Science Current Events | Science News |

IARC scientists document warm water surging into Arctic

September 27, 2006

Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks International Arctic Research Center this fall documented that recent surges of warm water from the North Atlantic Ocean continue to pulse into the Arctic Ocean and are moving toward Alaska and the Canadian Basin.

Scientists made the observations this fall during an oceanographic cruise aboard the Russian icebreaker Kapitan Dranitsyn as part of the Nansen and Amundsen Basins Observational Systems program. Information gathered by the NABOS program, as well as from other international programs, has shown that, during the last decade, the movement of warm water into the Arctic Ocean has increased. And the readings from this fall's cruise show unprecedented warmth in some areas.

"The large area of the Arctic Ocean promises to become much warmer," said Igor Polyakov, NABOS principal investigator and a research professor at IARC.

The readings come from observational moorings, which are instrument-bearing buoys that are anchored to the ocean floor and float below the surface of the ocean. These instruments first detected a surge of anomalous warm water, at mid-ocean depths of about 150 to 800 meters below the surface, in February of 2004 on the continental slope of the Laptev Sea, Polyakov said. "What we found this year was one of our eastern moorings also showed a warming signal."

That finding indicates that the warm water is moving further and further into the Arctic, he said, which could increase the overall temperature of the Arctic Ocean. While the causes of the influx of warm water will require further study, the observations from the NABOS project suggest that the Arctic Ocean is moving toward a warmer state, a change that could have global implications.

Ocean temperature in the Arctic is important because it may affect the amount of sea ice in the region. Scientists believe that arctic sea ice cover plays a major role in the global climate, as ice reflects more of the sun's heat than open water.

The NABOS project is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation and is a collaboration among six nations. It is one of many UAF projects that will contribute to the international efforts of the upcoming International Polar Year. IPY is a two-year event, slated to begin in March 2007, which will focus research efforts and public attention on the Earth's polar regions. UAF is among a handful of institutions worldwide that is ideally situated to participate in IPY research, education and outreach.

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Related Arctic Ocean Current Events and Arctic Ocean News Articles

Climate change: Warm water is mixing up life in the Arctic
The warming of arctic waters in the wake of climate change is likely to produce radical changes in the marine habitats of the High North.

Tropical fossil forests unearthed in Arctic Norway
UK researchers have unearthed ancient fossil forests, thought to be partly responsible for one of the most dramatic shifts in the Earth's climate in the past 400 million years.

Sea ice plays a pivotal role in the Arctic methane cycle
The ice-covered Arctic Ocean is a more important factor concerning the concentration of the greenhouse gas methane in the atmosphere than previously assumed.

The Greenland ice sheet contains nutrients from precipitation
New research shows that the ice sheet on Greenland contains the nutrient phosphorus, which was carried by the atmosphere across the country, where it fell with precipitation.

Ice-age lesson: Large mammals need room to roam
A study of life and extinctions among woolly mammoths and other ice-age animals suggests that interconnected habitats can help Arctic mammal species survive environmental changes.

Plastic litter taints the sea surface, even in the Arctic
In a new study, researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) show for the first time that marine litter can even be found at the sea surface of Arctic waters.

Formation of coastal sea ice in North Pacific drives ocean circulation and climate
An unprecedented analysis of North Pacific ocean circulation over the past 1.2 million years has found that sea ice formation in coastal regions is a key driver of deep ocean circulation, influencing climate on regional and global scales.

Bacterium capable of aquifer decontamination identified in River Besòs (Spain)
UAB researchers have identified in the Besòs river estuary a bacterium of the genus Dehalogenimonas, which has the capacity to transform toxic organochlorine compounds into others that are harmless.

Arctic sea ice still too thick for regular shipping route through Northwest Passage: York research
Despite climate change, sea ice in the Northwest Passage (NWP) remains too thick and treacherous for it to be a regular commercial Arctic shipping route for many decades, according to new research out of York University.

New Geosphere themed issue: The anatomy of rifting
Research at continental rifts, mid-ocean ridges, and transforms has shown that new plates are created by extensional tectonics, magma intrusion, and volcanism.
More Arctic Ocean Current Events and Arctic Ocean News Articles

Arctic Ocean (Oceans of the World)

Arctic Ocean (Oceans of the World)
by Louise Spilsbury (Author), Richard Spilsbury (Author)

This book introduces children to the Arctic Ocean, looking at both its relatively shallow continental shelf and its underwater mountains. These features are explored using key geography terms. Children are encouraged to use geographical skills to locate information by reading maps and interpreting simple keys. This series complements the Introducing Continents series.

The Frigid Arctic Ocean (Our Earth's Oceans)

The Frigid Arctic Ocean (Our Earth's Oceans)
by Doreen Gonzales (Author)

The Arctic Ocean is a hard place to live. Frigidly cold, the ocean freezes during the long, dark winters. In summer, you can still find ice there. Discover the plants and animals that live in, on, and near this special place, and the scientists who explore its mysteries.

