Current Antarctic News and Events

Current Antarctic News and Events, Antarctic News Articles.
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Glaciers accelerate in the Getz region of West Antarctica
Glaciers in West Antarctica are moving more quickly from land into the ocean, contributing to rising global sea levels. A 25-year record of satellite observations has been used to show widespread increases in ice speed across the Getz sector for the first time, with some ice accelerating into the ocean by nearly 50%. (2021-02-23)

The melting of large icebergs is a key stage in the evolution of ice ages
A new study, in which the Andalusian Earth Sciences Institute (IACT) (CSIC-UGR) participated, has described for the first time a key stage in the beginning of the great glaciations and indicates that it can happen to our planet in the future. The findings were recently published in the scientific journal Nature The study claims to have found a new connection that could explain the beginning of the ice ages on Earth (2021-02-19)

Slow motion precursors give earthquakes the fast slip
At a glacier near the South Pole, earth scientists have found evidence of a quiet, slow-motion fault slip that triggers strong, fast-slip earthquakes many miles away, according to Cornell University research published in Science Advances. (2021-02-16)

Strange creatures accidentally discovered beneath Antarctica's ice shelves
Prior research has suggested that the watery depths below the Antarctic ice shelves are too cold and nutrient poor to sustain much life. But a new study from British Antarctic Survey published in Frontiers in Marine Science reveals the discovery of a colony of sponges and other animals attached to a boulder on the sea floor - challenging researchers' understanding about the existence of life in extreme environments. (2021-02-15)

Antarctica's ice melt isn't consistent, new analysis shows
Antarctic ice is melting, contributing massive amounts of water to the world's seas and causing them to rise - but that melt is not as linear and consistent as scientists previously thought, a new analysis of 20 years' worth of satellite data indicates. (2021-02-01)

Arctic ocean expedition advances climate modeling
In-situ cloud, radiation, and surface energy budget data collected by a September 2014 expedition of the Japanese Research Vessel Mirai from a stationary point in the ice-free Arctic Ocean were used to investigate the skill of regional climate models. Although most near-surface meteorological parameters were adequately captured by most models, certain important discrepancies were identified, such as the failure to capture unstable low-level cloud stratification, and the partitioning of ice clouds and liquid clouds. (2021-01-26)

Global ice loss increases at record rate
The rate at which ice is disappearing across the planet is speeding up, according to new research. And the findings also reveal that the Earth lost 28 trillion tonnes of ice between 1994 and 2017 - equivalent to a sheet of ice 100 metres thick covering the whole of the UK. (2021-01-25)

Antarctica: the ocean cools at the surface but warms up at depth
Scientists from the CNRS, CNES, IRD, Sorbonne Université, l'Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier and their Australian colleagues, with the support of the IPEV, have concluded that the slight cooling observed at the surface of the Southern Ocean hides a rapid and marked warming of the waters, to a depth of up to 800 metres. These results were obtained thanks to unique data acquired over the past 25 years. (2021-01-21)

Study shows how network of marine protected areas could help safeguard Antarctic penguins
New research led by BirdLife International, the University of East Anglia (UEA) and British Antarctic Survey highlights how a proposed network of marine protected areas could help safeguard some of the most important areas at sea for breeding Antarctic penguins. (2021-01-20)

Red and green snow algae increase snowmelt in the Antarctic Peninsula
Red and green algae that grow on snow in the Antarctic Peninsula cause significant extra snowmelt on par with melt from dust on snow in the Rocky Mountains, according to a first-of-its-kind scientific research study. This could have serious impacts on regional climate, snow and ice melt, freshwater availability and ecosystems, yet is not accounted for in current global climate models. (2021-01-13)

Melting icebergs key to sequence of an ice age, scientists find
Scientists claim to have found the 'missing link' in the process that leads to an ice age on Earth. (2021-01-13)

Researchers speed up analysis of Arctic ice and snow data through AI
Professors at University of Maryland, Baltimore County have developed an artificial intelligence technique to quickly analyze newly collected data based on Arctic ice and snow thickness. Researchers previously analyzed these data manually; this AI will assist them by automating how they detect and analyze patterns in the thickness of the ice. Climate change necessitates a rapid understanding of new developments in the Arctic ice, and this tool provides a faster solution. (2021-01-12)

