New plastic garbage patch discovered in Arctic Ocean

April 20, 2017 by  
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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch isn’t the only place where plastic pollution is gathering in the world’s oceans . An international team of scientists from 12 institutions in eight countries recently discovered a new garbage patch in the Greenland and Barents seas north of Norway. Between 100 and 1,200 tons of plastic have concentrated there, threatening wildlife already grappling with climate change . The Tara Expeditions Foundation dragged for plastic in the Arctic Ocean to find the new Arctic garbage patch. They visited 42 sites, and found over a third of the locations didn’t have any plastic. But then they found plastic amassing in Arctic waters above Norway. The garbage patch is smaller than the Pacific or Mediterranean garbage patches, but researchers hadn’t anticipated finding so much trash in that part of the Arctic, previously considered to be quite pristine. Related: World’s first ocean trash recon mission is complete – and the results are way worse than we thought Andrés Cózar of the University of Cádiz in Spain told The Verge, “We did not expect to find high concentrations of plastic there, so far from the populated regions and the large sources of plastic pollution.” He’s the lead author on a study published online yesterday in the journal Science Advances . So where’s all the trash coming from? Europe and America’s East Coast are likely at fault. Study co-author Erik van Sebille, who during the research was with Imperial College London and now works for the Netherlands’ Utrecht University , told The Verge, “If a plastic bottle or a plastic bag gets into the Atlantic from Europe or the East Coast of the U.S., that has a very good chance of ending up in the Arctic. The problem with plastic specifically being in the Arctic is that it’s going to get into the food chain of animals that are very much under threat already, that are struggling to survive in a changing climate.” Via The Verge Images © Anna Deniaud/Tara Expeditions Foundation

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New plastic garbage patch discovered in Arctic Ocean

Large section of Arctic Ocean is six times more acidic than 20 years ago

March 16, 2017 by  
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Ocean acidification is increasing rapidly in the Arctic Ocean . New research from an international team reveals between the 1990’s and 2010, the area of acidified water expanded northward by around 300 nautical miles from near Alaska nearly up to the North Pole . The depth of acidified waters hiked up too, from around 325 feet to more than 800 feet. 13 scientists from institutions in China, Sweden, and the United States scrutinized data from the 1990’s up through 2010 to see how acidification has escalated in the Arctic Ocean, and they found both area and depth of acidified waters spread. Acidity in the area is six times greater than it was 20 years ago. Paper co-author Wei-Jun Cai of the University of Delaware said in a statement, “The Arctic Ocean is the first ocean where we see such a rapid and large-scale increase in acidification, at least twice as fast as that observed in the Pacific or Atlantic oceans.” The journal Nature Climate Change published their research online in late February. Related: Melting Arctic Seas are Turning into Giant Pools of Acid, Researchers Warn There are a few possible reasons for such rapid acidification. One is the lack of summer sea ice ; water is exposed to the atmosphere for lengthier periods of time now and therefore has more time to absorb acidifying gas like carbon dioxide . Currents in the atmosphere have also sent Pacific Ocean water, which tends to be more acidic, into the Canada Basin. Co-author Richard Feely of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the combination of those two phenomenon likely led to the speedy acidification. Naturally the news isn’t great for marine life. Feely said mussels, clams, and small sea snails may have a hard time maintaining or building their shells in acidified waters. As sea snails in particular are an important source of food in the Arctic food web, sustaining herring and salmon, their decline could impact the rest of the marine ecosystem . Via the University of Delaware and the Toronto Star Images via Pixabay and Tammy Beeson/University of Delaware

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Large section of Arctic Ocean is six times more acidic than 20 years ago

Obama administration just protected the Arctic and Atlantic from drilling until 2022

November 18, 2016 by  
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With only two months left in office, President Obama’s administration just finalized its program for oil and gas leasing , and it will ensure protections for the Arctic and Atlantic oceans until 2022. In what is considered a major win for coastal regions and marine wildlife, these areas will not be subject to dangerous oil or gas drilling until climate change-denier and fossil fuel-guzzling proponent Donald Trump has completed his term in office – and perhaps even beyond. “Coastal businesses, fishermen, and marine life learned the lesson after the BP disaster that when you drill, you spill,” said Heather Leibowitz, the Director for Environment New York . “We are thrilled the Atlantic is protected for the next five years and adding protection for the Arctic makes the victory that much sweeter.” The road to such protections was a long one, beginning with the initial 2017 to 2022 Outer Continental Shelf leasing plan proposed in January of last year. This version of the plan left coastal regions from Virginia to North Carolina vulnerable, as well as the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in the Arctic Ocean. Related: Obama to target Arctic and Atlantic oil drilling in fight against climate change The final plan cancelled leases for these areas for the next five years, yet left behind 10 leases in the Gulf of Mexico. According to a National Resources Defense Council survey , a majority of American oppose oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic. Leibowitz says more and more citizens are becoming aware of the dangers of offshore drilling, so there may still be hope for the Gulf’s future. She adds, “The only safe amount of drilling for our climate and communities is none at all – that is why President Obama should extend permanent protection for the Atlantic and Arctic oceans before leaving office.” Via  Environment New York Images via Flickr ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

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Obama administration just protected the Arctic and Atlantic from drilling until 2022

