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Arctic

This tag is associated with 26 posts

How warming weather will open the mercury bank in Alaska

Researchers in this study measured mercury in Alaska and calculated the mercury to organic carbon ratio. This ratio was used to estimate where the dominant mercury storage is in the Northern Hemisphere. Read more to find out what they discovered! Victoria Treadaway I am a PhD candidate at the Graduate School of Oceanography at the […]

Autonomous Under-ICE Vehicles

Seafloor exploration in areas of thick ice coverage has many obstacles. With careful planning and modifaction of AUV design and recovery methods, explorers are able to map and study the Gakkel Spreading Ridge 4000 meters below the thick Arctic Ice Pack. Anne M. Hartwell Hello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I’m an earth […]

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 Graw I’m a 5th year PhD student at Oregon State University researching the microbial ecology of marine sediments – why do we find […]

Carbon Dioxide In and Methane Out: the Surprising Chemistry of an Arctic Methane Seep Field

The bad news: coastal frozen sediments in the Arctic are melting and emitting methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. But there is good news: this methane release is accompanied by significant carbon dioxide absorption by seawater, enough to result in a net cooling effect for the atmosphere. Find out how these methane seeps […]

Can you hear me now? Investigating sound across the Atlantic Ocean

The ocean is full of sounds, ranging from marine mammal conversations to man-made noises used to investigate the seafloor.  Ocean noise pollution makes it hard for marine mammals to communicate with each other. Read more to learn how scientists measure sound in the Atlantic Ocean. Victoria Treadaway I am a PhD candidate at the Graduate […]

Fireproofing the Arctic

Chemicals that are stable enough for our everyday use are often remarkably stable in the natural environment as well. This poses a problem because these chemicals can travel far from sources and end up in pristine environments like the Arctic. In the study described here, researchers from Germany and China joined forces to measure one […]

Orca vs Narwhal

Orcas are natural predators of narwhals, but they are seasonally kept at bay by Arctic sea ice. As the Arctic becomes increasingly ice-free, killer whales are arriving earlier and hanging out longer in narwhal habitat. How do narwhals fare? Read more to find out! Megan Chen I graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine […]

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

Sub sea ice technology aims to expand Arctic plankton surveys

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. Eric Orenstein Eric is a PhD student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research in the Jaffe Laboratory […]

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. Veronica Tamsitt I’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 […]

Long-lived sharks challenge ageing theory

Greenland sharks can live to be over 400 years old. What can they tell us about ageing? Brittney G. Borowiec Brittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and metabolic responses of Fundulus […]

If You Must, Adjust? Polar Bears Leaving Sea Ice in the Arctic

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 […]

Greenland ice melt may impact Atlantic Ocean temperature and climate

Paper: Claus W. Böning, et al. 2016.  Emerging impact of Greenland meltwater on deepwater formation in the North Atlantic Ocean. Nature Geoscience, v.9: 523–527. We know the ocean is warming due to climate change. But did you also know there are huge paths that heat and energy takes through the global ocean? Although the ocean […]

What’s in the Hair of a Polar Bear?

The accumulation of toxic methylmercury is a serious threat to wildlife all over the world – especially top predators in polar regions, like polar bears. Young polar bears are often the most vulnerable to detrimental effects of pollutants. To learn more about levels of mercury in polar bear cubs and their mothers, scientists measured total […]

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. Zoe Gentes Zoe has an M.S. […]

Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2015 Highlights

Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) is an annual event in Washington, D.C. that brings together a wide range of leaders a to discuss ocean science, policy and management. In case you missed it, read this for highlights! Megan Chen I graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine Management from the University of Akureyri in […]

Seeing in the dark: zooplankton in Arctic winter.

Winter nights are very long and dark near the poles. How well can krill and other zooplankton see to get around? Sarah Giltz I am a doctoral candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University. My research focuses on the larval dispersal and development of the blue crab in the Gulf of Mexico. When […]

Stirring the Pot: Energy and Heat Flow of the Arctic Ocean

Although we perceive the Arctic Ocean as being cold, it is a complicated system of temperatures, salinities, currents, and tides. The mixing of different ocean layers is key in warming the sea surface and providing a heat flux to the sea ice and atmosphere. A successful model of this system can help us better understand […]

Methylated Mercury Cycling in the Canadian Arctic Marine Boundary Layer

Monomethylmercury (MMHg) is the most toxic form of mercury (Hg) to humans and wildlife. In the environment it concentrates (or “bioaccumulates”) in fish and shellfish. This increase in methylmercury concentration is further amplified up the food chain when, for example, people consume seafood. Mercury (Hg) found in Arctic marine mammals and fish are on the […]

Sea ice and Albedo: Should We Be Worried?

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. Anne M. Hartwell […]

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