Articles on Arctic

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The crew of scientists prepare to put the drill stem into the Greenland ice sheet to probe water flows about a half of a mile below. Joel Harper

Scientist at work: Tracking melt water under the Greenland ice sheet

A glaciologist develops a lightweight method for probing the depths of Greenland's ice sheet to answer a crucial question: How fast is it melting?
Christmas Eve 2015, Paris. Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

Was 2015 such a terrible year? And what will 2016 look like?

Well Santa has come and gone, at least for the largest proportion of the world’s population. And, as we reach the end of the year, it is inevitably time to review recent trends and the prospects for 2016…
The warming global climate is causing fundamental changes to the carbon cycle in northern parts of the world. peupleloup/flickr

Will the Arctic shift from a carbon sink to a carbon source?

Global warming is changing the movement of carbon within northern ecosystems to the point where the Arctic could become a net source, rather than sink, of greenhouse gas emissions.
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.

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