Greenland News

Photo: Seamor Marine

SEAMOR: ROV to Last Ice Project in Canada

area which remains frozen year-round and take part in research and evaluating ways to protect this special ecological region.The High Arctic is an important area encompassing the northern regions of Canada (Arctic Basin, Baffin Bay and the Pikialasorsuaq, or North Water Polynya) and reaches to western Greenland. This area remains frozen throughout the year, for multiple years, acting as an important refuge for ice-dependent species such as polar bears, beluga and narwhal whales, walrus and seals, as well as the communities in these regions that rely on these species for food, dress and shelter. With estimates

Near the Bear Island, in the Svalbard archipelago, the INBIS channel kept its unique submarine relief during the Last Glacial Maximum (image: José Luis Casamor (GRC Marine Geosciences /University of Barcelona)

Researchers Study Unique Arctic Channel

Casamor said.Arctic: the domains of great ice currentsThe geological history of the Arctic Ocean revealed extreme episodes such as the Storegga Tsumani, the most spectacular submarine disaster known so far, which shook polar sea floors about 7,000 years ago. In the Fram Strait – a passage between Greenland and the Svalbard Islands – the Arctic cold waters mix with the Atlantic warm waters and create an exceptional situation to study the geological records of the natural climate change in the planet.Now, the northern polar waters – one of the most affected ecosystems by the effects of

Photo: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Waters West of Europe Drive Ocean Overturning

, deep waters that return southward through the Iceland and Irminger basins. In a departure from the prevailing scientific view, the study shows that most of the conversion from warm to cold water—or ‘overturning’ and its month-to-month variability—is occurring in regions between Greenland and Scotland, rather than in the Labrador Sea off Canada, as many past modeling studies have suggested.Overturning variability in this northeastern section of the North Atlantic was seven times greater than in the Labrador Sea, and it accounted for 88 percent of the total variance documented across

© Ivan Kurmyshov / Adobe Stock

The Oceans Are Warming Faster than Expected

effects, extra warmth can reduce oxygen in the oceans and damages coral reefs that are nurseries for fish, the scientists said. Warmer seas release more moisture that can stoke more powerful storms.Warmer ocean water also raises sea levels by melting ice, including around the edges of Antarctica and Greenland.(Reporting By Alister Doyle; editing by John Stonestreet

Fig. 1: Teledyne RDI ADCP attached to a hydrographic package before lowering to great depths. Credit: J. Lemus (U. Hawaii). https://goo.gl/VfvYn1

Full-Depth Current Profiling Around the Global Ocean

was 120 km wide and had stable spatial structure. The volume of deep water exported southward was 30 million cubic meters per second—about the same as transport through the Florida Straits to supply the Gulf Stream.Fig. 6: Hydrographic package with dual Teledyne RDI ADCPs (yellow) in action off Greenland. Credit: C. Nobre (WHOI). https://goo.gl/HJLq5mOcean-Wide SectionsAn ongoing multi-year, international research initiative is titled Overturning in the Subpolar N. Atlantic Program (OSNAP). Working across the width of the Atlantic at high northern latitudes, OSNAP includes many researchers with

Photo: ASL Environmental Sciences

Sea Level Variation Study Using GPS and an Ice Profiling Sonar

Dr. David Holland of New York University, in collaboration with Dr. Natalya Gomez at McGill University, is leading an investigation of sea level variations in the Disko Bay region of western Greenland.  A shore-based system compares the direct arrival of GPS signals to the signals reflected off the sea surface to obtain sea level. The presence of sea ice and icebergs complicate the measurements. A shore-mounted camera provides information about the surroundings and the presence of sea ice and icebergs when there is daylight.  Underwater sonar devices can supplement the camera-based

The research vessel Neil Armstrong arrived to recover a surface mooring that is part of the OOI Global Array in the Irminger Sea south of Greenland in 2016. (Photo by James Kuo, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

NSF Awards Contract to Continue Ocean Observatories Initiative

our planet. All OOI data are freely available online.Each institution will continue to operate and maintain the portion of OOI assets for which it is currently responsible: WHOI will operate the Pioneer Array off the Northeast U.S. coast and the Global Arrays in the Irminger Sea off the southern tip of Greenland and at Station Papa in the Gulf of Alaska; UW will operate the Regional Cabled Array that extends across the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate and overlying ocean; OSU will operate the Endurance Array off the coast of Washington and Oregon; and Rutgers will operate the cyberinfrastructure system that

Denmark’s GST Selects New Depth Management System

as the new system for Depth Data Management for current and future needs. The robust system will help increase efficiencies in data management and optimize the maritime production chain, from survey to chart.GST is responsible for surveying and charting the waters around Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland to ensure safe passage at sea, in accordance with international standards and conventions. The project to implement BDB will include deployment of software and migration of existing data. Implementation of the new system is scheduled to begin mid-September 2018, with completion in the spring of

