Arcticportal News
Unexpected melt of Greenland ice
2012 Climate
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Thursday, 26 July 2012 09:25

(Photo: NASA) Photo on the left was taken 8th of July, the one on the right reflects the data from 12th of July. The white colour reflects Greelandic icxe cap and the pink one, areas where the ice is melting. (Photo: NASA) Photo on the left was taken 8th of July, the one on the right reflects the data from 12th of July. The white colour reflects Greelandic ice cap and the pink one, areas where the ice is melting.

NASA´s satellites recorded that the Greenlandic ice cap has melted this month over an unusually large area.

Satellites still record the progressing ice melt and scientists predict the disaster. This summer the melting of the Greenlandic ice cover has been reaching its outstanding level.


The melt took place on a larger area than has been detected in three decades of NASA satellite observation.


The melt was even recorded around the Summit Camp, also called the Summit Station which is located approximately 200km from the historical ice sheet camp Eismitte in the Northeast Greenland National Park.



(Photo: National Snow & Ice Data Center) Arctic sea ice 24th of July(Photo: National Snow & Ice Data Center) Arctic sea ice 24th of July In just four days the area of thawed surface ice grew from 40% to almost 97% of the entire ice sheet surface. NASA´s scientists comment that nearly the entire Greenlandic ice cap, from its thin, low lying coastal edges to its very thick centre, experienced, to some extent the melt at its surface.


It has been confirmed that such a pronounced melting has not occurred since late 19th century.


It is important to acknowledge that such a process is natural and periodic and it has been occurring long before the possibility of satellite measurements were even invented. However, current changes are more serious and drastic that they have ever been before.


As of yesterday, the total Arctic sea ice extent was 7.30 million square kilometers, which extremely low. Extent is especially low in the Barents, Kara and Laptev seas. At the contrast, the ice level in Chukchi Sea remains at the level close to normal.

PAGE21 now on Facebook and Twitter
2012 Other
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Friday, 20 July 2012 13:24

(Logo: Page21, by the Arctic Portal) The Arctic Portal is pleased to announce that PAGE 21 (Changing Permafrost in the Arctic and its Global Effects in the 21st Century) project has now been active on social media.


We would like to invite everyone to join and follow PAGE 21 on Facebook and Twitter.


The PAGE21 is a Large-scale integrating collaborative project under the ENV call topic "Vulnerability of Arctic permafrost to climate change and implications for global GHG emissions and future climate" (ENV.2011.1.1.3-1) coordinated by Prof. Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten (AWI).


The project aims to understand and quantify the vulnerability of permafrost environments to a changing global climate, and to investigate the feedback mechanisms associated with increasing greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost zones.


This research makes use of a unique set of Arctic permafrost investigations performed at stations that span the full range of Arctic bioclimatic zones. The project brings together the best European permafrost researchers and eminent scientists from Canada, Russia, the USA, and Japan.








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Petermann Glacier breaks again
2012 Climate
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Thursday, 19 July 2012 14:30

(Photo: (Photo: morning, the NASA satellite observing laboratory reported that the Petermann Glacier sundered from the Greenlandic ice cap and now grinds and slides toward the sea along the northwestern coast of Greenland. The glacier will terminate in a giant floating ice tongue, scientists predict.


Petermann has been periodically calving icebergs. The last time it broke off huge piece of ice, colloquially called an ice island, was in 2010. The island was the size of almost 250 square km. Today, another big piece of ice broke free. It was the size of large European city.


The one could say, that the ice which brakes off from Greenlandic glaciers is nothing new, but to admit, recently it has been happening too often. The ongoing changes in the Greenlandic ice cap will cause the dangerous for our population, rise of world´s oceans.


The situation around Greenlandic glaciers has been investigated for close to 150 years but currently we are observing changes which have never happened before. Today´s chunk of ice is the biggest since 1962.




National Aeronautics and Space Agency


Check also:


Climate and Sea Ice Portlet



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Yukon Coast Expedition 2012
2012 Climate
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 09:32

Yukon Coast Expedition 2012 Yukon Coast Expedition´s participants, from the left: Stefanie Weege, Juliane Wolter, Hugues Lantuit, Josefine Lenz, Michael Fritz, George Tanski and Boris Radosavljevic Yesterday, 17th of July 2012, group of eight researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany began to sail towards Herschel Island.


Herschel Island, located at 69°34'N and 138°55'W is the northernmost point of the Yukon Territory, approximately 60 km east of the Alaska border. Together with neighboring Mackenzie Delta, the island is being a secondary field site in PAGE21. The territory is part of an ice-push structure formed by the westward advance of a lobe of the Laurentide Ice Sheet during the last glaciation.


The Island is the focus of investigations of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research since 2006. In co operation with McGill University and the Geological Survey of Canada, the research is conducted by international group of scientists.


During the trip, participants will focus on coastal erosion, paleogeography, thermokarst and soil microbiology.


The expedition will be lead by Dr. Hugues Lantuit, who is a permafrost scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany. He is the lead of the Helmholtz Society Young Investigator Group on coastal permafrost.


The journey is scheduled until 28th of August. For more than a month, the team will report regularly in the blog ´´ Yukon Coast 2012´´. The research will be available shortly after the expedition ends.


To read more about the project, please access PAGE21 website.


Nobel Discoverer drifts away from the Alaskan shore
Energy News
Written by Magdalena Tomasik   
Tuesday, 17 July 2012 10:30

(Photo: Getty Images) (Photo: Getty Images)On Saturday evening, 14th of July, the Shell´s drilling vessel, Noble Discoverer dragged anchor in a stiff breeze and the stern of the ship bumped into the beach in front of Dutch Harbor´s Grand Aleutian Hotel. It was stuck for an hour until pulled free by the American tugboat.


In the end of June, U.S branch of Shell announced that the Noble Discoverer and the Kulluk conical drilling unit departed from Seattle to reach the Alaskan coast from where the drilling operations were about to start in Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.


The journey was about to be a beginning of Shell´s long term plan for offshore exploration program in the northern waters.


The Noble Discoverer was found by the U.S coast guard approximately 175 yards from the shore in Unalaska Bay. There were no signs of injuries, pollution or any sort of damage to the ship itself.


However, the incident raised concerns about future, possible grounding in the Dutch Harbor as well as Shell´s drilling operation in the Arctic.


Proponents admit that Shell´s exploration of Arctic oil could create hundreds of jobs and develop the infrastructure of remote northern communities.


Environmentalists and indigenous representatives argue the opposite: the oil spill or any other marine accident could seriously pollute the Arctic fragile ecosystem what would cause the total collapse of struggling economy.


The U.S coastguard will spend next days on inspecting the ship to define the principal cause of Saturday's incident. The precautionary approach will be takes, so the situation does not occur in the future.



The Washington Post


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