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Executive Summary for February 17th

We review the latest Arctic news, including unusually warm weather striking the region for the third time this winter, a growing amount of garbage gathering on the Arctic Ocean’s seabed, and a study under way to help understand how quickly Greenland’s ice is melting.

Published on Feb. 17, 2017 Read time Approx. 1 minutes

The Arctic Is Heating Up Again

The polar region is experiencing unusually warm weather again. This is at least the third balmy spell the Arctic has seen this winter.

As the Washington Post reports, temperatures above 80 degrees north latitude were recently more than 20C (36F) warmer than the average for this time of year.

The Arctic’s Seabed Is Seeing Increasing Amounts of Garbage

A team of German scientists have linked increased ship traffic in Arctic waters with surprising amounts of trash strewn on the remote region’s ocean floor.

As Nunatsiaq News reports, the researchers say they were surprised by how much garbage they discovered, considering the remoteness of the area they studied, west of Svalbard. The scientists speculate some garbage is being dropped from ships onto thin ice, from which it hitches a lift to further-flung areas, until the ice melts.

Watching Greenland Melt

NASA researchers are in the midst of a project they’ve appropriately called OMG, or Oceans are Melting Greenland.

As the Washington Post reports, the study aims to understand the impact of warming oceans on Greenland’s many fjords that connect to its massive ice sheet. Greenland is the world’s largest contributor to rising sea levels, and adds about a millimeter per year to the world’s oceans. It has more than seven meters (23 feet) to potentially give.

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