The new face of the Antarctic
In the future, the Antarctic could become a greener place and be colonised by new species. At the same time, some species will likely disappear. (2021-01-06)

Weddell sea: Whale song reveals behavioral patterns
Experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have now used permanently installed underwater microphones, which have been recording for the past nine years, to successfully gather and analyse whale observation data from the Weddell Sea. (2020-12-17)

What caused the ice ages? Tiny ocean fossils offer key evidence
Since the discovery that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations were lower during past ice ages, the cause has been a mystery. Now, fossils of ocean algae reveal that a weakening in upwelling in the Antarctic Ocean kept more CO2 in the deep ocean during the ice ages. This brings scientists closer to a complete explanation for the glacial cycle and suggests that upwelling will strengthen under anthropogenic global warming, altering global climate and ocean ecosystems. (2020-12-10)

Charles Darwin was right about why insects are losing the ability to fly
Most insects can fly. Yet scores of species have lost that extraordinary ability, particularly on islands. (2020-12-09)

Southern Hemisphere westerly winds likely to intensify as climate warms
Polar climate scientists have created the most high resolution past record of the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds. The results, published this week (9 December) in the journal Communications Earth and Environment, describe how the winds are likely to intensify and migrate poleward as the climate warms. The study highlights the urgent need for better models to predict the future. (2020-12-09)

Robot fleet dives for climate answers in 'marine snow'
Sailing from Hobart, twenty researchers aboard CSIRO's RV Investigator hope to capture the most detailed picture yet of how marine life in the Southern Ocean captures and stores carbon from the atmosphere. (2020-12-03)

Mystery of Siberian freshwater seal food choice solved
Seals native to Siberia's Lake Baikal have been found to have a remarkable adaptation in their teeth that has allowed them to prosper even in the face of limited nutrient offerings. (2020-11-30)

How stable is the Antarctic ice sheet?
As temperatures rise due to climate change, the melting of polar ice sheets is accelerating. An international team of scientists led by researchers from Heidelberg University has now examined the dynamics of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet more closely using deep-sea sediments dating back approximately 2.5 million years. Their results indicate that, in a constantly warming climate, the ice masses of East Antarctica could be much less stable than previously thought. (2020-11-27)

Ice sheets on the move: how north and south poles connect
Over the past 40,000 years, ice sheets thousands of kilometres apart have influenced one another through sea level changes, according to research published today in Nature. New modelling of ice sheet changes during the most recent glacial cycle by a McGill-led team demonstrates, for the first time, that during this period, changes in the Antarctic ice sheet were driven by the melting ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere. (2020-11-25)

Evidence of the interconnectedness of global climate
The analysis, published in Nature, shows for the first time that changes in the Antarctic ice sheet were caused by the melting of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere. The influence was driven by sea-level changes caused by the melting ice in the north during the past 40,000 years. (2020-11-25)

New clues shed light on importance of Earth's ice sheets
Researchers examining subglacial waters both from Antarctica and Greenland found that these waters have higher concentrations of important, life-sustaining elements than previously thought, answering a big unknown for scientists seeking to understand the Earth's geochemical processes. (2020-11-23)

A rich source of nutrients under the Earth's ice sheets
Trace elements such as iron and zinc are essential micronutrients for all kinds of organisms. Below ice sheets, which cover around ten percent of the Earth's land surface, larger quantities of these substances are mobilised than previously assumed. This is shown by new data from Greenland and Antarctica, which were collected and analysed by an international research team led by Jon Hawkings from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences and Florida State University (USA). (2020-11-23)

Blue whales return to South Georgia after near extinction
An international research team led by UK scientists has revealed the return of critically endangered Antarctic blue whales to the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, 50 years after whaling all but wiped them out. The new study follows recent research that humpback whales are also returning to the region. (2020-11-19)

Recent climate extremes have driven unprecedented changes in the deep ocean
New measurements reveal a surprising increase in the amount of dense water sinking near Antarctica, following 50 years of decline. (2020-11-16)

Atmospheric rivers help create massive holes in Antarctic sea ice
Warm, moist rivers of air in Antarctica play a key role in creating massive holes in sea ice in the Weddell Sea and may influence ocean conditions around the vast continent as well as climate change, according to Rutgers co-authored research. (2020-11-11)

