Midnight In The Desert — arctic

Photos reveal more than 200 bright blue Arctic lakes have started bubbling with methane gas

Posted by K R on

Photos reveal more than 200 bright blue Arctic lakes have started bubbling with methane gas

Satellite images have revealed more than 200 strange, bright blue lakes in Russia's Arctic regions that are bubbling "like jacuzzis" as a result of leaking methane gas. The lakes are a type of thermokarst lake, which form when thawing permafrost causes the surface to collapse and fill in with meltwater. But unlike normal, dark thermokarst lakes, these ones are bright blue and bubbling, because of methane that's leaking into them before escaping into the atmosphere. According to Vasily Bogoyavlensky from the Russian Academy of Sciences, these newly identified thermokarst lakes appear near oil and gas deposits on the Yamal and...

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Could a $500bn plan to refreeze the Arctic before the ice melts really work?

Posted by K R on

Could a $500bn plan to refreeze the Arctic before the ice melts really work?

Physicist Steven Desch has come up with a novel solution to the problems that now beset the Arctic. He and a team of colleagues from Arizona State University want to replenish the region’s shrinking sea ice – by building 10 million wind-powered pumps over the Arctic ice cap. In winter, these would be used to pump water to the surface of the ice where it would freeze, thickening the cap. The pumps could add an extra metre of sea ice to the Arctic’s current layer, Desch argues. The current cap rarely exceeds 2-3 metres in thickness and is being eroded...

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Arctic sea ice is declining when it should be growing

Posted by K R on

Arctic sea ice is declining when it should be growing

I’ve written quite a bit over the past few years about the death spiral of sea ice at the North Pole. Every year the amount of ice goes up and down with the seasons, growing in winter and declining in summer. But, on top of that there has been a trend downward, such that year by year we see less ice all the time. Because of that we tend to see records set nearly every year. For example, this year in March the Arctic sea ice reached its maximum extent,* but it was the lowest maximum extent ever seen since...

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Super-cold winters in the UK and US are due to Arctic warming

Posted by K R on

Super-cold winters in the UK and US are due to Arctic warming

An indirect effect of climate change may be causing intensely cold winters in the UK and US, a study suggests. Warming in the Arctic is thought to be influencing the jet stream, a high-altitude corridor of fast-moving air, leading to severe cold snaps. It may have been responsible for record snowfall in New York during the winter of 2014/15, and unusually cold winters in the UK in 2009/10 and 2010/11. Previous studies have shown that when the jet stream follows a “wavy” irregular path there are more cold weather fronts plunging south from the Arctic into mid-latitudes, bringing freezing conditions...

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Cruise ships are heading into the Arctic for the first time as the ice melts

Posted by K R on

Cruise ships are heading into the Arctic for the first time as the ice melts

SVALBARD, Norway (Reuters) - A surge in Arctic tourism is bringing ever bigger cruise ships to the formerly isolated, ice-bound region, prompting calls for a clamp-down to prevent Titanic-style accidents and the pollution of fragile eco-systems. Arctic nations should consider limiting the size of vessels and ban the use of heavy fuel oil in the region, industry players said, after a first luxury cruise ship sailed safely through Canada's Northwest Passage this summer. The route, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans via the Arctic, was once clogged with icebergs but is now ice-free in summer due to global warming....

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