Imaggeo on Mondays: White rainbow in the Arctic

“Above the foggy strip, this white arch was shining, covering one third of the visible sky in the direction of the ship's bow,” he explains. “It was a so-called white, or fog rainbow, which appears on the fog droplets, which are much smaller then rain droplets and cause different optic effects, which is a reason of its white colour.”

Despite heading into the long polar night – the time when the sun doesn’t shine in the globe’s most northerly latitudes and when temperatures drop and thick sheets of sea ice form -the Arctic is reported to be 20° C warmer than average for this time of year.  Never has it been more important to understand the effects of climate change on Polar Regions. Mikhail Varentsov, a climate and meteor ...[Read More]

Imaggeo on Mondays: Retreating Glacier

The Svalbard archipelago is considered to be one of the best places to study the geological history of the Earth because its rocks represent every geological period. This image shows a view from the peak of Fugleberget (569 m a. s. l.; 77º 00’ N, 15º 30’ E) on the south-western coast of the island of Spitsbergen. Glaciation of this geologically diverse area gave rise to a variety of geomorphic fea ...[Read More]

Meltwater ponds halt new sea ice growth

Each September, battered by the relentless sun-filled days of summer, the smooth expanse of the Arctic Ocean reaches the climax of its annual transformation. Replacing the endless blanket of winter ice, a vast jigsaw puzzle stretches across the pole, a mosaic of soggy snow islands floating amid turquoise ponds of meltwater and inlets of dark blue sea. These meltwater ponds have been shown to drama ...[Read More]

Geosciences Column: Autofluorescence in polar regions – how and why?

Marine picoplankton, <2 µm, are one of the most ubiquitous fauna in the open ocean. These marine microorganisms are hugely important – being responsible for a significant proportion of oceanic net primary productivity. Researchers are able to track the evolution of their genomes and the transportation of these microorganisms by analysing ice cores, which offer the potential to study the evoluti ...[Read More]