Video of the Week: Bonn UNFCCC Inter-sessional Meetings – Carbon Emissions from the “Country of Permafrost”: A Top-10 Emitter for the Global Stocktake

For the first Global Stocktake process under the Paris Agreement, a group of cryosphere research groups made a submission, not on behalf of a government, but for the “Country of Permafrost.” In this June 9 media event at the recent UNFCCC negotiations in Bonn, speakers Dr. Gustaf Hugelius, Co-Director, Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm […]

New Indicators of Permafrost Thaw in Alaska

Nature Geoscience, 6 June 2022 The formation of taliks – unfrozen ground surrounded by permafrost – is an important mechanism for and indicator of permafrost degradation. As temperatures increase, more taliks will form in a wider area of the Arctic’s permafrost regions. Under a high-emissions scenario, talik will form in nearly three-quarters of Alaska’s discontinuous […]

Expanding Surface Rivers on Greenland Ice Sheet Accelerate Melting

Nature Climate Change, 16 June 2022 Runoff areas for rivers on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet expanded by nearly a third between 1985 and 2020. Usually, at high ice sheet elevations, melting surface snow filters down and refreezes, thereby not contributing to ice sheet shrinking. In this study, authors found that excess melt […]

Newly Released Temperature Data Make the Barents Arctic Earth’s Fastest-warming Region

Scientific Reports, 15 June 2022 New data from the North Barents Sea area show annual average temperatures have increased by up to 2.7°C per decade, with particularly high rises in the autumn months of up to 4°C per decade. This data, which would make the Barents the fastest warming region on the planet, is based […]

Video of the Week: Press Conference from Bonn UNFCCC Inter-sessional Meetings: “Antarctica and Potentially Extreme Future Sea Level Rise” with Dr. Robert DeConto

At the Research Dialogues session of the UNFCCC meetings SB56 in Bonn last week, IPCC SROCC Lead Author Rob DeConto gave a presentation explaining the science behind the “red dotted line” on potentially extreme sea level rise, in a key sea-level rise figure from the IPCC AR 6 Working Group I report. Under a high […]

Rising Temperatures Threaten the Southern Ocean’s Ability to Absorb Carbon and Slow Climate Change

Nature Communications, 14 June 2022 Increased ice loss appears to be reducing the Southern Ocean’s ability to absorb and store atmospheric carbon. The surface waters surrounding Antarctica have been absorbing much of human CO2 emissions from the atmosphere, sequestering the carbon in deep ocean layers. This has slowed the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations and […]

Two Major Antarctic Glaciers Losing Ice at Highest Rate in at least 5,000 Years

Nature Geoscience, 9 June 2022 Over the past three decades, ice loss has more than doubled from the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers in West Antarctica. These massive glaciers, which form part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) are especially vulnerable to rapid melting. This is because they sit on sloping bedrock, where warm […]

COP-26 Video of the Week: “Life Without Glaciers?” with Bethan Davies, Georg Kaser, Regine Hock, and Christian Huggel

Through concrete examples from three continents — the Tarim Basin, the northern Andes and the Alps — this COP26 side event explored the direct and indirect consequences of glacier loss, needed emissions reductions to prevent or minimize this outcome, ways to adapt, and levels at which adaptation may not be feasible. Main Presenters include Dr. […]

Increased Plant Growth in European Alps Increases Warming and Ice Loss

Science, 2 June 2022 Over the past four decades, three-quarters of the European Alps above the tree line have experienced an increase in plant growth, a process known as “greening.” Although greening could increase carbon sequestration in the region, accelerated snow melt in combination with more habitable conditions for plant growth will lead to harmful […]

Meltwater Seeping Below Massive High Latitude Glaciers Increases Rate of Ice Loss

The Cryosphere, 21 April 2022 The large, very thick marine-terminating glaciers in the Arctic and Antarctic appear more vulnerable to rising temperatures than previously realized. These massive glaciers have sometimes sped up their discharge of ice into the ocean over the past few decades, beginning in the late 1990’s. This model study explains the mechanisms […]

