Northern winds influence Arctic sea ice
This year the Arctic had its smallest area of ice on record. But an expedition to the region discovered something perplexing. Scientists found large areas of ice along the east coast of Greenland, despite the loss of ice farther north. At first they feared that the seas were cooling because of a weakening of the West Spitsbergen Current, the northernmost extension of the Gulf Stream. But measurements showed that the current was as strong and warm as ever. Instead, the sea ice appeared to be three to five years old and melting after being driven south by unusually dominant northerly winds, says Simon Boxall of the National Oceanography Centre. (November 8, 2007)
Read more Times Online
Chima extends Antarctic activities
China will send its largest research team to Antarctica in more than two decades and expand its facilities there in a major reassertion of its presence on the icy continent. The team of 188 scientists and support personnel is China's biggest single contingent since it first established a research base in 1985. (November 8, 2007)
Read more Independent Online
Unexpected CO2 growth
According to a newly published study, Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere have risen 35% faster than expected since 2000. Inefficiency in the use of fossil fuels increased levels of CO2 by 17%. The other 18% came from a decline in the natural ability of land and oceans to soak up CO2 from the atmosphere. About half of emissions from human activity are absorbed by natural "sinks", but the efficiency of these sinks has fallen, the study says. (October 25, 2007)
Read more BBC
Chile to reopen Antarctic base
Chile plans to reopen a naval base in Antarctica in 2008, firmly marking its territory on the icy continent at a time when Britain plans to extend its claims there by 1 million square kilometres. The Arturo Prat naval base, named after Chile's greatest naval hero, will be operated in conjunction with Chile's Antarctic Institute and will host a research centre. (October 25, 2007)
Read more The Australian

Wednesday, 19. September 2007
New website loaded with info about sea ice
The International Polar Year (IPY) will launch "Sea Ice Day," its first International Polar Day, on Friday, 21 September 2007. A new website with information for the press and educators, details of current projects and expeditions, contact details for scientists in the polar regions and around the world, images, background information, and useful links and resources is available at:

More than thirty IPY projects presently study some aspect of sea ice or sea ice ecology. These investigations include ship expeditions (some of which have failed to find sea ice where expected), satellite remote sensing, ecosystem explorations, and monitoring of the health and abundance of bears and other ice-dependent marine mammals. The IPY Sea Ice Day represents an opportunity to learn about these sea ice projects and to talk to sea ice experts.

The Sea Ice Day will also include educational and community activities including classroom experiments, posters, fact sheets, and a virtual balloon launch. Information for educators is available at:

For more information regarding Sea Ice Day, please contact:
Rhian Salmon, Education and Outreach Coordinator IPY International Programme Office
Phone: +447711181509

David Carlson, Director
IPY International Programme Office
Phone: +447715371759

Possible polar bear meltdown
Two-thirds of the world's polar bears will be gone by the middle of the century, according to a US government agency. The US Geological Survey (USGS) says parts of the Arctic are losing summer ice so fast that no bears will be able to live there within several decades. Scientists also believe the Arctic ice will hit a record low this year. (September 10, 2007)
Read more BBC
Scientists study Arctic climate
Scientists from the University of Wales, Bangor, are joining a polar expedition to study the impact of climate change. The oceanographers will study whether warming in the Arctic Ocean could have a knock-on effect on the UK climate. Experts estimate the ocean's ice cover is declining by 98,420 sq kilometers per year, equivalent to an area five times the size of Wales. (September 3, 2007)
Read more BBC
Vast ice island trapped in Arctic
An island of ice the size of Manhattan has drifted into a remote channel and jammed itself in. The Ayles Ice Island changed the Arctic map by breaking free from the Canadian coast two years ago. Scientists have been tracking the progress of this monster iceberg amid fears that it could edge west towards oil and gas installations off Alaska. The creation of the island is seen by many scientists as a key indicator of the rapid warming of the Arctic. (September 3, 2007)
Read more BBC

Tuesday, 28. August 2007
500.000 years old bacteria recovered from Siberian permafrost

By keeping up metabolic activity bacteria have been able to repair damaged DNA continuously for millennia. In a new study published in the online version of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences lead author Eske Willerslev from University of Copenhagen reports, that bacteria found in 500.000 year old permafrost in Siberia and Alaska were still breathing and taking in nutrients. By using these resources, the bacteria were able to repair damaged DNA and keep in good shape.

