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Troubles with Shell: in 2013, its drill became stranded and had to be rescued. Aaron M. Johnson/US Air Force

Despite Shell’s about-face, interest in Arctic oil grows

Shell has abandoned oil exploration offshore Alaska for now but a variety of trends are driving the energy industry to take a fresh look at Arctic drilling.
Time to get cracking: a Canadian research vessel in the Arctic. John F. Williams/Office of Naval Research

Temporary ban on fishing reflects how fragile Arctic ecosystem is

A melting Arctic means new areas will be open to commercial fishing but scientists – and bordering countries – say they need time to study the ecological and economic risks.
In some regions of the Arctic, polar bears will spend their entire lives on sea ice or the ocean. Christopher Michel/flickr

Polar bears unlikely to compensate for ice loss in summer

Could polar bears slip into a hibernation-like state to tough out lean hunting during summers with little sea ice? Sadly, experiment suggests no.
Satellite image showing clouds over the Greenland Sea downstream of the ice edge during conditions where there was a large transfer of heat and moisture from the ocean to the atmosphere. NASA

Declining winter sea ice near Greenland spells cooler climate for Europe

Loss of sea ice near Greenland and Iceland portend a colder future for Europe.
In the long run all this will be gone. NASA

Why Arctic melting will be erratic in the short term

Arctic sea ice melts each summer, reaching its minimum extent sometime in September, before refreezing through the winter. Over the past 35 years, the September sea ice extent has reduced by about 35…
This is the area that holds strategic importance Reuters/Balazs Koranyi

As the Arctic melts, the US needs to pay attention

In a few short months the United States assumes Chair of the Arctic Council (AC). This is a two-year long opportunity to shape the future of the Arctic, an opportunity that will likely not come around…
Time to get on the Arctic mine train? Kitty Terwolbeck

Why mining companies might be the Arctic’s best hope

Economic interests are set to play an increasingly important role in shaping development in the Arctic. Yet prominent members of the mining industry, familiar with the economic and reputational perils…
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. 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…

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