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Sea Ice

This category contains 13 posts
Fig. 4: Ringed seal pup. Author: Shawn Dahle, NOAA, Polar Ecosystems Program research cruise. Source: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pusa_hispida_pup.jpg

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!

Locations of the ice stations sampled during the expedition. At each ice station, samples from sea ice, melt pond water, under-ice water and deep-chlorophyll maximum water were collected. Maps show the average amount of ice coverage for August, September and October.

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.

Fig. 4: Microscopic phytoplankton contribute to the ice algae community. Here they can bee seen growing in the spaces between the ice (Photo: Live Science).

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.

Where is all the methyl mercury coming from?! 
(Creative Commons photo by Patrick Kelley)

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.

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Pole wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Sea Ice

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.

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Positive real estate outlook for Antarctic krill

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.

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Not all freshwater is created equal

Glacial runoff, precipitation, and sea ice melt all contribute to the freshwater content of the upper ocean along the west Antarctic Peninsula. Using oxygen isotope samples from water found in different areas of the continental shelf, researchers were able map the areas where different sources of freshwater are more important.

Credit: Gérald Tapp.

Iceberg Buffet: How giant icebergs bring food to plankton

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.

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Plankton fill up ice-free summer homes

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 […]

Fig. 4: Massive chunks of ice break off from glaciers in a process called calving (lonelyplanet.com).

Hope Floats: how icebergs are fighting climate change

An iceberg couldn’t help Leo win an Oscar, but new research highlights how icebergs may help battle climate change. Read on to find out how!

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How thick is polar ice?

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.

With the Voices of the Sea interactive exhibit, you can explore acoustics from various marine mammals including whales, dolphins, and seals. The exhibit is featured in various aquariums throughout the US. Credit: voicesinthesea.org

A Career in Marine Mammal Acoustics and the Arctic

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.

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Sea Ice Plays a Key Role in Ocean Circulation

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.

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