//archives

Sea Ice

This category contains 29 posts

What caused a massive hole in Antarctic sea ice?

In 2016 and 2017, a massive hole developed in the Antarctic sea ice. Scientists investigated the processes that led to this formation and found that it was related to anomalous saltiness and storm activity in the region. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I use […]

Ecology of Fear: Current Implications of Orca Presence on Narwhal Behavior and Future Trends

The ecology of fear is a hypothesis that predators drive habitat use and behavior in prey species. In the Arctic, the orca drives behavioral changes in a variety of species including narwhals. Analyzing a narwhal population in a Fjord in Greenland researchers were able to look at how fear drives narwhal behavior. Article Breed, Greg […]

Phytoplankton Expanding Northward as Arctic Sea Ice Retreats

A recent study uses satellite data to show that Arctic sea ice retreat is causing changes in the timing and location of spring phytoplankton blooms, which play a large role in the regional ecosystem and carbon cycle. Channing PrendI’m a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I use […]

Who Governs the Ocean Around Antarctica?

Antarctica is often considered an untouched wilderness. While its location is remote, the region is hardly undisturbed by human activity. Exploitation of marine species, tourism, scientific research activities, and anthropogenic climate change are all impacting Southern Ocean ecosystems. A recent policy paper examines the governance challenges for the Antarctic, particularly those due to climate change. […]

Sea Ice Modifies Biological Processes

A recent study investigates the relationship between sea ice variability and phytoplankton growth in climate models. Phytoplankton are responsible for most of the transfer of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to the ocean, therefore this work can help us understand and predict how the ocean’s ability to regulate climate might change in the future.     Channing […]

When life gives you global warming, make pancake ice in ocean wave models

Sea ice is retreating, the Arctic is opening up, and wave activity is increasing. What does this mean for the ocean and atmosphere? The refreezing season of autumn may have some answers. Nyla HusainI’m a 4th year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. I use models to study small-scale turbulence […]

Sea Ice Drives Global Circulation

A recent study uses observational data from the Antarctic to show that sea ice processes help drive the global current system called the overturning circulation. This result suggests that changes to sea ice extent in the Antarctic could impact large-scale circulation as well as the ocean’s uptake of heat and carbon dioxide. Channing PrendI’m a […]

The Polar Vortex, Bomb Cyclones, and Climate

Bomb cyclones, the polar vortex, and climate – they’ve all been in the news in recent years, but how do they intersect? A new study finds a link between mid-latitude cyclones and enhanced sea ice melt in the Arctic. Nyla HusainI’m a 4th year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of […]

Why is Antarctic Sea Ice Growing?

Despite increases in global ocean temperatures, long-term trends actually show an increase in Antarctic sea ice extent. There are a number of reasons for this apparent paradox: geography, ocean properties, and atmospheric circulation to name a few. This paper examines the role of atmospheric variability in driving Southern Hemisphere sea ice trends. Channing PrendI’m a […]

The Many Modes of Antarctic Ice Loss

The Western Antarctic Ice Shelf has been melting rapidly in recent decades, largely due to upwelling of deep ocean water that has been gradually warming. Atmospheric systems can influence the ice-sheet height anomalies on interannual time scales. Paolo and other researchers used satellite altimetry to study which processes have the greatest effect in one region […]

Iceberg Impacts

Accurately predicting ice sheet melt location and timing is crucial to understanding and modeling global climate. In order to do this, it is necessary to assess individual freshwater sources as the researchers in this study did. Their results suggest that many of the assumptions ocean modelers make about icebergs may be incorrect. Channing PrendI’m a […]

Sea Ice Mixes it Up

Sea ice extent and concentration is driven by a complex combination of circulation and mixing, as well as interaction with the atmosphere. Understanding these processes is critical to improving climate models. This study uses models to examine the dynamics in marginal ice zones, which is becoming increasingly important for future climate predictions. Channing PrendI’m a […]

Bergy Bits Are a Bit Burdensome

Icebergs and ‘bergy bits’ have been long studied as carriers of freshwater into the global ocean climate system on global, regional, and local scales. But in previous models, some potentially major factors have been overlooked. There may be more going on under the surface than researchers once suspected. Zoe GentesZoe has an M.S. in Oceanography […]

Fate of Dissolved Carbon in the Antarctic

The ocean surrounding Antarctica, called the Southern Ocean, accounts for about 40% of the total global ocean carbon uptake. This study assesses the relative importance of the mechanisms impacting carbon concentrations in the upper ocean. Their results help us understand and predict how the ocean’s ability to regulate climate might change in the future. Channing […]

Melting ice, shifting microbes

Polar bears have been the poster child for sea ice melting in the Arctic. But what does sea ice loss melt mean for the Arctic’s most numerous members – its microbes? Michael GrawI’m a 5th year PhD student at Oregon State University researching the microbial ecology of marine sediments – why do we find microbes […]

Atlantic confirmed as accomplice in Arctic sea ice loss

A team of scientist gathered new evidence from the Arctic Ocean, revealing a new suspect responsible for rapidly melting Arctic sea ice. Veronica TamsittI’m a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla California. My research is focused on the Southern Ocean circulation and it’s role in climate. For my research I sometimes […]

Throwing Babies out with the Sea Ice: Ringed Seals Response to Ice Decline

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! Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of Rhode Island (M.S.). I […]

The Meltdown: Protists in the time of disappearing Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean

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. Prabarna GangulyI’m a fourth year PhD candidate in […]

Frozen Food: how ice algae support Arctic ecosystems

It may seem like a harsh place to grow, but algae inhabit the under side of Arctic ice. As it turns out, these frozen, sea “veggies” provide an important source of food for Artic ecosystems. Gordon OberPostdoctoral Researcher, Claremont McKenna College I am currently a postdoc at Keck Sciences, Claremont McKenna College. I work with […]

A mercurial tug o’ war in Antarctic sea ice

DNA from bacteria living in Antarctic sea ice provides a clue to the mysterious origins of methyl mercury in seawater in the Southern Ocean. Abrahim El GamalAbrahim is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego where he studies marine chemical biology.

Subscribe to oceanbites

@oceanbites on Twitter