Source: National Geographic

Soot influences Arctic climate
A new study published in the journal Science suggest that soot released by industrial activities has influenced climate change in the Arctic. Joe McConnell and Ross Edwards from the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno, US, looked at ice cores covering the period 1788 to 2002 and found that the natural record shows concentrations of black carbon, or soot, were particularly bad from 1851 to 1951. 

The ice core samples have been gathered from various regions of Greenland. (August 13, 2007)
Read more BBC

Penguin science in Antarctica
This coming November 2007, an american research team will be stationed at Cape Royds on Ross Island, Antarctica, conducting penguin science. Antarctic penguins are adjusting to changes in their habitat brought about by warming temperatures. (August 1, 2007)
Read more Penguin Science
Russia subs make Arctic test dive
Two Russian mini-subs have made a test dive to the floor of the Arctic Ocean near Russia's most northerly islands. The subs reached a depth of 1.3 kilometer at a point 87 kilometer north of the Franz Josef Land archipelago. The dives were a trial run ahead of a planned descent later this week to leave the Russian flag on the seabed 4 kilometer below the North Pole. (August 1, 2007)
Read more BBC
Russia races for Arctic
Russia's biggest-ever research expedition to the Arctic region is steaming toward the immense scientific prestige of being the first to explore the seabed of the world's crown. In the next few days, two manned minisubs will be launched through a hole blasted in the polar ice to scour the ocean floor nearly three miles below. The researchers will gather rock samples and plant a titanium Russian flag to symbolize Moscow's claim over 460,000 square miles of hitherto international territory estimated to contain a quarter of the world's undiscovered oil and gas reserves. (August 1, 2007)
Read more Yahoo News
Glaciers contribute more to sea level rise
It is not melting polar sea ice that contribute mostly to rising sea levels. The big threat this century could come from small thawing glaciers, researchers say. Even though these glaciers contain only 1 percent of the water tied up in the great ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, they could account for 60 percent of an anticipated rise in the world's sea level by the year 2100. Sea-level rise is seen as a key consequence of global warming, and much of the concern has focused on the big ice sheets that contain the vast majority of the world's ice. (July 23, 2007)
Read more CNN
Penguin remains key to ice movements
For thousands, perhaps millions, of years, Antarctica's massive ice sheet has advanced and retreated as the Earth's atmosphere cooled and warmed. Yet, until recently, there was no precise way to measure the shifting interface between ice and open water. Now the University of North Carolina researcher, Wilmington Steven D. Emslie, has determined a history of penguin colony locations that spans the last 45,000 years - the longest record now known for any species of penguin. By estimating the age of Adélie penguin remains using radiocarbon dating, he put forward the theory that ancient penguin colonies' population shifts with climate change. (July 23, 2007)
Read more Newswise
Joint German-Russian expedition to the Arctic
At the end of August, an expedition under Russian leadership will leave for the Arctic Ocean. One of the participants is Jurgen Graeser of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, one of the research centres of the Helmholtz Association. It is the first time in the history of Russian research using drifting stations that a German researcher will take part in the North Pole drifting station NP-35. The aim of the expedition is to investigate sea ice and atmospheric conditions. (July 23, 2007)
Read more Terra Daily
Insect borne diseases spread in the North
Continued climate change may lead to the extinction of polar bears in southeastern Canada and unleash new insect-borne diseases across the province of Ontario. If sea ice continues to melt in the Canadian arctic, the Ontario polar bears could lose their habitat and source of food. Scientists also say people in southern Ontario face the prospect of an invasion of new insects and pests. As the winter temperature rises, scientists warn creatures such as the possum, the white-tailed deer and the black-legged tick will start making their way across Ontario. (July 23, 2007)
Read more ENN
Polar bears face more trouble
Increasing numbers of pregnant polar bears are coming to land to give birth instead of staying on the thinning Arctic sea ice, a U.S. Geological Survey study has found. Data from northern Alaska show that the proportion of the bears’ dens that are on pack ice declined from 62 percent between 1985 and 1994 to 37 percent from 1998 to 2004. The data, which were based on 89 females that were captured and collared and then followed using satellite technology, was recently published in the journal Polar Biology. (July 17, 2007)
Read more News Tribune

