Latest Polynya Stories
Far beneath the surface of the ocean, deep currents act as conveyer belts, channeling heat, carbon, oxygen and nutrients around the globe.
In the mid-1970s, the first available satellite images of Antarctica during the polar winter revealed a huge ice-free region within the ice pack of the Weddell Sea. This ice-free region, or polynya, stayed open for three full winters before it closed.
An intriguing link between sea ice conditions and the melting rate of Totten Glacier, the glacier in East Antarctica that discharges the most ice into the ocean, has been found by a NASA-led study.
Over the past few years, researchers have consistently shown an overall decrease in the size of the Arctic ice cap—particularly during the summer months when the most melting occurs.
In a unique and complex example of "science diplomacy," teams of US and Swedish scientists are sailing this month aboard two research vessels to study the ecology of the Amundsen Sea, one of the least-explored and most productive bodies in Antarctic waters, and to gauge the potential effects of a changing climate on the Southern Ocean.
Researchers from German Alfred Wegener Institute and KlimaCampus present forecasts on September minimum.
During the Ice Ages, animals in Antarctica faced conditions even more life-threatening. Massively thick and permanent ice covered most of the land, and sea-ice coverage around the continent was permanent.
Observations and computer models have long proven that the Arctic plays an important role in maintaining a stable climate on Earth. However, significant changes in the Arctic environment, especially those over the past decade, could lead to dramatic swings in weather and climate patterns across the rest of the globe.