Climate Change

About 70 percent of the planet’s freshwater is locked up in ice sheets: massive ice bodies spanning more than 50,000 square kilometers (20,000 square miles). Our planet has two ice sheets, one...

In the Rocky Mountains, as in many mountain ranges worldwide, snowpack is getting dirtier. Winds carry fine sediment particles from arid regions, and dust lofted high enough into the atmosphere...

Unlike people, animals, news stories, and sitcoms, Arctic sea ice has not gotten older with time—it has gotten younger. Very little old ice, typically four years old or older, remains. During the...

Scientists take ice core samples in cold, windy, and forbidding environments. After drilling through solid ice to...
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy encountered only small patches of sea ice in the Chukchi Sea when this...

On the landmasses surrounding the Arctic Ocean, tundra typically thrives. Tundra landscapes consist of low-profile, cold-adapted plants that eke out their tiny lives in short, cool summers. Since...

Sea ice extent reached a new record low on August 27, 2012 and continued to decline. The last six years have...
permafrost in Alaska

Permafrost, also known as frozen ground, is soil that remains at or below 0°C (32°F) for at least two years. When it thaws, permafrost contributes to global warming by releasing greenhouse gases...

On July 20, 2011, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy traveled through a break in the sea ice and melt ponds in...

Climate models, also known as general circulation models or GCMs, use computers to simulate Earth’s climate. Scientists use climate models to predict weather, but unlike weather forecasts, the...

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