Arctic Ocean News

© Graphithèque/AdobeStock

NATO Uses IoT to Study the Oceans

the seas of the Arctic will see buoys deployed in the Barents Sea, and further into Arctic waters, in Summer 2019.“The maritime areas in the High North are the new frontier for oceanographic study and more research is crucial. In particular, with polar ice decreasing, we need to understand how Arctic ocean life will be impacted,” said Dr Pierre-Marie Poulain, Principal Scientist and Project Leader at CMRE. Furthermore, Arctic research becomes fundamental to guarantee safe and secure maritime traffic in the new routes around the North Pole. Thousands of SPOT Trace units are used for oceanograph

Small remnants of thicker, multiyear ice float with thinner, seasonal ice in the Beaufort Sea on Sept. 30, 2016. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Alek Petty

Arctic Sea Ice is Youngest and Thinnest Now

The Arctic Ocean's blanket of sea ice has changed since 1958 from predominantly older, thicker ice to mostly younger, thinner ice, according to new research published by NASA scientist Ron Kwok of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.With so little thick, old ice left, the rate of decrease in ice thickness has slowed. New ice grows faster but is more vulnerable to weather and wind, so ice thickness is now more variable, rather than dominated by the effect of global warming, according to NASA's Earth Science News Team.Working from a combination of satellite records and declassified

3D visualisation of the Canary Islands (Image: EMODnet)

New EMODnet Bathymetry Data Product

= circa 12.3 billion data points;A powerful 3D visualization functionality of the bathymetry that can be used in the browser without the requirement of plugins;A faster representation of the complexity of the map;An expanded coverage including all European seas as well as the European part of the Arctic Ocean and Barents Sea;The number of bathymetric survey data sets and composite DTMs, used as data sources, has increased from about 7,200 to about 9,400. These come from 48 data providers. All related metadata can be retrieved through a source reference layer;The inclusion of Satellite Derived Bathymetry

In an area that extends above 80 degrees latitude, Fugro is collecting high res seabed data for Norwegian authorities mapping programme, MAREANO. (Photo: Fugro)

Fugro Resumes Norwegian Seabed Mapping Project

completed numerous surveys for the program since 2006, collecting more than 100,000 square kilometers of data.In water depths that typically range from 80 meters to 1,700 meters, the survey area of approximately 14,500 square kilometers is located between the Norwegian Sea, the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean. Fugro’s equipment on the survey vessels, including MV Victor Hensen and MV Fugro Gauss, will collect high resolution, high density multibeam echo sounder data, together with sub-bottom and gravity meter data, to gather marine knowledge for the Norwegian mapping program. The fieldwork is

(Source: NOAA Climate.gov, Data: Mark Tschudi)

Old Sea Ice is Disappearing from the Arctic Ocean

Sea ice grows throughout the fall and winter, and melts throughout the spring and summer. But not all Arctic sea ice melts; some portion of the ice survives at least one melt season, persisting throughout the summer months. This ice is usually thicker and more resistant to melt than ice that's less than a year old, and therefore more likely than first-year ice to survive the coming melt season. As Arctic sea ice often reaches its maximum extent around late February or early March (around the ninth week of the calendar year) that's a good time to measure multiyear versus first-year ice.In the

AWI sea-ice physicists have ericted an ice camp to investigate melt ponds on Arctic sea ice. (Photo Alfred-Wegener-Institut  Mar Fernandez)

Threat from wandering greenhouse gas

regions north of Siberia, microorganisms produce methane when they break down plant remains. If this greenhouse gas finds its way into the water, it can also become trapped in the sea ice that forms in these coastal waters. As a result, the gas can be transported thousands of kilometres across the Arctic Ocean and released in a completely different region months later. This phenomenon is the subject of an article by researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, published in the current issue of the online journal Scientific Reports. Although this interaction between methane, ocean and ice has a significant

Photo: US Navy

US Navy Submarines Surface in the Arctic Circle

, as well the UK Royal Navy submarine HMS Trenchant (S91), are participating in the biennial exercise in the Arctic to train and validate the warfighting capabilities of submarines in extreme cold-water conditions.    "From a military, geographic and scientific perspective, the Arctic Ocean is truly unique, and remains one of the most challenging ocean environments on earth," said Rear Admiral James Pitts, commander, Undersea Warfighting Development Center (UWDC).   ICEX provides the U.S. Submarine Force and partners from the Royal Navy an opportunity to test combat and

XPRIZE Senior Director Dr. Jyotika Virmani, Ph.D., will give a closing keynote at Catch The Next Wave. Credit: XPRIZE

Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Announcements at OI2018

Doherty, BBC Producer of The Deep and Our Blue Planet, talking about the imaging technology used to capture the wonders of the ocean, Pen Hadow, Director of Arctic Mission (ocean life research) and 90ºNorth Unit (ecosystem protection), about the future technology required to explore and protect Arctic ocean life, and Chris German MBE, Senior Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, talking about the frontiers of technology enabling ocean exploration on earth and other planets. Among the other speakers at Catch The Next Wave will be diver, presenter and explorer Rory Golden. “My

(Photo: BSEE)

