23 news posts related to Polar Science

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Study identifies which marine mammals are most at risk from increased Arctic ship traffic

Beluga whales in the pack ice in West Greenland. Ships using the Northwest Passage would travel through Baffin Bay off Greenland’s west coast.

In recent decades, parts of the Arctic seas have become increasingly ice-free in late summer and early fall. As sea ice is expected to continue to recede due to climate change, seasonal ship traffic from tourism and freight is projected to rise. A study from the University of Washington and the University of Alaska Fairbanks is the first to consider potential impacts on the marine mammals that use this region in autumn and identify which species will be most vulnerable.  

Read more at UW Today »

Three UW Innovation Awards given to UW Environment faculty

College of the Environment faculty received all three of the University of Washington’s Innovation Awards for 2018. The awards are designed to stimulate innovation among faculty from a range of disciplines and to reward some of their most novel ideas, and are made possible by generous donors. Knut Christianson and Michelle Koutnik from the Earth and Space Sciences, along with David Shean from Civil and Environmental Engineering, were awarded $300,000 over two years to “build a digital glacier time machine” that will generate a high-resolution, 3-D time series of how glaciers have changed over time to help understand the future of water resources in the western United States. 

Read more at the Office of Research »

Salt pond in Antarctica, among the saltiest waters on Earth, is fed from beneath

At the base of the Transantarctic Mountains lies a geological oddity. Don Juan Pond is one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet, filled with a dense, syrupy brine rich in calcium chloride that can remain liquid to minus 50 degrees Celsius, far below the freezing point of water. But the source of water and salt to this unusual pond remains a mystery — even as hints emerge that water in a similar form could exist on Mars. 

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