"The fate of the emperor penguin is in doubt, as global warming threatens its icy habitat — and world leaders struggle to enact protections that could buy the iconic Antarctica bird some much-needed time."
Antarctica & Arctic
"With the polar bear species in a fight for survival because of disappearing Arctic sea ice, a new distinct group of Greenland bears seem to have stumbled on an icy oasis that might allow a small remote population to “hang on.”
"New data has revealed extraordinary rates of global heating in the Arctic, up to seven times faster than the global average."
"Scientists have made the most precise map yet of the mountains, canyons and plains that make up the floor of Antarctica's encircling Southern Ocean."
Environmental writer Allison Cobb, in “Plastic: An Autobiography,” tells the story of the ubiquitous material through a series of interwoven narratives that range from her own experiences with it (including a discarded plastic car bumper), to the corporate origins of its spread and the way it’s now dangerously carpeting nature and damaging human communities. Contributor Nano Riley has a review in our new BookShelf.
"A humpback whale, likely lured by a trawling net capturing masses of Antarctic krill, became entangled last month and died in the Southern Ocean. Three dead juveniles were caught in the same company's krill nets last year."
"Black carbon pollution from tourism and research activities in Antarctica is likely increasing snowmelt on the continent by an estimated 83 tonnes for each visitor, according to new research."
The climate-security nexus has drawn attention from the Biden administration, but less so elsewhere, even as security experts worry about climate change as a threat multiplier that can exacerbate other causes of conflict. Our new Backgrounder explores these concerns, with a look at how the issue has played out in recent U.S. politics. Plus, seven global regions where climate change may worsen ongoing conflict.
"Antarctica’s two native flowering plants are spreading rapidly as temperatures warm, according to the first study to show changes in fragile polar ecosystems have accelerated in the past decade."
"A British company has fallen foul of Greta Thunberg, Unesco, Sweden’s national church, and the indigenous people in the north of the country over plans for an open-pit mine on historical Sami reindeer-herding lands."