Increased Flow of Warm Atlantic Waters Accelerating Arctic Sea Ice Loss

Geophysical Research Letters Oceans, 28 May 2022 Rising temperatures have increased the frequency of winter melt events across the Arctic. These brief but intense melt events have contributed to nearly half of total sea ice loss in regions north of Svalbard. Major ocean currents carry warm Atlantic waters into the Arctic. During periods of strong […]

COP-26 Video of the Week: “West Antarctica: Getz on the Run” with Heather Selley and Bryony Freer

The Getz region of West Antarctica is losing ice at an increasing rate. A recent study using satellite data found that the average speed of ice in this region has accelerated by 24% over the past three decades, with three glaciers accelerating by more than 44%. Main presenters include Dr. Heather Selley, University of Leeds; […]

Worsening Wildfires and Permafrost Thaw Deepen the Batagaika Crater in Siberia

News Briefing: 30 May 2022 Rising global temperatures have accelerated the growth of the Batagaika Crater in Siberia, which is the largest permafrost landslide in the world. This “Gateway to the Underworld” crater is more than 86 meters deep and 1 kilometer wide. It formed several decades ago when abrupt permafrost thaw collapsed the land […]

Rising Global Temperatures Increase Rainfall and Ice Loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet

European Space Agency, 25 May 2022 Rain fell on the highest region of the Greenland Ice Sheet for the first time ever recorded during the summer of 2021. Several intense “atmospheric rivers” in combination with a heatwave swept along Greenland, elevating summer temperatures above freezing. Atmospheric rivers are warm, meandering air currents filled with moisture […]

Human Emissions Exacerbate Record-Breaking Heatwaves in Antarctica

Communications Earth and Environment, 27 May 2022 Long-term summer warming in the Antarctic Peninsula has increased the severity of Antarctic heatwaves by 25% over the past century, largely as a result of rising human emissions. During February 2020, the Antarctic Peninsula experienced one of the most intense heatwaves ever recorded in Western Antarctica, with temperatures […]

COP-26 Video of the Week: “Reducing Ships’ Black Carbon Emissions to Protect the Arctic” with Sian Prior, Dirk Notz, and Lisa Koperqualuk

Black carbon (BC) accelerates ice loss in the Arctic and creates a feedback loop exacerbating global heating; and has health impacts for local communities. BC from Arctic shipping is increasing as reduced sea ice opens up access to trans-Arctic shipping routes. As a result, between 2015 and 2019, black carbon emissions from shipping in the […]

Major Report Released on Antarctica

News Briefing: May 2022 At this week’s Antarctic Treaty Mechanism meetings in Berlin, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) released a key synopsis of the changes taking place in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The ACCE Report summarizes the past decade of scientific evidence; and clearly states that global emissions must be reduced to […]

Diminishing Arctic Sea Ice Increases the Vulnerability of Bowhead Whales

Scientific Reports, 20 May 2022 The combination of rapid sea ice loss with increased human activity – including commercial shipping and oil and gas development – threaten bowhead whale populations in the Arctic. Bowhead whales are one of the few species that live their entire life in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, living in close association […]

Accelerated Glacier Retreat in the Himalayas Jeopardizes South Asian Agriculture

Nature Climate Change, 19 May 2022 Rising temperatures will accelerate glacier ice loss in the Hindu Kush Himalaya, disrupting previously reliable freshwater resources for millions. The Himalayan mountains experience the impacts of climate change more intensely than most other regions of the world, due in part to their high altitude. The glaciers in these mountains […]

Rising Tropical Temperatures Increase Ice Loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

Nature Communications, 20 May 2022 Warming in the tropical Pacific Ocean served as the main driver behind the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet ten thousand years ago; and similar conditions today may cause its destabilization. Rising ocean temperatures in the tropics can shift westerly wind currents to the south and generate “atmospheric rivers” […]