New fossil seal species rewrites history
An international team of biologists, led by Monash University, has discovered a new species of extinct monk seal from the Southern Hemisphere -- describing it as the biggest breakthrough in seal evolution in 70 years. (2020-11-10)

Gentoo penguins are four species, not one, say scientists
First analysis combining genetic and physical differences of populations of gentoo penguins indicates they should be treated as four separate species. (2020-11-03)

Antarctica yields oldest fossils of giant birds with 21-foot wingspans
Some of the largest birds in history, called pelagornithids, arose a few million years after the mass extinction that killed off the dinosaurs and patrolled the oceans with giant wingspans for some 60 million years. A team of paleontologists has found two fossils -- each from individual pelagornithids with wingspans of 20 feet or more -- that show this gigantism arose at least 50 million years ago and lasted at least 10 million years. (2020-10-27)

Researchers provide most detailed and complete record yet of Earth's last magnetic reversal
Earth's magnetic fields typically switch every 200 to 300 millennia. Yet, the planet has remained steady for more than twice that now, with the last magnetic reversal occurring about 773,000 years ago. A team of researchers based in Japan now has a better understanding of the geophysical events leading up to the switch and how Earth has responded since then. (2020-10-21)

Ice loss likely to continue in Antarctica
A new international study led by Monash University climate scientists has revealed that ice loss in Antarctica persisted for many centuries after it was initiated and is expected to continue. (2020-10-21)

Depths of the Weddell Sea are warming five times faster than elsewhere
Over the past three decades, the depths of the Antarctic Weddell Sea have warmed five times faster than the rest of the ocean at depths exceeding 2,000 metres. This was the main finding of an article just published by oceanographers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). (2020-10-20)

All-female scientific coalition calls for marine protected area for Antarctica Peninsula
Species on the Antarctic Peninsula are threatened by climate change and human activities including commercial fishing, tourism, and research infrastructure. A coalition of over 280 female scientists are pushing for a Marine Protected Area ahead of a meeting of governments to decide this on October 19. These women are part of an initiative to raise the profile of women in STEMM for better global outcomes. (2020-10-18)

The future of krill
Although the krill catch is regulated, caution is required to avoid endangering the population itself and the species that depend on it, warns a group of krill experts headed by Prof. Dr. Bettina Meyer from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in the journal Communications Earth & Environment - Nature. (2020-10-16)

Ice melt projections may underestimate Antarctic contribution to sea level rise
Fluctuations in the weather can have a significant impact on melting Antarctic ice, and models that do not include this factor can underestimate the global impact of sea level rise, according to Penn State scientists. (2020-10-09)

RUDN University ecologists developed new models to identify environmental pollution sources
According to a team of ecologists from RUDN University, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can be used as pollution indicators and help monitor the movement of pollutants in environmental components such as soils, plants, and water. To find this out, the team conducted a large-scale study of a variety of soil, water, and plant samples collected from a vast area from China to the Antarctic. (2020-10-09)

Arctic weather observations can improve hurricane track forecast accuracy
Comparison of mid-range forecast model accuracy of Atlantic hurricane tracks from 2007 to 2019 revealed that when strong winds associated with upper-level troughs caused hurricanes to move northward, track forecast accuracy was lower. The accuracy of track forecasts in such cases was improved by including data collected over the Arctic Ocean in 2017, by reducing the error in forecasting upper-level troughs. Therefore, additional data collection at high latitudes can improve mid-latitude hurricane track forecasting. (2020-10-08)

Sea-level rise projections can improve with state-of-the-art model
Projections of potentially dramatic sea-level rise from ice-sheet melting in Antarctica have been wide-ranging, but a Rutgers-led team has created a model that enables improved projections and could help better address climate change threats. (2020-10-07)

On the trail of causes of radiation events during space flight
Scientists have made significant progress in understanding the sources of radiation events that could impact human space-flight operations. Relativistic Electron Precipitation (REP) events are instances when high energy electrons move through areas of space at significant fractions of the speed of light. These REP events may pose challenges to human spaceflight, specifically during extravehicular activity (EVA). (2020-10-05)

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