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Gas tanker Ob River attempts first winter Arctic crossing

A large tanker carrying liquified natural gas (LNG) is set to become the first ship of its type to sail across the Arctic.
The carrier, Ob River, left Norway in November and has sailed north of Russia on its way to Japan.

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Northwest Passage
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Canada's infamous Northwest Passage successfully traversed by sailboat

A group of eco-explorers have successfully travelled from Greenland to Alaska, completing the most northern crossing of the Arctic Circle ever traversed by sailboat, CTV News reports. But for the Canadian crew, the journey was bittersweet.
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The 'big melt' at the roof of the world

The prospect of the Pole (also known as the Geographic North Pole or "True North") not being a permanent icy wilderness but instead a sea exposed in summer has been brought significantly closer by the size of this year's melt - and it would mark a monumental change.
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Arctic expert predicts final collapse of sea ice within four years

One of the world's leading ice experts has predicted the final collapse of Arctic sea ice in summer months within four years.
In what he calls a "global disaster" now unfolding in northern latitudes as the sea area that freezes and melts each year shrinks to its lowest extent ever recorded, Prof Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University calls for "urgent" consideration of new ideas to reduce global temperatures.

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Arctic ice melting at 'amazing' speed, scientists find

Scientists in the Arctic are warning that this summer's record-breaking melt is part of an accelerating trend with profound implications.
Norwegian researchers investigating the state of the sea ice report that it is becoming significantly thinner and more vulnerable.

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Arctic ice: Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling

Preliminary results from a European Space Agency satellite measuring the thickness of Arctic ice suggests it is melting faster than previously thought.
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Scientists Discover Huge Phytoplankton Bloom in Ice Covered Waters

A team of researchers, including scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), discovered a massive bloom of phytoplankton beneath ice-covered Arctic waters. Until now, sea ice was thought to block sunlight and limit the growth of microscopic marine plants living under the ice.
The amount of phytoplankton growing in this under-ice bloom was four times greater than the amount found in neighbouring ice-free waters. The bloom extended laterally more than 100 kilometres underneath the ice pack, where ocean and ice physics combined to create a phenomenon that scientists had never seen before.

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Expedition studies acid impacts on Arctic

The effects of ocean acidification on Arctic seas will be studied by a team of 30 researchers, including Dr Toby Tyrrell from the University of Southampton, who set sail from the UK today (1 June), venturing as far north as polar ice allows.
The study is the largest ever to examine the effects of altering carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in "real world" seawater samples directly after they are collected at sea.

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NASA Finds Sea Ice Driving Arctic Air Pollutants

Drastic reductions in Arctic sea ice in the last decade may be intensifying the chemical release of bromine into the atmosphere, resulting in ground-level ozone depletion and the deposit of toxic mercury in the Arctic, according to a new NASA-led study.
The connection between changes in the Arctic Ocean's ice cover and bromine chemical processes is determined by the interaction between the salt in sea ice, frigid temperatures and sunlight. When these mix, the salty ice releases bromine into the air and starts a cascade of chemical reactions called a "bromine explosion." These reactions rapidly create more molecules of bromine monoxide in the atmosphere. Bromine then reacts with a gaseous form of mercury, turning it into a pollutant that falls to Earth's surface.

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Arctic Ocean freshwater bulge detected

UK scientists have detected a huge dome of freshwater that is developing in the western Arctic Ocean.
The bulge is some 8,000 cubic km in size and has risen by about 15cm since 2002.
The team thinks it may be the result of strong winds whipping up a great clockwise current in the northern polar region called the Beaufort Gyre.

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