As the Earth warms, sea ice declines. What happens to those animals who rely on the ice? Today’s oceanbites looks at one animal, the ringed seal, and how it may be affected by climate change!
Sea ice levels in the Arctic Ocean safeguard thousands of marine biosystems. Protists are little known micro-organisms that play a key role in maintaining a balanced oceanic ecosystem. Read more to see how climate change is affected sea ice-levels, and what that means for our protist comrades.
A German research team tested out three devices for studying plankton in Arctic sea ice. These new methods might allow scientists to expand Arctic primary production studies and yield new insight into these important, understudied ecosystems.
In the sea ice battle between the North Pole and the South Pole, there is no winner in 2016, as sea ice cover is plummeting at both poles.
An Australian research team predict future sea-ice habitats for Antarctic krill larvae, and are surprised to find more suitable ice habitats in the future, despite shrinking sea-ice cover.
The Southern Ocean has been getting less salty for decades, and scientists have finally proved that sea-ice is responsible for the extra fresh water in the ocean.
Scientists confirm an surprising explanation for Antarctica’s expanding sea ice in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
Everyone knows that polar bears have become the poster children for species threatened by climate change. And it’s for good reason that they are. Polar bears rely on sea ice for access to prey, finding mates, and creating dens. The persistence of the species depends on the state of sea-ice and more generally a healthy marine ecosystem in the Arctic. Unfortunately, the volume and extent of sea ice have been decreasing by 28% and 14% per decade. Is there a way for polar bears to adapt to the changing sea ice coverage in this sensitive habitat?
While icebergs are calving from Antarctic glaciers at alarming rates, they may provide a negative feedback for the carbon cycle. Giant icebergs bring large amounts of iron to iron-poor areas of the Southern Ocean, stimulating primary productivity and boosting carbon sequestration.
Source: Li, Y., R. Ji, S. Jenouvrier, M. Jin, and J. Stroeve (2016), Synchronicity between ice retreat and phytoplankton bloom in circum-Antarctic polynyas, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 2086–2093, doi:10.1002/2016GL067937. Antarctic coasts Despite the dark winters and freezing cold conditions, the coastline of Antarctica is a hotspot for growth of phytoplankton, the tiny, photosynthesizing organisms that […]
As Arctic sea-ice melts away, organisms will be exposed to more light and, potentially, more nutrients. Recent model work suggests that this combination will result in a more biologically active Arctic. But the net result might not be as positive as you think.
Measuring the heat content of deep ocean waters is critical to understanding how our global climate system works. It is also very difficult to do on a large scale. A group at the University of Georgia recently proposed a new technique to take the temperature of the deep ocean using only ambient noise and passive hydrophones.
Based on a simple theory, the authors of this study are able to make a prediction about the distribution of sea ice thickness that works remarkably well, and provides a novel approach to estimating how much ice the polar ice caps contain.
This week, I interviewed Joshua Jones, a Ph.D. student in biological oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The focus of his thesis research is marine mammals in the Arctic, their acoustic behavior and relationships with sea ice, and the effects of human activities on the underwater acoustic environment.
Lower amounts of sea ice in the North Atlantic disrupts the way heat is transferred, a key factor that changes large-scale ocean circulation with major global climate consequences.
When Arctic sea ice melts, it warms the local region by decreasing the albedo, or lowering the area’s reflectiveness. This atmospheric warming likely intensifies methane production in Arctic wetlands, which causes more warming and ultimately creates a positive feedback by melting more ice!
An international team of researchers shows that rising ocean temperatures along West Antarctic ice shelves are linked to rising warm water from the deep ocean, and that the rate of warming is larger than previously thought. With no indication of a slow down in warming, these findings illuminate on new realities of sea level challenges likely to be faced in coming decades.
The glaciers are melting, sea level is rising; you’ve heard it all. But did you know that both of these events are increasing how much solar energy the earth is absorbing? Scientists study 30 years of data from the Arctic Ocean to quantify the role of diminishing sea ice in global warming.
Multiyear sea ice formation in the Arctic Sea uptakes microplastics from seawater, effectively acting as a sink for these man-made particles. Melting sea ice, as a result of climate change, threatens to release these microplastics back into the ocean with unknown implications for the environment.