Across the Arctic Ocean: Original Photographs from the Last Great Polar Journey

Across the Arctic Ocean: Original Photographs from the Last Great Polar Journey
by Sir Wally Herbert (Author), Huw Lewis-Jones (Author)

An unparalleled look at the first surface crossing of the Arctic Ocean, and probably the first expedition to reach the North Pole by surface travel, through the words and images of the man who led it On February 21, 1968, Wally Herbert and his team of three companions and forty huskies set out from Point Barrow, Alaska, embarking on a route that would take them some 3,800 miles over sixteen months, across the North Pole and the frozen Arctic Ocean via its longest axis. Though their achievement was overshadowed by the Apollo moon landing, it stands today as one of the greatest expeditions of all time.

Featuring an impressive team of expert commentators and illustrated with stunning photographs, this exceptional photography book is an engrossing firsthand record of an...


by Robert Dinwiddie (Author), Philip Eales (Author), Sue Scott (Author), Michael Scott (Author), Kim Bryan (Author), David Burnie (Author), Frances Dipper (Author), Fabien Cousteau (Introduction)

The power and wonder of the ocean is as strong today as ever, with new expeditions to its depths, and new discoveries beneath melting ice, in developing reefs, and on shores around the world. To celebrate, we are releasing a second edition of Ocean, with the latest scientific research, coverage of major events like Superstorm Sandy and the Fukushima tsunami, and new graphics and images. Ocean includes an atlas of the world's oceans and seas compiled using satellite data, brand-new 3-D Earth modeling, and remarkable photography of the marine world that explores the interaction between people and the ocean environment. From the geological and physical processes that affect the ocean floor to the key habitat zones, flora, and fauna, this is the definitive reference to the world's...

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
by Hampton Sides (Author)

A Best Book of the Year
USA Today * Time Magazine * Washington Post * Miami Herald * Richmond Times Dispatch * Christian Science Monitor * Daily Beast * Minneapolis Star Tribune

On July 8, 1879, Captain George Washington De Long and his team of thirty-two men set sail from San Francisco on the USS Jeanette.

Heading deep into uncharted Arctic waters, they carriedthe aspirations of a young country burning to be the first nation to reach the North Pole. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the Jeannette's hull was breached by an impassable stretch of pack ice, forcing the crew to abandon ship amid torrents of rushing of water. Hours later, the ship had sunk below the surface, marooning the men a thousand miles north of Siberia, where they faced a terrifying march with...

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean (National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books)

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean (National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books)
by Catherine D. Hughes (Author)

National Geographic Kids First Big Book of the Ocean is an adorable animal reference that includes the sea's high-interest animals, such as dolphins, sharks, sea otters, and penguins, and introduces kids to some of its lesser-known creatures. More than 100 charming animal photos illustrate the profiles, with facts about the creatures' sizes, diets, homes, and more. This book will quickly become a favorite at storytime, bedtime, and any other time.

Our Oceans Wall Calendar (2016)

Our Oceans Wall Calendar (2016)
by Landmark (Author)

Decorate your planning space with beautiful images of under-sea life. Features a full-sized planning grid. Printed on a glossy paper stock suitable for pen and pencil note taking. This calendar is 12" wide x 12" tall when closed and 12" wide x 24" tall when open.

Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth's Lost Civilization

Magicians of the Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom of Earth's Lost Civilization
by Graham Hancock (Author)

Graham Hancock's multi-million bestseller Fingerprints of the Gods remains an astonishing, deeply controversial, wide-ranging investigation of the mysteries of our past and the evidence for Earth's lost civilization. Twenty years on, Hancock returns with the sequel to his seminal work filled with completely new, scientific and archaeological evidence, which has only recently come to light...Near the end of the last Ice Age 12,800 years ago, a giant comet that had entered the solar system from deep space thousands of years earlier, broke into multiple fragments. Some of these struck the Earth causing a global cataclysm on a scale unseen since the extinction of the dinosaurs. At least eight of the fragments hit the North American ice cap, while further fragments hit the northern European...

The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America, from Key West to the Arctic Ocean

The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America, from Key West to the Arctic Ocean
by Philip Caputo (Author)

IN THE LONGEST ROAD, ONE OF AMERICA'S MOST RESPECTED WRITERS TAKES AN EPIC JOURNEY ACROSS THE NATION, AIRSTREAM IN TOW, AND ASKS EVERYDAY AMERICANS WHAT UNITES AND DIVIDES A COUNTRY AS DIVERSE AS IT IS VAST.Standing on a wind-scoured island off the Alaskan coast, Philip Caputo marveled that its Inupiat Eskimo schoolchildren pledge allegiance to the same flag as the children of Cuban immigrants in Key West, six thousand miles away. And a question began to take shape: How does the United States, peopled by every race on earth, remain united? Caputo resolved that one day he'd drive from the nation's southernmost point to the northernmost point reachable by road, talking to Americans about their lives and asking how they would answer his question.Caputo, his wife, and their two English...

Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire

Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire
by Roger Crowley (Author)

In Empires of the Sea and City of Fortune, New York Times bestselling author Roger Crowley established himself as our generation’s preeminent historian of the great European seafaring empires, and the go-to author for post-Crusade clashes of East and West. Now, in Conquerors, Crowley gives us the epic story of the emergence of Portugal, a small, poor nation that enjoyed a century of maritime supremacy thanks to the daring and navigational skill of its explorers—a tactical advantage no other country could match. Portugal’s discovery of a sea route to India, campaign of imperial conquest over Muslim rulers, and domination of the spice trade would forever disrupt the Mediterranean and build the first global economy.
Crowley relies on letters and eyewitness testimony to tell...

© 2015