DNA reveals green Greenland
DNA extracted from Canadian and Greenland ice cores shows that moths and butterflies were living in forests of spruce and pine in the South Greenland area between 450.000 and 800.000 years ago. The results, which have been published in Science magazine, are based on probably the oldest pure DNA samples ever obtained. According to author Eske Willerslev from the University of Copenhagen, the study for the first time shows that southern Greenland, which is currently hidden under more than 2 kilometers of ice, was once very different to the Greenland we see today. (July 10, 2007)
Read more BBC

New icebreakers to defend Canadian Arctic
New plans to build six to eight ice-breaking patrol ships to prevent trespass of Canada's northern territories and to reaffirm its claim to the disputed Arctic are under way. According to Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, Canada's Arctic is central to the Canadian national identity as a northern nation. It is part of the nation's history. Canada is at odds over parts of the Arctic region with the United States, Russia, Denmark and Norway. (July 10, 2007)
Read more IOL
Russia to claim more Arctic land
According to the director of the Institute of Oceanology at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Valery Kaminsky, Russia can claim an additional 1.2 million square kilometers outside its economic zone in the Arctic. A just completed expedition to the Arctic Ocean was undertaken in line with a state order from the Natural Resources Ministry and the Federal Agency for the Management of Mineral Resources in order to obtain additional materials to establish the border of the Russian continental shelf in the Arctic. (June 26, 2007)
Read more Terra Daily

Robots to explore the Arctic Ocean
Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, US, plan to begin a 40-day expedition of the The Gakkel Ridge, encased under the frozen Arctic Ocean, on July 1. The researchers hope the newly developed robots will give them a first look at the mysterious ridge located between Greenland and Siberia. The Gakkel Ridge is steep and rocky, and scientists suspect its remote location hosts an array of undiscovered life. (June 26, 2007)
Read more Daily Democrat

Icebergs ecological hotspots
According to a new study published in the online journal Science Express, drifting icebergs are "ecological hotspots" that enable the surrounding waters to absorb an increased volume of carbon dioxide. US scientists found that minerals released from the melting ice triggered blooms of CO2-absorbing phytoplankton. These microscopic plants were then eaten by krill (shrimp-like organisms), whose waste material containing the carbon sank to the ocean floor. (June 26, 2007)
Read more BBC
ESA satellite guides polar explorers
Two Belgian explorers currently nearing the end of a staggering 2.000 kilometer trek across the Arctic Ocean were recently guided through hazardous conditions using observations from Envisat, as sea ice in the Lincoln Sea began to break up unexpectedly. Throughout the Arctic Arc expedition, which marks the International Polar Year, Alan Hubert and Dixie Dansercoer have been collecting snow-depth data for ESA's CryoSat-2 mission. As seasoned polar explorers, they are used to dealing with the extremely harsh, dangerous and physically demanding conditions encountered during their three and a half-month expedition from Russia to Greenland via the North Pole. (June 13, 2007)
Read more ESA

Antarctic glaciers speeding up
According to research published this week in the Journal of Geophysical Research, more than 300 glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula are flowing faster into the ocean, further adding to sea level rise. The researchers, members of the British Antarctic Survey, said warming temperatures, which have already increased summer snow melt and ice shelf retreat on the peninsula, were the most likely cause. (June 6, 2007)
Read more MSNBC

More melting days in Greenland
In 2006, Greenland experienced more days of melting snow and at higher altitudes than average over the past 18 years, according to a new NASA-funded project using satellite observations. Daily satellite observations have shown snow melting on Greenland's ice sheet over an increased number of days. The resulting data help scientists understand better the speed of glacier flow, how much water will pour from the ice sheet into the surrounding ocean and how much of the sun's radiation will reflect back into the atmosphere. (May 30, 2007)
Read more Terra Daily
Deadlock on Greenland whaling ban
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) annual meeting has seen deadlock over Greenland's plans to expand its Inuit whale hunt. However, proposals from indigenous groups in the US, Caribbean and Russia have passed. Subsistence whaling rights are given to groups with traditional whaling culture and a nutritional need for whale meat. (May 30, 2007)
Read more BBC
Iceberg with tracking beam
Scientists have carried out the first research on a huge iceberg in the Arctic the size of Manhattan. Some 16 kilometer long and 5 kilometer wide, Ayles Ice Island broke away from the Canadian Arctic coast in 2005, but has only recently been identified. Researchers have now landed on the giant berg with a BBC team and planted a tracking beacon on its surface. This will allow the island's progress to be monitored as currents push it around the Arctic Ocean. (May 25, 2007)
Read more BBC

