POLAR NEWSREEL: Plan for satellites giving better Arctic weather observations Weather satellites, like Meteosat, are in a geostationary orbit that limits the field of view of the sensors in the polar areas. A consortium of the European Space Agency (ESA) and OHB Sweden is working on a constellation of 16 weather satellites in polar orbit. These will relay homogeneous, high-quality, real-time data on temperature and humidity for the whole globe. The Canadian Space Agency is planning an Arctic Observing Mission (AOM) with two satellites in highly elliptical orbits that would gather data on meteorological conditions, greenhouse gasses, air quality and space weather over Arctic areas. | Changes in sea ice have influence on ice sheet stability Antarctic ice shelves buttress against the uncontrolled release of inland ice into the ocean. The collapse of Larsen A and B shelves, has made the news in the past decades because of the calving of spectacular tabular icebergs in 1995 and 2002 respectively. A recent paper with lead author Dr Frazier Christie from the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) shows that decadal changes in the air circulation over the sea ice around Antarctica also change the concentration of sea ice that protects the ice shelves from the mechanical action of waves. In the last decade of the past century there was comparatively little sea ice and this has facilitated the breakup for the shelves, while the past decade with more sea ice has protecting them from the waves has had significantly fewer breakups. | Looking for methods to slow climate warming Researchers working at the non-profit Arctic Ice Project, launched in 2008 as ICE911, are proposing to sprinkle powdered glass "microspheres" on low-reflectivity, young sea ice off Alaska to increase its reflectivity and thus facilitating its growth and slowing down its melting. Recently though several local tribes and Indigenous Peoples organizations have expressed their concerns about the possible influence of the large amounts of microbeads on the animals and people of the Arctic.
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