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Southern Ocean Sea Ice Cover Has Gradually Grown Over Past 10,000 Years

Southern Ocean Sea Ice Cover Has Gradually Grown Over Past 10,000 Years

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere
Monday June 14, 2021

Salt levels in an ice core drilled at the South Pole are telling scientists what Antarctic sea ice conditions were like in ages past, information crucial to understanding how the southernmost continent will fare in a changing climate.


A Bot in the Ocean

A Bot in the Ocean

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere
Monday December 14, 2020

During the past austral summer, scientists released an autonomous seafaring robot into the Southern Ocean. For four months, the small "Wave Glider" navigated the frigid Antarctic waters, collecting data on the surrounding ocean and atmosphere.


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Jul
28
2020

Chasing Aerosol Ghosts

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere

For a big mass of air, the Earth's upper atmosphere is a complicated place. The changing seasons cause temperatures and pressures to rise and fall, altering the characteristics of the planet's atmospheric layers, sometimes dramatically.


May
07
2019

Icefin Tests the Waters

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere

Navigating a robot through the frozen ocean's frigid waters was all in a day's work for the RISE UP science team. From their makeshift mission control in a small fish hut, the researchers maneuvered their underwater vehicle through the seawater below.


Nov
20
2018

New Ocean Floats Deepen a Carbon-Cycle Mystery

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere

A new network of automated instruments throughout the Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica, is dramatically changing how scientists view the planet's least understood ocean.


Jan
08
2018

Quantifying Snowfall

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere

Snow in some form or another blankets almost all Antarctica, but measuring exactly how much snow falls from the sky is tricky. A team of researchers recently set up four newly-developed precipitation observatories near McMurdo Station to better measure how much snow falls in the region.


May
24
2017

Methane Munching Microbes

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere

VIDEO: Five years ago, a plume of natural methane started seeping out of the seafloor near McMurdo Station, providing researchers an unprecedented chance to study the formation and development of colonies of microorganisms that rely on methane for nourishment.


Jan
04
2017

The Cosmic Dust Sucker

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere

The Earth is constantly showered with micrometeorites, every minute of every day. These interstellar particles are no bigger than a grain of sand, but are falling out of the sky everywhere. Collecting this cosmic dust, and separating it from terrestrial contamination, has led scientists to the most remote corner of the planet.


Jul
11
2016

A Robotic Rehearsal for Interplanetary Exploration

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere

It is no small undertaking to design and build a 25-foot-long underwater robot, launch it through a narrow hole drilled through 20 feet of sea ice, allow it to maneuver autonomously through several kilometers of Antarctic Ocean for hours at a time and program it to pilot itself back to within a few feet of where it started. The simple part is that it at least takes place on planet Earth.


May
12
2016

Keeping Scientists AWARE of the West Antarctic Climate

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere

AWARE, the ARM West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE) is a part of the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM). The National Science Foundation (NSF), which manages the U.S. Antarctic Program is facilitating its installation. The cluster of white shipping containers perched atop the hill near McMurdo Station may well represent the densest cluster of weather monitors Antarctica has ever seen.


May
04
2016

The Southern Ocean's Carbon Sink Stronger than Ever

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere

The waters around Antarctica seem to have reversed a troubling trend. Bucking predictions, observations now show that the Southern Ocean is pulling more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than ever recorded, which could have implications for predicting the rate of climate change.


Oct
28
2015

El Nino in Antarctica

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere

If the weather at the bottom of the world seems a little out of whack this year, blame El Nino. Every few years, the ocean around the eastern and central Pacific warms a few degrees, disrupting weather patterns across the ocean from Alaska to Antarctica. Scientists at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration are predicting that this year's El Nino will be a particularly strong one.


Dec
05
2014

Salt Spray

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere

A team of atmospheric scientists, led by Lars Kalnajs at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Peter DeCarlo at Drexel University, are making some of the first real-time measurements of aerosol size and composition in Antarctica.


Oct
09
2014

Expansion

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere

Sea ice around Antarctica appears headed for another record year. NSIDC, partly funded by the National Science Foundation, reported that the five-day average for sea ice extent around the southernmost continent last month had already surpassed 20 million square kilometers for the first time in the modern satellite record.


Sep
11
2014

High-Water Mark

Science | Oceans and Atmosphere

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is providing support to help launch a $21 million interdisciplinary initiative involving 11 institutions across the United States to study the Southern Ocean around Antarctica.


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