700 new species found in Antarctica
Scientists have found more than 700 new species of marine creatures in seas once thought too hostile to sustain such rich biodiversity. Groups of carnivorous sponges, free-swimming worms, crustaceans and molluscs were collected. The findings, published in the journal Nature, could provide insights into the evolution of ocean life in this area. (May 21, 2007)
Read more BBC

Polar ocean soaking up less CO2
According to scientists, one of Earth's most important absorbers of carbon dioxide is failing to soak up as much of the greenhouse gas as it was expected to. It is the decline of Antarctica's Southern Ocean carbon "sink" which means that atmospheric CO2 levels may be higher in future than predicted. These carbon sinks are vital as they mop up excess CO2 from the atmosphere, slowing down global warming. (May 21, 2007)
Read more BBC
Prehistoric eruptions heated Earth
According to U.S. and European scientists, ancient volcanoes may have caused a dramatic warming of the Earth's atmosphere that raised sea temperatures and killed off many marine species, resulting in a "planetary emergency". The discovery, reported in the journal Science, shows the impact of the release of large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and may shed light on planetary changes wrought by more recent causes of global warming. The researchers also suggest that the giant prehistoric eruptions may have been the catalyst that pushed Greenland and northwest Europe apart to create the North Atlantic Ocean. (April 30, 2007)
Read more CNN
Reindeer may cure for tropical disease
Finnish scientists hope that reindeer living in the Arctic Circle could help find a cure for a disfiguring tropical disease. Less than 100 kilometers from the Arctic Circle, researchers have found filarioidea-family maggots - responsible for elephantiasis in humans - in reindeers in Kuusamo. They are now studying how the spread of the worm could be prevented. (April 30, 2007)
Read more IOL
Arctic melt speeding up
Arctic ice is melting faster than computer models of climate calculate, says a group of US researchers. Since 1979, the Arctic has been losing summer ice at about 9percent per decade, but models on average produce a melting rate less than half that figure. The scientists suggest forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may be too cautious. (April 30, 2007)
Read more BBC
Antarctic Treaty meeting in New Delhi
Today, the 30th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meet (ATCM) opens in New Delhi, India. Scientists, policy-makers and legal experts from 45 nations will deliberate the establishment of new protected areas and historic sites and the safety of Antarctic operations. India wants to set up a research station in the Larsemann Hills region on the continent but the proposal has run into opposition from some countries who want to keep the area free from human activity. (April 30, 2007)
Read more The Times of India
Tiny fossils reveal ice history
Researchers have discovered tiny fossils deep under the Antarctic ocean floor that reveal new details about Antarctica's warmer past. The single-celled algae were pulled up by the Antarctic Geological Drilling (Andrill) Program, which has been operating from the Ross Ice Shelf. Some are new to science while others would normally only be expected in waters with higher temperatures than today. Scientists say the diatoms will help them understand future climate changes. (April 23, 2007)
Read more BBC
Antarctic penguin researchers
Antarctic penguins have been recruited as scientific researchers in an ambitious project to gauge the effects of overfishing and global warming on the Southern Ocean ecosystem. Scientists have equiped them with data-logging chips - since they suspect that warming seas and intensive fishing in the waters around Antarctica are affecting marine stocks. It could have serious implications for penguins and many other species in the food chain, from microscopic plankton to killer whales. (April 16, 2007)
Read more NZ Herald

In the footsteps of walruses
Danish scientists are attempting to attach satellite tags to the walruses of West Greenland. The aim is to learn more about where the animals migrate over the summer months. The BBC science reporter travels up the coast with the scientists attempting to locate the tusked animals. (April 11, 2007)
Read more BBC

Antarctic ice sheet thinning
According to polar ice experts at the University of Texas in Austin, a huge piece of the Antarctic ice sheet is thinning, possibly due to global warming. They said rapid changes are occurring in Antarctica's Amundsen Sea Embayment, which faces the southern Pacific Ocean, but that more study is needed to know how fast it melts and how much it could cause the sea level to rise. The scientists explain the melting ice with changing winds around Antarctica. Winds that cause warmer waters to flow beneath ice shelves. (April 11, 2007)
Read more CNN
Southern Ocean currents may slow down
The impact of global warming on the vast Southern Ocean around Antarctica is starting to pose a threat to ocean currents that distribute heat around the world, Australian scientists say, citing new deep-water data. Melting ice-sheets and glaciers in Antarctica are releasing fresh water, interfering with the formation of dense "bottom water," which sinks 4-5 kilometers to the ocean floor and helps drive the world's ocean circulation system. A slowdown in the system known as "overturning circulation" would affect the way the ocean, which absorbs 85 percent of atmospheric heat, carries heat around the globe. (March 28, 2007)
Read more Scientific American

