It came out of Siberia, swirling winds over an area that covered almost the entire Arctic basin in the normally calm late summer. It came to be known as “The Great Arctic Cyclone of August 2012,” and for some observers it suggested that the historic sea ice minimum may have been caused by a freak summer storm, rather than warming temperatures. But new results from the University of Washington show that the August cyclone was not responsible for last year’s record low for Arctic sea ice. The study was published online this week in Geophysical Research Letters. Read more about this.
New research suggests that a key part of Antarctica is warming up fast; the finding could help change the outlook for sea level rise this century. ESS‘ Eric Steig is included in this interview; check out the audio, video, and transcript here!
A new study by an international team of over 130 scientists has shed light on the climate, and ice, of the prehistoric past. Utilizing new techniques for ice dating, the team–including ESS‘ Edwin Waddington and Michelle Koutnik–found that temperatures during the peak interglacial period about 125,000 years ago were quite warm, yet the Greenland ice sheet melted less than previously thought. Read the UW story, and/or the Nature story. Also check out ESS’ Eric Steig‘s blog post about this topic!
It was three, maybe four o’clock in the morning when he first saw them. Grad student Jeff Bowman was on the deck of a ship; he and a University of Washington biology team were on their way back from the North Pole. It was cold outside, the temperature had just dropped, and as the dawn broke, he could see a few, then more, then even more of these little flowery things, growing on the frozen sea. Read more about what Jeff saw and the phenomenon that causes it.
Getting a handle on what the ice sheets of the world are doing is a difficult challenge: they are widely dispersed, very big, three-dimensional, and hard to monitor. In this week’s Science, 47 researchers — including Ben Smith from APL, and Ian Joughin from APL and ESS — published a study providing a consensus on how continental sea ice has been affected over the past 2 decades (hint– it has decreased). How did they do this? Check out the UW News story, or Climate Central’s coverage, or the news story in Science itself. Ian also published an accompanying review. And, you can check out the paper too!
All work and no play makes researchers… cold, maybe. Check out these fun videos from JISAO‘s Bering Sea Synthesis Project, capturing both research and recreation as these scientists seek to understand the impact of sea-ice on the ecosystem and climate of the eastern Bering Sea. No one can watch just one!