Polar bears are eating dolphins stranded by climate change

June 16, 2015 by  
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Arctic polar bears have been forced to rethink their diet as a result of climate change. No, they aren’t considering vegetarianism to help offset the droughts in other parts of the world. Instead, they have been feasting on frozen white-beaked dolphins who have found themselves trapped in the surrounding ice. This practice was previously unheard of, since this species of dolphin doesn’t usually venture so far north in the Arctic Ocean during the winter or spring months. With fewer seals to hunt, bears in the region are availing themselves of an unexpected source of sustenance. Read the rest of Polar bears are eating dolphins stranded by climate change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: arctic ocean , Climate Change , global warming , polar bear eats dolphin , polar bears , sea level rising , svalbard islands , white-beaked dolphin

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Polar bears are eating dolphins stranded by climate change

Polar bears are eating dolphins stranded by climate change

June 16, 2015 by  
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Arctic polar bears have been forced to rethink their diet as a result of climate change. No, they aren’t considering vegetarianism to help offset the droughts in other parts of the world. Instead, they have been feasting on frozen white-beaked dolphins who have found themselves trapped in the surrounding ice. This practice was previously unheard of, since this species of dolphin doesn’t usually venture so far north in the Arctic Ocean during the winter or spring months. With fewer seals to hunt, bears in the region are availing themselves of an unexpected source of sustenance. Read the rest of Polar bears are eating dolphins stranded by climate change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: arctic ocean , Climate Change , global warming , polar bear eats dolphin , polar bears , sea level rising , svalbard islands , white-beaked dolphin

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Polar bears are eating dolphins stranded by climate change

10,000 Walruses Come Ashore in Alaska as Arctic Sea Ice Declines

October 3, 2013 by  
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In an extraordinary phenomenon, an estimated 10,000 walruses have gathered on a small barrier island near Point Lay in Alaska. Spotted by scientists from NOAA last Friday, the walruses have come ashore as shrinking Arctic sea ice leaves the mammals without areas on which to give birth, and without diving platforms from which they can hunt. While a dramatic and horrifying commentary on the effects of global warming, the massive gathering of walruses also poses a threat to the safety of the young among the herd. Read the rest of 10,000 Walruses Come Ashore in Alaska as Arctic Sea Ice Declines Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alaska , Arctic , arctic ocean , barrier island , Climate Change , fish and wildlife services , global warming , marine health , marine mammals , National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , NOAA , point lay , sea ice , walrus , walruses        

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US National Snow and Ice Data Center Reports Arctic Sea Ice Falls to New Record Low

September 20, 2012 by  
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Back in August, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) ) reported that over 900 cubic kilometers of summer sea ice had disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year. At the time, that was a loss 50% greater than figures predicted by most polar scientists . However, now the NSIDC is reporting that the Arctic sea ice has reached its minimum extent for the year, equal to 1.32 million square miles. This is the lowest seasonal minimum extent noted in the satellite record since 1979. Read the rest of US National Snow and Ice Data Center Reports Arctic Sea Ice Falls to New Record Low Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: arctic ice , arctic ocean , arctic sea ice , arctic summer sea ice , cryosat 2 , esa , european space agency , summer ice , university college of london , us national snow and ice data center

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US National Snow and Ice Data Center Reports Arctic Sea Ice Falls to New Record Low

Arctic Sea Ice to Hit Record Low This Month According to US National Snow and Ice Data Center Reports

August 23, 2012 by  
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Last week we reported that The European Space Agency’s CryoSat 2 probe had completed its 18-month-long mission and revealed that over 900 cubic kilometers of summer sea ice had disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year. That’s a loss 50% greater than figures predicted by most polar scientists. Now scientists at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center have stated that Arctic sea ice is set to hit a record low by the end of this month. Read the rest of Arctic Sea Ice to Hit Record Low This Month According to US National Snow and Ice Data Center Reports Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: arctic ice , arctic ocean , arctic sea ice , arctic summer sea ice , cryosat 2 , esa , european space agency , summer ice , university college of london , us national snow and ice data center

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Arctic Sea Ice to Hit Record Low This Month According to US National Snow and Ice Data Center Reports

FedEx Announces Plan to Cut CO2 Emissions by 50%

August 23, 2012 by  
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Over the years, global logistics company FedEx has been doing everything it can to reduce the carbon emissions of its massive fleet. The company has done everything from implementing carbon offset programs to utilizing electric vehicles . One of the company’s boldest moves was in 2008, when it announced that it would aim to reduce carbon emissions from its aircraft and improve the fuel efficiency of its vehicle fleet by 20 percent by 2020. Now, just four years later, FedEx has done so well that it has almost achieved these goals already. So today the company announced a revised, more aggressive target  of 50% ! Read the rest of FedEx Announces Plan to Cut CO2 Emissions by 50% Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aircraft emissions , biofuel , carbon emissions , carbon offset programs , electric vehicles , fedex , fedex aircraft , logistical company , logistics company , vehicle emissions

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FedEx Announces Plan to Cut CO2 Emissions by 50%

CryoSat 2 Probe Shows Summer Arctic Sea Ice Melting 50% Faster Than Expected

August 15, 2012 by  
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The European Space Agency’s CryoSat 2 probe has completed its 18-month-long mission and the results are disturbing. According to data being analyzed at the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at University College London (UCL) , over 900 cubic kilometres of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year. That’s a loss 50% greater than figures predicted by most polar scientists. Read the rest of CryoSat 2 Probe Shows Summer Arctic Sea Ice Melting 50% Faster Than Expected Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: arctic ice , arctic ocean , arctic summer sea ice , cryosat 2 , esa , european space agency , summer ice , university college of london

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