Preventing Overfishing in the Arctic

The Atlantic

A consortium of countries are meeting in Iceland, where they hope to strike a deal that protects the newly accessible ecosystem

The Arctic Ocean has long been the least accessible of the world’s major oceans. But as climate change warms the Arctic twice as fast as anywhere else, the thick sea ice that once made it so forbidding is now beating a hasty retreat. Since 1979, when scientists … Read the rest

Greenland: A Tale of Fire and Ice

NOVA Next

Are wildfires melting Greenland’s glaciers?

During the summer of 2012, fires exploded across the drought-stricken Colorado Front Range—a heavily populated area where the Great Plains meets the Rockies. One evening in early June, lightning struck a tree in the foothills west of Fort Collins. It ignited a fire that burned quietly for a few days and then rocketed downslope, fueled … Read the rest

Arctic snow cover shows sharp decline

Earlier spring could spell trouble for permafrost

Arctic snow is fading fast. June snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has dropped by almost 18% per decade during the past 30 years, according to a study published in Geophysical Research Letters1.

The drop in snow extent will lower the amount of sunlight reflected away from the planet — a process that has a cooling effect — by exposing darker … Read the rest

Scientists call for no-fishing zone in Arctic

Nature

Thousands of scientists from 67 countries have called for an international agreement to close the Arctic high seas to commercial fishing until research reveals more about the freshly exposed waters.

Recent Arctic sea-ice retreat during the summer months has opened up some of the waters that fall outside of the exclusive economic zones of the nations that circle the polar ocean. In all, more than 2.8 million square kilometres … Read the rest

US polar bears mark their territory

More than two years after Alaskan polar bears were given a protection status of “threatened species” by the US Endangered Species Act, the Obama administration set aside on Wednesday 24 November 484,330 sq kilometres — twice the size of the UK — in Alaska as “critical habitat”.

Almost all of the area is offshore sea ice habitat — where polar bears spend most of their time hunting seals, breeding and … Read the rest