Eni Begins Drilling Oil Well in Alaska's Beaufort Sea

Eni this week began drilling a new well in U.S. waters off the north coast of Alaska, becoming the first company to do so since 2015, federal regulators said on Wednesday.   The oil and gas firm is working from an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea about three miles off Oliktok Point in the Arctic Ocean. The well is expected to run more than 6 miles (10 km) long.   The project could result in 20,000 barrels a day of oil production, according to regulator U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which said it sent employees to the site to ensure compliance with federal

An Air-Deployable Expendable Ice Buoy is deployed in the high Arctic near the North Pole from a Royal Danish Air Force C-130 aircraft operating out of Thule Air Force Base in Greenland, as part of the International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP). Photo: United States Navy

US Navy Buoys into the Arctic Ocean

 The U.S National Ice Center (USNIC) in coordination with the Office of Naval Research, Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy, the Danish Joint Arctic Command, Environmental and Climate Change Canada and University of Washington deployed buoys into the Arctic Ocean during a joint mission.  The joint mission was conducted to collect weather and oceanographic data to enhance forecasting and environmental models thereby reducing operational risk for assets in the Arctic.   "Polar lows are like hurricanes of the north and the data collected from these buoys will help us with

The submarine cargo transportation system is designed to transport LNG beneath the Arctic Ocean's ice cap and elsewhere. It only has to be submerged deep enough to avoid striking the ice above. Since the sea ice cap is not that thick the sub only has to be strong enough to withstand relatively low depth pressure. (Image: Novan Research)

Subsea Commerce in the Arctic Ocean

Recent years have seen a rapid increase in surface shipping operations in Arctic regions but nothing has been done for the subsea commercial shipping. New submarine technology to open up the Arctic Ocean's northern passage for year-round commerce is now technically feasible.   The voyage above the ice is extremely difficult exacerbated by extreme low temperatures, short warm season, thick icing of exposed topside equipment, changing ice cap movements, and a lack of suitable rescue search operations.   Faster cargo submarines, using direct routes across the Arctic Ocean would require less

The fleet of Saildrones are being prepared for a summer and fall of science from the Bering Sea to the Arctic to the far reaches of the tropical Pacific Ocean. (Photo: Saildrone Inc.)

NOAA to Deploy Saildrones for Climate Study

thousands of miles across the ocean, reaching some areas never before surveyed with such specialized technology.   In mid-July, scientists will send off the first unmanned, wind and solar-powered vehicles from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, with two sailing north through the Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean and another transiting the Bering Sea. Traversing Alaska’s inhospitable waters, the remote-controlled vehicles will track melting ice, measure carbon dioxide in the ocean and count fish, seals and whales.     For the first time, the vehicles will journey through the Bering Strait

© André Gilden / Adobe Stock

Melting Sea Ice: A Canary in the Coal Mine

humans, thus serving as early warning systems. The environment itself can also serve as a sentinel, with small or remote changes warning that changes of greater magnitude are developing.   Currently, the extent and condition of Arctic sea ice is in the midst of rapid change. Ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean seems to set new lower maximums every winter lately. In addition, the sea ice is getting thinner. Estimates are that, over the past 30 years, the Arctic area has lost 50 percent of its prior coverage and 75 percent of its volume. Previously, scientists calculate that the Arctic Ocean might be

Photo: NOAA

Arctic Seas a 'Dead End' for Floating Plastic

of plastic found east of Greenland and in the Barents Sea off Norway and Russia were far higher than expected for the sparsely populated regions, according to the report showing how man-made pollution extends even to remote parts of the globe.   "The northeastern Atlantic sector of the Arctic Ocean appeared as a dead end for the surface transport of plastic pollution," the authors wrote in the open access journal Science Advances.   The survey, by the Tara Oceans circumpolar expedition that sampled 42 Arctic sites in 2013 with nets, found hundreds of thousands of mostly tiny

Photo: NOAA

Arctic Ice Sets New Record Low for Winter

The extent of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has set a new record low for the wintertime in a region strongly affected by long-term trends of global warming, U.S. and European scientists said on Wednesday.   Sea ice around the North Pole expands to its biggest extent of the year in February or March after a deep freeze in the winter polar darkness and shrinks to the smallest of the year in September, at the end of the brief Arctic summer.   Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual maximum extent on March 7, the lowest maximum in the 38-year satellite record, according to the

© z576 / Adobe Stock

Arctic Ice Loss Driven by Natural Swings, Not Just Mankind -Study

Natural swings in the Arctic climate have caused up to half the precipitous losses of sea ice around the North Pole in recent decades, with the rest driven by man-made global warming, scientists said on Monday.   The study indicates that an ice-free Arctic Ocean, often feared to be just years away, in one of the starkest signs of man-made global warming, could be delayed if nature swings back to a cooler mode.   Natural variations in the Arctic climate "may be responsible for about 30–50 percent of the overall decline in September sea ice since 1979," the U.S.-based team

© Andreas Altenburger / Adobe Stock

Arctic Sea Ice May Vanish Even If World Achieves Climate Goal

may be insufficient to prevent an ice-free Arctic," James Screen and Daniel Williamson of Exeter University in Britain wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change after a statistical review of ice projections.   A 2C rise would still mean a 39 percent risk that ice will disappear in the Arctic Ocean in summers, they said. Ice was virtually certain to survive, however, with just 1.5C of warming.   And they said they estimated a 73 percent probability that the ice would disappear in summer unless governments make deeper cuts in emissions than their existing plans. They estimated temperatures

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