© Michael Valos / Adobe Stock

Drifting Iceberg Puts Greenland on High Alert

An iceberg the size of a hill has drifted close to a tiny village on the western coast of Greenland, causing fear that it could swamp the settlement with a tsunami if it calves.The iceberg towers over houses on a promontory in the village of Innaarsuit but it is grounded and has not moved overnight, state broadcaster KNR reported.A danger zone close to the coast has been evacuated and people have been moved further up a steep slope where the settlement lies, a Greenland police spokesman told Reuters.“We can feel the concern among the residents. We are used to big icebergs, but we haven’t

Crevasses near the grounding line of Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica. (Credits: University of Washington/I. Joughin)

Accelerating Antarctic Thaw Speeds Sea Level Rise

pushed up world sea levels by almost a centimeter since the early 1990s in a risk for coasts from Pacific islands to Florida, an international team of scientists said on Thursday.Antarctica has enough ice to raise seas by 58 meters (190 ft) if it ever all melted, dwarfing frozen stores in places from Greenland to the Himalayas and making its future the biggest uncertainty in understanding global warming and ocean levels.The frozen continent lost almost three trillion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017, the 84 scientists said in what they called the most complete overview of Antarctic ice to date.The

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

Old Sea Ice is Disappearing from the Arctic Ocean

the end of the melt season is a strong driver of first-year ice extent the following spring. Arctic sea ice minimum extent in 2017 was the eighth-smallest on record—well below the 1981–2010 average, but not a record setter.Sea ice generally exits the Arctic through the Fram Strait east of Greenland, and NSIDC reported that the low extent of multiyear ice may have been driven by a vigorous transport of sea ice during the 2017–2018 winter. The Beaufort Gyre north of Alaska has traditionally acted as a nursery for growing sea ice, but warmer conditions have impeded the gyre's ability

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

gas it contains, are all pushed on by the wind and currents. According to Thomas Krumpen, “It takes about two and a half years for the ice formed along the coast of the Laptev Sea to be carried across the Arctic Ocean and past the North Pole into the Fram Strait between the east cost of Greenland and Svalbard.” Needless to say, the methane trapped in the ice and the underlying saltwater is along for the ride. The rising temperatures produced by climate change are increasingly melting this ice. Both the area of water covered by sea ice and the thickness of the ice have been decreasing

© digidreamgrafix / Adobe Stock

Seas to Continue Rising Even if Climate Goals Are Met

rise between 0.7 and 1.2 metres (27-47 inches) in the next two centuries even if governments end the fossil fuel era as promised under the Paris climate agreement, scientists said on Tuesday. Early action to cut greenhouse gas emissions would limit the long-term rise, driven by a thaw of ice from Greenland to Antarctica that will re-draw global coastlines, a German-led team wrote in the journal Nature Communications. Sea level rise is a threat to cities from Shanghai to London, to low-lying swathes of Florida or Bangladesh, and to entire nations such as the Maldives in the Indian Ocean or Kiribati

(Photo: Erwan AMICE ©CNRS)

RTsys Acoustic Recorders to the Poles

and the connection reliability of EA-SDA14 in extreme conditions, the manufacturer said. This rechargeable recorder, which does not need to be opened, limits the risks associated with the device not being closed correctly and problems with further measurements.   During their last trip to Greenland in May 2017, the biologist’s team listened to bearded seals, minke whales as well as bivalves, and focused particularly on benthic communities, for they have not been described yet

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

from the surge of local observations. Our goal with these Arctic buoys is a similar return on investment," Ruth Lane added.   The ice-hardened buoys, known as Air Expendable Ice Beacons (AXIB), were deployed from a Royal Danish Airforce C-130 aircraft deploying out of Thule Air Base in Greenland. "Pilots supporting the Danish Joint Arctic Command were conducting training flights in the high Arctic, so we were able to leverage these flights to deploy the buoys for the first time out of a Danish aircraft and only the second time over the North Pole," said Lt. Emily Motz, U.S. National

© André Gilden / Adobe Stock

Melting Sea Ice: A Canary in the Coal Mine

increase the volume of surrounding liquid water when it melts.   You might say, so what if there is less Arctic sea ice – it will not impact the level of the sea. That is true.   But not all the ice in the Arctic is free-floating. In fact, the majority of Arctic ice is found in the Greenland ice cap, with lesser volumes of ice located on Arctic islands, such as Ellesmere and Svalbard. The same environmental changes that are accelerating the melting of Arctic sea ice are accelerating the melting of Arctic non-floating ice, although not yet to the same extent. As that non-floating ice

Photo credit: Arctic Council Secretariat / Linnea Nordström

Arctic Council Meeting Stirs Hidden Tensions

that are not.   The report did not mention China's interest in the Arctic, but the country is making moves. It became an observer member of the Arctic Council in 2013. And in April, news broke that Denmark spurned a offer from a Chinese mining company last year to buy an abandoned naval base in Greenland.   Russian Moves Being Closely Watched The Arctic is calm compared to many other regions of the world, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed a lack of tension in the region in addressing the Arctic Council.   "Russia has been doing a lot to ensure that the Arctic

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