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POGO Member News

New risk index for satellite operators

Scientists, satellite operators, insurance industry and Government policy officials gather this week (7 February 2014) to discuss the latest advances in forecasting and ‘nowcasting’ that, for the first time, enable ‘real-time’ risk assessment of space radiation damage to Earth-orbiting satellites.

Research Highlight: Less Sea Ice Means More CO2 Uptake in the Arctic

But new research indicates the trend is not clear-cut. A new Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego-led study confirms a hypothesis that a retreat in sea ice could increase the Arctic Ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Antarctic emperor penguins may be adapting to warmer temperatures

A new study of four Antarctic emperor penguin colonies suggest that unexpected breeding behaviour may be a sign that the birds are adapting to environmental change. Analysis of satellite observations reveals that penguin colonies moved from their traditional breeding grounds during years when the thin layer of ice (sea ice) formed later than usual to the much thicker floating ice shelves that surround the continent.

Pine Island Glacier sensitive to climatic variability

A new study published in Science this month suggests the thinning of Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica is much more susceptible to climatic and ocean variability than at first thought. Observations by a team of scientists at British Antarctic Survey, and other institutions, show large fluctuations in the ocean heat in Pine Island Bay. The team discovered that oceanic melting of the ice shelf into which the glacier flows decreased by 50 per cent between 2010 and 2012, and this may have been due to a La Ninã weather event.

Methane Hydrates and Global Warming

Dissolution of hydrates off Svalbard caused by natural processes

Off the coast of Svalbard methane gas flares originating from gas hydrate deposits at depth of several hundred metres have been observed regularly. A new study conducted by an international team under the leadership of scientists from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences in Bremen shows, that the observed outgassing is most likely caused by natural processes and can not be attributed to global warming. The study has been recently published in the internationally renowned scientific journal Science.

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