30 news posts related to Polar Science

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Polar bears in Baffin Bay skinnier, having fewer cubs due to less sea ice

Kristin Laidre is seen with two polar bear cubs.

Polar bears are spending more time on land than they did in the 1990s, due to reduced sea ice, new University of Washington-led research has found. Bears in Baffin Bay are getting thinner and adult females are having fewer cubs than was recorded at times when sea ice was more available. The new study published in Ecological Applications compares polar bear satellite tracking and visual monitoring data from the 1990s with more data collected in recent years. 

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Outlook for the polar regions in a 2 degrees warmer world

Four male polar bears standing on a floating whale carcass shortly after it drifted to shore on the island of Svalbard.

With 2019 on pace as one of the warmest years on record, a new international study reveals how rapidly the Arctic is warming and examines global consequences of continued polar warming. The study, published Dec. 4 in the journal Science Advances, reports that the Arctic has warmed by 0.75 degrees C in the last decade alone. By comparison, the Earth as a whole has warmed by nearly the same amount, 0.8 

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First evidence of human-caused climate change melting the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

A Seaglider, with the Getz Ice Shelf in the background, being prepared for deployment in January 2018 under the neighboring Dotson Ice Shelf.

A new study reveals the first evidence of a direct link between human-induced global warming and melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. A research team led by the British Antarctic Survey that included the University of Washington found that curbing greenhouse gas emissions now could reduce this region’s future contribution to global sea level rise. Ongoing ice loss in West Antarctica has increased over the past few decades. 

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More than 100 years of Arctic sea ice volume reconstructed with help from historic ships’ logbooks

Ship log from 1955

Our knowledge of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean comes mostly through satellites, which since 1979 have imaged the dwindling extent of sea ice from above. The University of Washington’s Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean and Modeling System, or PIOMAS, is a leading tool for gauging the thickness of that ice. Until now that system has gone back only as far as 1979. 

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Instability in Antarctic ice could make sea levels rise rapidly

Glacier in Antarctica

One of the biggest sources of concern for scientists regarding climate change is the uncertainty surrounding melting ice sheets in the Antarctic causing rising sea levels. New research coauthored by University of Washington Earth and Space Sciences professor Gerard Roe used mathematical analysis and computer models to make projections of future sea levels, pointing to ice sheets growing unstable and flowing into the ocean sooner than expected. 

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