian Arctic. Will Rose/Greenpeace

Jailing Greenpeace activists will harden attitudes to Russia

Russia’s overreaction in prosecuting Greenpeace protesters, including the two journalists, is set to unfold into an international scandal that will seriously damage country’s global reputation. So far…
The Arctic is not, and never will be, plain sailing. The Arctic is not, and never will be, plain sailing. Szecska

Northwest Passage crossed, but it’s not a boon for business

Disappearing Arctic sea ice has brought new opportunities for shipping, and placed the top of the world squarely on industry and politicians' agendas. When the bulk carrier MV Nordic Orion last week ferried…
Risky business: Shell’s Kulluk rig had to be evacuated when it couldn’t hack the Arctic. Risky business: Shell’s Kulluk rig had to be evacuated when it couldn’t hack the Arctic. US Coast Guard

It’s time to draw a line in the Arctic ice over oil and gas

I have a great respect for National Geographic. I’m a card-carrying member with an annual subscription, and I appreciate the balance, depth and understanding they bring to revealing the links between the…
Cracks appearing in the permafrost signal that a thaw is coming. Cracks appearing in the permafrost signal that a thaw is coming. Brocken Inaglory/Wikipedia

Melting Arctic’s methane timebomb could cost trillions

Arctic sea ice is retreating, with projections suggesting that the summer months will be substantially ice-free within the next few years. Nations are waking up to the possibilities for shipping and resource…
On thin ice? On thin ice? Alan D. Wilson/naturespicsonline.com

All eyes turn to the prize as the Arctic opens for business

Foundation essay: This article on the future of the Arctic by Tavis Potts, Senior Lecturer in Oceans Governance at the Scottish Association for Marine Science, is part of a series marking the launch of…
Is the Arctic singing a siren song? Humans may be causing the problems, but they can fix them, too. Is the Arctic singing a siren song? Humans may be causing the problems, but they can fix them, too. ADVENTURE CANADA/AAP

Final frontiers: the Arctic

With the global population now well over seven billion there are few remaining parts of the world relatively untouched by human activity. We assess the current state and future prospects of five final…
Methane locked under the Arctic ice could take climate change to a whole new level. Methane locked under the Arctic ice could take climate change to a whole new level. Antonio Delgado Huertas

Methane hydrates: a volatile time bomb in the Arctic

The risk with climate change is not with the direct effect of humans on the greenhouse capacity of Earth’s atmosphere. The major risk is that the relatively modest human perturbation will unleash much…
Will we ultimately see 2012 as triumphant, or as just one step in an emerging global tragedy? Will we ultimately see 2012 as triumphant, or as just one step in an emerging global tragedy? Jenny Varley

Opening the fabled Northwest Passage: triumph or tragedy?

A combination of 33-year satellite records, measurements made over the past century, and long-term proxy analysis suggests Arctic sea ice may be at its lowest level for more than 1,000 years. According…
Melting Arctic Sea ice should be the warning we need about expanding coal exports. Melting Arctic Sea ice should be the warning we need about expanding coal exports. Michael Sonnabend

On Arctic Sea ice melt and coal mine canaries

Despite peak global temperatures in 2005 and 2010 (unprecedented in the instrumental record), a recent sharp plunge in volume of the Arctic Sea ice and a spate of extreme weather events, coal mining, coal…

Research and News (2)

Research Briefs (13)

Arctic begins to resemble the south

A large scale study that looks at changing seasonality in the northern hemisphere has been completed. Researchers from 17…

Arctic ice at its lowest

Arctic sea ice coverage is at its lowest since observations began in 1972. Ice coverage in the Arctic has declined by 11…