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Climate Change in the Arctic & around the globe

Search Results for Tag: ice

“First foot” for the “space” penguins

Penguins galore – Photographed by the International Polar Foundation team in Antarctica, December 2012

You may remember a report a couple of years ago about how satellite images revealed the existence of a hitherto unknown large colony of penguins in an area of Antarctica. AT that time, researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and the UK National Environment Research Council attracted a fair bit attention with the “penguins from space” story. Now three members of a team from Belgium’s Princess Elisabeth Antarctica polar research station have become the first humans to visit and photograph the colony of around 9,000 emperor penguins on Antarctica’s Princess Ragnhild Coast.

Date

January 10, 2013 | 12:00 pm

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”Tis the Season… to drill ice cores!”

Alain Hubert, expedition team leader for the IceCon and Be:Wise projects investigating the Antarctic ice sheet. Courtesy of International Polar Foundation

As the year draws towards an end, winter officially starts and the longest night is before us here in the northern hemisphere,  I have been entranced by photos from the Antarctic, full of light and white and 90 shades of blue. With a holiday break ahead of me, let me direct you to some more of these spectactular pictures and the stories of the hard work behind them, with the scientists from the International Polar Foundation out there examining the ice sheet. As I’ve been writing here on the Ice Blog recently, the Antarctic is also being affected by climate change, but to a different extent in different places. We only know this thanks to the work of scientists like Reinhard Drews and others who make their way down there and carry out the hard work.

Glaciologist and InBev-Baillet Latour Antarctic Fellowship recipient Reinhard Drews installing a GPS station on the Roi Baudoin ice shelf as part of the Be:Wise scientific project. (Copyright: International Polar Foundation)

A happy new year to you scientists out there in the field – and all ice blog followers. More from me on January 9th!! Comments welcome in the meantime.

Date

December 21, 2012 | 3:07 pm

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More snow less ice in the Antarctic

Princess Elisabeth Station  & windturbines - Copyright René Robert - International Polar Foundation

Princess Elisabeth Antarctica, Belgium’s research station
Copyright Ren̩ Robert РInternational Polar Foundation

Regular ice blog followers may remember a recent post including an Interview with Andrew Shepherd from Leeds University, UK, about ice melt in the Antarctic. One of the factors he explained was that increasing precipitation as a result of warming was falling on the East Antarctic ice sheet as snow and so increasing its mass. Although that particular study showed that the Antarctic has indeed been losing ice over the past 20 years, (contrary to popular opinion), increasing snow was balancing this loss to some extent. Now a study published in Nature shows that a lot of the ice increase from this snow is being lost again, because the extra snow puts pressure on the ice, making it flow faster towards the coast.

Date

December 14, 2012 | 9:41 am

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Record polar ice loss should spur action in Doha!

Eis vom Grönlandeisschild fließt am Equi-Gletscher ins Meer

Not a day seems to go by without another new revelation about the state of the polar ice, which we once though was such a normal, permanent feature of our planet. Now an international team of satellite experts has produced what they say is the most accurate assessment of ice losses from Greenland AND Antarctica to date and the result is devastating.

Date

November 30, 2012 | 11:30 am

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Ice in Doha?

The Arctic ice continues to melt as the climate talks kick off in Doha…

If you search the internet for ice and Doha, you’ll find out where you can buy ice in the capital of Qatar and where you can go ice-skating. Yes, even in the middle of this desert region you can indulge in a game of ice-hockey. The energy needed to chill the ice comes from burning fossil fuels, of which the country has plenty.The ice that interests the ice blogger, the ice of the Arctic, the Antarctic and the world’s glaciers is unfortunately suffering badly from those same CO2 emissions. Interesting food for thought, as this year’s UN climate conference kicks off in Doha. More on that from my colleague Andrea Rönsberg.

Qatar currently ranks number one or number three on the list of the world’s top per-capita emitters of greenhouse gases, depending on which figures you take.  The country could do wonders for its environmental image by agreeing to some firm emissions reductions targets during the negotiations. Of course in absolute terms, it’s China and the USA that have to take action to reduce their emissions soon if we are to get anywhere near keeping to the two degree target. The latest studies by UNEP and the World Bank tell us quite clearly we are heading for three, four or more degrees, unless the major emitters do something soon.

This year saw the Arctic sea ice declining to a record low. The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than expected. Climate change is also affecting the ice of the Antarctic. What happens in the Gulf city of Doha is of key importance to the future of our ice – which, in turn, helps keep the planet cool. The ice blog will be following developments in Qatar with great interest over the next two weeks. Watch this space.

Date

November 26, 2012 | 10:08 am

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