Patagonian dust clouds settle on Antarctica
According to researchers who have tracked the dust back to Patagonia, the Antarctic Peninsula became a dustier place during the 20th century. Increased desertification in the South American country, and overgrazing by the large number of sheep raised there in the early-1900s, may be to blame, the researchers speculate. The consequences of the process are as yet unknown. (March 28, 2007)
Read more New Scientist

Search for secrets to fight disease
As part of the IPY activities, researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham will spend February to May of this year at Palmer Station in the Antarctic, looking at how the defense mechanisms of marine plants and animals may provide keys to cancer fighting drugs. The aim is to understand more fully how organisms like seaweeds and invertebrate animals use chemistry to deter their predators. (March 28, 2007)
Read more CNN

Antarctic subglacial lakes uncovered
Giant "blisters" containing water that rapidly expand and contract have been mapped beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Fed by a complex network of rivers, the subglacial reservoirs force the overlying ice to rise and fall. By tracking these changes with Nasa's Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) scientists have been able to map the extent of the subglacial plumbing. (February 19, 2007)
Read more BBC
Antarctic temperatures did not climb
Temperatures over the world’s southernmost continent did not climb, as had been predicted by many global climate models during the late 20th century. That is the conclusion of a new report on climate over the world’s southernmost continent.. The report comes soon after the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that strongly supports the conclusion that the Earth’s climate as a whole is warming, largely due to human activity. (February 19, 2007)
Read more Physorg
Melting of glaciers speeds up
Mountain glaciers are shrinking three times faster than they were in the 1980s, scientists say. The World Glacier Monitoring Service, which continuously studies a sample of 30 glaciers around the world, says the acceleration is down to climate change. It's announcement came as climate scientists convened in Paris to decide the final wording of a major report. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will declare that human-induced climate change is happening and needs to be tackled. (January 30, 2007)
Read more BBC
Polar bears give birth on land
Pregnant polar bears in Alaska, which spend most of their lives on sea ice, are increasingly giving birth on land, according to researchers. Probably global warming is to blame. The study by three scientists for the U.S. Geological Survey says the bear population could be harmed if the climate continues to grow warmer. Though bears are powerful swimmers, at some point they might have to cross vast stretches of open water to reach habitat on shore suitable for building dens in which to give birth. (January 30, 2007)
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Robot heading for Antarctic dive
A new vessel capable of plunging 6.5 kilometers down beneath the ice surface is about to reveal the mysteries of the Antarctic deep. Isis is the UK's first deep-diving remotely operated vehicle (ROV), and it will be combing the sea-bed in the region in its inaugural science mission. Researchers hope to uncover more about the effects of glaciers on the ocean floor, and also find out about the animals that inhabit these waters. (January 2, 2007)
Read more BBC
Giant Arctic ice shelf breaks off
A huge Canadian ice shelf 800 kilometers from the North Pole has disintegrated, leaving a large floating island of ice stranded 48 kilometers offshore. The event was registered as a small earthquake on instruments stationed 250 kilometers away, says Warwick Vincent of Quebec's Laval University. The breakup was spotted on satellite photos shortly after it occurred, but scientists have held back until now to make an announcement. (January 2, 2007)
Read more National Geographic
Polar bears may get protection
The U.S. government today proposed listing polar bears as threatened with extinction under the Endangered Species Act because the animals' sea ice habitat is melting. Polar bears are one of nature's ultimate survivors. They are able to live and thrive in one of the world's harshest environments. But there's concern that their habitat may literally be melting. (January 2, 2007)
Read more National Geographic
Scientists prepare map of climate change
Scientists in Antarctica are working on a map to show the effects of global warming. The latest weeks one hundred scientists from four countries have been drilling for clues about how massive ice sheets responded to past temperature changes. The work is carried out under the Antarctic Geological Drilling Programme, or Andrill, co-ordinated by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (January 2, 2007)
Read more IOL
Tides affect Antarctic ice slide
Tides affect the speed at which The Rutford Ice Stream of western Antarctica is sliding toward the sea, adding a surprise piece to a puzzle about ocean levels and global warming, a study says. The Rutford Ice Stream slips about a meter a day toward the sea but the rate varies 20 percent in tandem with two-week tidal cycles. (December 22, 2006)
Read more Scientific American
Critical habitat needed for Alaska sea otters
A conservation group is so alarmed at a decrease in the number of sea otters in southwest Alaska that it has filed a lawsuit in federal court to try to compel the government to designate critical habitat to help the endangered species recover. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service generally is required to designate critical habitat when a species is listed as endangered or within a year if it can't be done immediately. The sea otter was put on the list in August 2005. (December 22, 2006)
Read more CNN
Ancient Antarctic winds mapped
US scientists have reconstructed a 40,000-year record of wind conditions at the South Pole. By measuring the distribution of dust layers seen in two ice boreholes, they assembled the climate data. (December 15, 2006)
Read more BBC 
Flu viruses survive in frozen lakes
According to a new study in the Journal of Virology, influenza virus can live for decades and perhaps even longer in frozen lakes and might be picked up and carried by birds to reinfect animals and people. Such frozen viruses could potentially become the source of new epidemics that sicken and kill generations after they were last seen. "We've found viral RNA in the ice in Siberia, and it's along the major flight paths of migrating waterfowl," said Dr. Scott Rogers of Bowling Green State University in Ohio. (December 15, 2006)
Read more ENN
Arctic getting warmer
The Arctic shows further signs of warming with a decline in sea ice, an increase in shrubs growing on the tundra and rising worries about the Greenland ice sheet, a new study concludes. The new "State of the Arctic" analysis, released by the U.S. government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also reports an increase in northward movement of warmer water through the Bering Strait in 2001-2004, which might be a factor in continuing reduction of sea ice. For each of the last five years it was at least 1 degree Celsius (1.8 F) above average over the entire Arctic over the entire year. (November 20, 2006)
Read more CNN
Polar bears suffer from global warming
A new study estimated that only 43 percent of polar bear cubs in the southern Beaufort Sea survived their first year during the past five years, compared to a 65 percent survival rate in the late 1980s and early 1990s. According to the author of the study, Steven Amstrup, the changes in survival of cubs are very dramatic. (November 20, 2006)
Read more Yahoo News
New IPY projects funded
The Research Council of Norway has published a new list of projects to be financed through the Norwegian appropriations of funds for the International Polar Year (IPY). Five projects will be coordinated by UiB. The Research Council of Norway has now allocated NOK 288 million to polar research for the period 2007-2010, subject to reservations relating to the national budgets for the period 2008-2010. (November 6, 2006)
Read more Universitetet i Bergen

