Antarctic sea ice is now nearly 9% below norma. But the dramatic decline is not universal around the continent, which makes it difficult to predict the overall impact of climate change.
Sea ice around Antarctica has always followed a predictable seasonal cycle. Now, we’ve experienced a sudden dramatic loss, and the changes are here to stay.
Just as Darwin’s finches evolved specialised beaks to target prey, 3D modelling of 61 museum specimens reveals albatross beaks vary in size and shape for different diets. They can also drink seawater.
Freshening seawater around Antarctica is disrupting a global ocean conveyor which regulates the climate.
Working with underwater robots, scientists show how deep sea mountains and fast currents between Antarctica and South America play a crucial role in stabilizing the climate.
The melting of the Antarctic ice sheet will contribute for a long time to sea level rise, which will test humanity’s capacity to adapt.
The trend globally is for countries to be explicit about their maritime interests, underpinned by a sound security strategy.
Southern Ocean heat uptake accounts for almost all the planet’s ocean warming, thereby controlling the rate of climate change.
Migaloo, where are you? How searching for the iconic white humpback whale connects us all with the ocean.
Thwaites Glacier’s ice shelf appears to be splintering, and scientists fear it could give way in the next few years. A polar scientist takes us on a tour under the ice to explain the forces at work.
For the first time since satellites started studying the continent, East Antarctica has lost an entire ice shelf.
The resting place of Shackleton’s ill-fated ship is now an international heritage site, and a reminder of how Antarctica’s place in our collective consciousness has changed since the ‘heroic age’.
This enormous, unprecedented algal bloom could have profound implications for carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and for the marine ecosystem.
These giant predators are helping solve the mystery of Earth’s cooling shift some 50 million years ago.
If emissions continue at their current pace, Antarctica will cross a threshold into runaway sea rise when today’s kids are raising families. Pulling CO2 out of the air later won’t stop the ice loss.
Glaciers aren’t sterile wastelands – they’re chock-full of microscopic life.
Australia is considering removing humpback whales from the threatened species list after their numbers rebounded in recent decades. But the mammals face new threats.
Whales are rediscovering their old haunts in the Arctic and Southern oceans after centuries of hunting.
Oceans 21 is a Conversation international series examining the history and future of the world’s ocean.
The Southern (Antarctic) Ocean is our planet’s primary storage of heat and carbon, and it’s home to extraordinary life forms, from tiny algae and spineless creatures to penguins, seals and whales.