CR
Cryospheric Sciences

Arctic

A place called home?

A place called home?

Welcome to Kongsfjorden in Svalbard. The front of the glaciers terminating into the sea is an ecological hotspot, home to many marine animals, like kittiwakes, who love to hunt here. They feed on small fish and shrimp, which at marine-terminating glacier fronts are brought to the surface by upwelling glacial meltwater. Retreating glaciers lose their contact with the ocean As the planet warms these ...[Read More]

Climate change and cryosphere – A wetter future for the Arctic

Climate change and cryosphere – A wetter future for the Arctic

The latest climate models show that Arctic precipitation is changing more rapidly than previously projected with an earlier transition to a rainfall-dominated precipitation. This rapid change in precipitation will have huge implications for the Arctic ecosystem as well as those who live within the region. Arctic precipitation change, why is it so important? The rapid change in Arctic climate, from ...[Read More]

Did you know… Arctic lightning strikes are on the rise?

When we think of lightning, it is often accompanied by warm summer nights, tropical storms and a sticky feeling when we try to sleep. However, lightning also happens in the cold Arctic, and is even increasing in frequency. But how and why? And why does that matter? What is lightning? Lightning is caused by a difference in electrical charge between the cloud and the air, nearby clouds, or the groun ...[Read More]

Climate Change & the Cryosphere: Fjord sediments reveal how melting ice impact the marine ecosystem

Glacier debris ice floating in a bay

It is scary how fast the Greenland Ice Sheet is melting and how much freshwater it is discharging to the coastal areas around Greenland. This freshening is having a serious impact to coastal marine primary production, which is the foundation of the Arctic marine food web. Now, because of increased melting and freshwater discharge, we need to understand how coastal ecosystems will react. How will A ...[Read More]

The Polar Amplifier

The Polar Amplifier

It’s no secret that the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the planet, but why? Polar Amplification (often called Arctic Amplification) is the mechanism at play. In this week’s blog, we find out about its origins and why it happens. Early Discoveries In 1969, Russian scientist Mikhail Budyko and US scientist William Sellers discovered independently that the increase in greenhouse gases comb ...[Read More]

The Norwegian Polar Institute

The Norwegian Polar Institute

It is a pleasure for the EGU Cryoblog team to present a new post category: Cryo-institutes around the world! There are many institutes working on cryosphere-related research spread around the world. The aim of this new category is to highlight the cool research that is carried out at these institutes, showing off our multi-faceted cryo-related science. In this opening post, Ashley Morris will pres ...[Read More]

Did you know there’s a place to Find, Discover, & Download Arctic Data? Meet The Arctic Data Center!

Did you know there’s a place to Find, Discover, & Download Arctic Data? Meet The Arctic Data Center!

Getting data from the Arctic is often difficult and expensive – instead, stand on the shoulders of giants and investigate over 6000 datasets preserved for future download and reuse in the Arctic Data Center! Read on for more information about the Arctic Data Center and the data contained therein. The Arctic Data Center is the primary data repository for the Arctic section of the US National ...[Read More]

Lost in transl[ice]tion…

Lost in transl[ice]tion…

Three years have passed since sea-ice scientists from both climate modeling and remote sensing backgrounds met for an international workshop in Hamburg. The goal was to discuss how to further improve our understanding of sea ice and reduce uncertainties in climate models and observations (see this previous post). One suggestion was to work on observation operators. Let’s see what has happened in t ...[Read More]

The future of Arctic sea ice

The future of Arctic sea ice

The illustration above shows a sketch of the evolution of Arctic sea ice for different levels of warming and the different months of the year, based on the simple extrapolation of observations. A new study, in which I was involved, uses the latest available global climate models and shows that the Arctic Ocean could become practically ice free at the end of the summer for the first time before 205 ...[Read More]

Did you know… the difference between sea-ice area and sea-ice extent?

Did you know…  the difference between sea-ice area and sea-ice extent?

At the beginning of March, just over a month ago, sea ice in the Arctic reached its annual maximum extent. As currently all media attention is focused on other news, you might have missed that, once again, this maximum fell below the 1981 to 2010 average maximum extent. When reading headlines about such sea-ice facts, you may have been confused by the seemingly interchangeable use of “sea-ice exte ...[Read More]