Increase in Arctic Ocean Nutrients from Permafrost Thaw and Coastal Erosion

Nature Communications, January 8 Rapid coastal and riverbank erosion due to thawing permafrost today is one of the main sources of nitrogen nutrients in the Arctic Ocean, contributing around 30-50% of the total input (the rest is transferred from neighboring seas and oceans). This land-derived nitrogen off the Arctic continental shelves boosts the productivity of […]

Movement of Antarctic Icebergs Helped Drive the Onset of Ice Ages

Nature, January 13   Ice ages have long been associated with small periodic changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun, but how and why such changes could trigger an ice age has remained an enigma.  Now, one possible explanation has arisen: under a specific orbital setting, Antarctic icebergs travel, and melt further and further […]

Oldest and Thickest Arctic Sea Ice Endangered

Nature Communications, January 4 The oldest and thickest portions of Arctic sea ice can be found in the Nares Strait, located off the northwest coast of Greenland.  Sea ice tends to form in the Laptev Sea north of Russia, then circulates around the Arctic Ocean, with thick multi-year ice discharging each summer through the Nares. […]

Long-term Warming Projections Increase When Including Regional Temperature Differences

Nature, January 4 Warming does not occur evenly across the world. Regional differences in temperature can influence the way the Earth sends its heat back into space and temporarily dampens the planet’s response to increasing emissions, therefore masking a warmer future. This feedback, not included in most models, has the potential to increase long-term estimates for […]

Warm Water from the Atlantic Accelerates Greenland Glacier Retreat and Ice Sheet Loss

Science Advances, January 1   Warm Atlantic water flowing into dozens of Greenland’s deepest fjords nearly doubles the amount of ice loss by undercutting their outlet glaciers, accounting for about half of their melting and ice loss during the summer months.  The abrupt ∼1.9°C warming of sub-surface ocean waters around Greenland in 1998–2007 triggered widespread […]

High Emissions Scenarios Could Double Ice-Free Freshwater Lakes by 2100

Geophysical Research Letters, August 14   Since the 1970s, freshwater lakes in the Northern Hemisphere have been three times more likely to experience entirely ice-free winters, never freezing at all. Drawing less attention than Arctic sea ice loss, this shift – driven by warmer winters — carries major ecological, socio-economic, and cultural consequences. Projections show […]

Giant Antarctic Icebergs Deliver Vast Amounts of Freshwater to the Southern Ocean

Science Advances, December 16 Large tabular icebergs (with areas ≥ 3 km2) are one of the greatest sources of melting from the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Until now, studies struggled to accurately model these large icebergs, consistently misrepresenting their survival time or drifting trajectory. By including a new breakup mechanism applied to large icebergs, this study […]

Major Temperature Dataset Revises Estimates of Warming Upwards by 18%

Journal of Geophysical Research, December 15   A new revision of the UK Met Office HadCRUT5 dataset finds that global surface temperatures have actually risen 1.07°C since the industrial revolution, revising upwards their previous estimate of 0.91°C. This increased result arises in part from a better representation of Arctic warming, as well as from improved datasets […]

New IPCC Models Double SLR Estimates from Greenland by 2100 with High Emissions

Nature Communications, December 15 New CMIP6 models developed for the sixth IPCC Assessment Report (AR6) show that surface melt from the Greenland Ice Sheet alone could contribute a total of 18 cm to sea-level rise under high emissions by 2100, nearly double the amount anticipated by CMIP5. These new models better include the Arctic’s greater […]

Even Frozen Permafrost Can Produce Carbon Emissions

Frontier Earth Science, December 15 Measurements of carbon emissions (the greenhouse gases CO2 and methane) from a permafrost column sample found that still-frozen layers deeper in the soil produced measurable amounts of emissions, even prior to thaw.  This carbon release appears to arise from active microorganisms living in the frozen permafrost environment, adding to emissions […]

The Arctic is Transforming into a Warmer, Less Frozen, and Biologically Changed Region

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, December 7 This annual “Arctic Report Card” by NOAA detailed, among other things that as of this year, Arctic snow cover extent is decreasing at a rate of 3.7% per decade during May, with a much higher rate of loss (15% per decade) for June. Extreme temperatures this past spring […]

Manganese in Arctic Waters as a Signal of Permafrost Thaw

Water Resources Research, December 9 Rapidly increasing atmospheric temperatures in the Russian Arctic has led to increased extensive permafrost thaw in the region, with the depth of thaw going ever-deeper into lower permafrost layers.  This can cause the accelerated release of certain chemical substances, previously frozen in the permafrost, into neighboring waters such as Russia’s […]

Most Glaciers in the European Alps Would Disappear by 2100 If Current High Emissions Continue

Climate Dynamics, December 7 90% of the glaciers in the European Alps would completely disappear before 2100 under high emissions scenarios, while keeping global temperatures below 2°C would preserve at least 30% of these glaciers. With current emissions however, the Alps could see their mean annual summer temperature increase by up to 7°C by 2100 […]

Low Emissions Can Preserve Central Arctic Sea Ice: But High Emissions Causes Ice-free Regions Even in Winter, with Negative Global Impacts

Geophysical Research Letters, December 6   Under the new high emissions scenarios developed for IPCC AR6, accelerating sea ice loss will continue to take place both in summer and in winter across the Arctic, with the Barents Sea becoming the first sea-ice-free region in winter as well as summer before the end of the century. The models […]

Stable Ocean Circulation in a Changing North Atlantic Ocean

Science Advances, November 27 Increasing discharge of freshwater from the melting ice of Greenland and other Arctic glaciers has not substantially changed the ocean currents circulating water between the tropical and polar regions of the North Atlantic Ocean over the past 30 years.  A remarkably stable region of polar currents in the eastern North Atlantic plays […]