The heat wave that has been affecting the Russian Arctic for months now reached a record in Verkhoyansk, Russia—north of the Arctic Circle—of 100.4°F on June 20, the official first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
As the geography of the polar regions dramatically alters due to the warming climate, the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology (IMarEST) highlights several major issues arising from these changes, their impacts, and the actions that need to be taken.
A newly published study revealed that the movement of sea ice between Arctic countries is expected to rise this century, also increasing the risk of more widely transporting pollutants like microplastics and oil.
It is reported that the cargo shipments passing through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) reached 30 million tonnes in 2019, achieving a major rise in fossil fuel deliveries from one of the most vulnerable environment globally.
The International Maritime Organization’s Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR7) meeting began on February 12 as the landmark of discussions around the Arctic’s environment. Now, environmental groups ask the IMO to protect the Arctic marine environment from the impacts of international shipping.
Scientists in Antarctica have recorded a new record temperature of 20.75 degrees Celsius (69.35 Fahrenheit). This temperature broke the barrier of 20 degrees for the first time on the continent. However, scientists noted that this reading was a ‘one-off’ phenomenon, and could not be directly linked to climate change.
As CBC Canada reports, dozens of grey whales have been found dead along the West Coast in recent weeks, while some scientists believe the cause lies in the heated-up Arctic waters off Alaska. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 58 grey whales have been found dead so far for 2019, in sites stretching from California to Alaska
In a new study, the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling informed that it has tracked changes in snow and ice cover across the Antarctic. Namely, the continent’s ice sheet has thinned by up to 122 metres in places. Lead author and CPOM Director Professor Andy Shepherd, said that ice losses from East and West Antarctica have contributed 4.6 mm to global sea level rise since 1992.
According to Reuters, the US refused to sign an agreement in the Arctic due to discrepancies over climate change wording, risking the cooperation in the polar region at the sharp edge of global warming. The meeting between eight nations in Finland’s Rovaniemi on Tuesday, May 7, was aiming to provide a two-year agenda to balance the challenge of global warming, with sustainable development of mineral wealth.
A white paper published by the EU-PolarNet touches upon some of the most pressing issues that the Polar Regions face nowadays. There regions are the fastest warming areas on Earth and their natural physical processes impact climate conditions and affect lives and livelihoods across the world. If these processes are changed due to global warming, they could lead to changes across the planet with unknown impacts.
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