The seas between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans are a battleground between two opposing bodies of water. And it appears that the Arctic is starting to lose the war. This is happening faster than models projected, and scientists don’t quite know what the long-term impacts will be.
Bering Sea ice has been battered all year by warm waters and wild winter heat waves. But at least it won’t have to suffer any more, because now it’s nearly all gone, basically a month ahead of schedule.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is playing no games. The federal department wants everyone to know that human-caused climate change is so real that 2016 Arctic heat waves would not have happened without it.
Arctic sea ice is like a living, breathing organism. Each winter, it inhales cold air and causes a freeze up, then in the summer, it exhales a breath of older sea ice from the high Arctic into the seas on its southern edge.
An epic heat wave has created a stunning reverse in the frozen fortunes of the Bering Sea. The sea ice ringing the Arctic normally expands until at least late February and often through mid-March.
The East Coast isn’t the only part of the world that’s dealing with freakishly mild weather this week. In what’s becoming a yearly occurrence, the Arctic is having an off-the-charts heat wave.
You know that feeling when you’re under severe stress—your heart begins to race and your mouth gets dry? Well, animals experience their own forms of that, too. And researchers are worried about how narwhals, the so-called unicorns of the sea, will deal with the stress that’ll accompany the loss of sea ice in their…
An enormous hole in the the wintertime sea ice surrounding Antarctica is attracting considerable scientific attention. Researchers think the so-called Weddell polynya is part of a natural cycle, but its present size—the biggest it’s been since it was first spotted in the 1970s—could help us understand the processes…
Just about every month, it seems, we get a report on the dismal state of Arctic sea ice. By contrast, the shiny white stuff surrounding the Antarctic continent has been remarkably stable in a warming world. This year, however, the sea ice at our planet’s south pole is crashing, and scientists don’t know why.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just released its annual “Arctic Report Card,” a comprehensive overview of what’s happening at our planet’s North Pole. If it were an actual report card, the Arctic would be on the verge of flunking out of school.
After shrinking to exceptionally low levels this summer, the Arctic’s shiny mantle of sea ice is finally starting to regrow. Way, way slower than it normally does.
President Obama’s headed to Alaska today, but it’s not the typical politicized meet-and-greet. From talking to residents who are forced to flee their homes due to rising sea levels, to learning the political repercussions of melting polar ice, he’s got one of the most science-focused itineraries ever embarked upon by…
This natural-color image of sea ice off East Antarctica's Princess Astrid Coast was acquired April 5 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. Via NASA, here's a bit more about what's depicted in this striking photograph:
Not all ice is created equal: this view of the Amundsen Gulf has open ocean, older thick ice, young thin ice, fresh snow and even broken brash ice adrift at sea.
Scientists use a range of techniques—from satellite observations to drilling holes—to measure sea ice thickness. Usually, such efforts look down at the sea floor. But, by equipping an underwater drone with upward-looking sonar, researchers were able to create the first high-resolution 3D maps of Antarctic sea ice.
Newly formed sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea next to an ice berg on Nov. 5, 2014. NASA's Operation IceBridge took this aerial photograph of a calving front of the Western Antarctic ice sheet on a science flight out of Punta Arenas, Chile. The flight plan was designed to collect data on changes in ice elevation along…
When the the 10th edition of the National Geographic world atlas is released this fall, it will look markedly different from previous versions. That field of endless white usually covering the very north of the planet will be dramatically reduced to reflect the real-life shrinkage of the Arctic ice sheet.
This emaciated polar bear, a 16 year-old male, was recently found over 150 miles away from its normal range. Experts believe that a lack of sea ice forced the bear into unknown territory as it desperately searched for food — a quest that came to a grim conclusion.