(Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) New research suggests weather anomalies are to blame for intense periods of accelerating Arctic sea ice loss. (From UPI/ By Brooks Hays) -- While research has confirmed links between global warming, rising Arctic temperatures and ongoing sea ice loss, variability remains. A pair of new studies conducted [...]
As climate change continues to grip the Arctic—causing the oceans to rise, permafrost to thaw and sea ice to melt—scientists believe they've discovered an unexpected consequence of the shifting landscape. Changes along the coastline are altering the composition of the Arctic Ocean, in ways that could fundamentally transform the local food chain. (From Scientific [...]
The Pentagon has taken few steps to prepare its overseas installations for climate change, a government watchdog said Wednesday. (From The Hill/ By Rebecca Kheel) -- “While the military services have begun to integrate climate change adaptation into installations’ plans and project designs, this integration has been limited,” the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report [...]
Permafrost in the Arctic is thawing at a faster clip, according to a new report released Tuesday. Water is also warming and sea ice is melting at the fastest pace in 1,500 years at the top of the world. (From ABC News/ By Seth Borenstein) -- The annual report released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric [...]
Greenland (Credit: Matthew Cooper) A new UCLA-led study reinforces the importance of collaboration in assessing the effects of climate change. The research, published Dec. 5 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers new insights about previously unknown factors affecting Greenland's melting ice sheet, and it could ultimately help scientists [...]
(Credit: Graphic by Kathy Seibert/LLNL) Arctic sea ice loss of the magnitude expected in the next few decades could impact California's rainfall and exacerbate future droughts, according to new research led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists. (From Science Daily)-- The dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice cover observed over the satellite [...]
Northwest Passage (Credit: NASA) What It Was A coalition of geoscience organizations and Representative Don Young (AK-At-large) hosted a briefing in the Geosciences and the U.S. Economy Series titled, “Geosciences in the Artic: Permafrost, Energy, and Trade Routes in the Last Frontier.” Why It Matters The United States is an Arctic nation [...]
(Click to enlarge) Map of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). (Credit: USGS) What It Was Both chambers worked on tax reform bills, which are advancing through the budget reconciliation process. The House’s bill, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), passed the chamber along a largely party-line vote (227-205) and includes a [...]
The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans held a hearing on three water bills, including the Hydrographic Services Improvement Amendments Act (H.R. 221) and Keep America’s Waterfronts Working Act (H.R. 1176). The use of our ocean is increasing, and this hearing focused on two pieces of legislation that would address the backlog of coastal surveys (which could help prevent oil spills, ship collisions, and habitat destruction) and ensure working waterfronts persist through coastal development.
The University of Alaska has produced a procedure for what scientists on research vessels should do to avoid disrupting Indigenous communities’ traditional hunts. The university’s Brenda Konar hopes that other vessels will adopt codes of conduct. The Arctic Ocean is rapidly changing, and researchers are rushing to understand those changes. That means more research expeditions are coming into more frequent contact with Indigenous communities and the marine animals they depend on. To avoid those conflicts, a recent paper by researchers at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks lays out a “Community and Environmental Compliance Standard Operating Procedure,” or CECSOP.
House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing on a discussion draft of the Accessing Strategic Resources Offshore Act (ASTRO Act) (draft bill). Why It Matters - Drilling for oil in the ocean has an impact on our economy and environment. Outer continental shelf (OCS) drilling has been banned in certain areas for several reasons, including disruption to tourism, threats to ecosystems and species, noise pollution, and risk of oil spills. Determining where OCS lease sales can occur involves rigorous assessment. This bill would open all areas of the ocean to drilling, eliminate the president’s ability to designate marine national monuments, and give OCS lease sales authority to the secretary of interior instead of relying solely on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) five-year plan.
Arctic research has been ongoing for several decades, yet there is still a clear need for additional studies to better understand the processes driving the Arctic marine ecosystem as a whole—even more so as Arctic sea ice continues to retreat at an increasing rate. Changes in sea ice timing, presence, extent, or thickness will have profound influences on coastal communities, marine mammals, seabirds, fishes, plankton, and oceanography.