Melting ice opens Northwest Passage
The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker "Amundsen" weaves in graceful slow motion through the ice pack, advancing through the legendary Northwest Passage well after the Arctic should be iced over and shuttered to ships for the winter. The Amundsen is here to challenge the ice that has long guarded the legendary Northwest Passage across the roof of the Earth, and to plumb the scientific mysteries of an Arctic thawing from global warming. A relentless climb of temperature - 5 degrees in 30 years - is shrinking the Arctic ice and reawakening dreams of a 4,000-mile shortcut just shy of the North Pole, passing beside the Arctic's beckoning oil and mineral riches. (November 6, 2006)
Read more Washington Post

Pioneer satellite system tracks walruses
For the past two months a Danish-Greenlandic team has been tracking walruses as they migrate from Greenland. The researchers' main tool is the pioneer satellite system, Argos, that is used to track the travel routes of the walruses. The project is, however, just one of a vast array of scientific studies that has taken advantage of Argos since it was set up nearly 30 years ago. (June 8, 2007)
Read more BBC

Wolly mammoth didn't suffer a sudden death
The woolly mammoth didn't suffer a sudden death. DNA lifted from the species' bones, tusks and teeth now reveals that the extinction of the giants was not a sudden event at the end of the last ice age, but a piecemeal process over tens of thousands of years involving progressive loss of genetic diversity. The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) was coated in hair up to 20 inches long and possessed extremely long, curved tusks up to 16 feet in length. The species thrived for tens of thousands of years, apparently going extinct roughly 12.000 years ago, around the end of the last ice age. (June 13, 2007)
Read more Fox News