The necessity of environmental protection has arguably never been more apparent, but at least the sobering warning comes with a warm fuzzy.
In addition to studying the effects of surface ocean acidification on organisms such as bacteria, phytoplankton and zooplankton, on its the sojourn the crew studied ”how the sea interacts with the atmosphere to influence global climate.”
Because they hunt on ice, climate change is particularly important to polar bears, whose populations were classified by the US Department of the Interior as “threatened” in 2008. Persistent melting ice has resulted in loss of polar bear habitats and is thought to be a contributing factor to reports of uncharacteristic cannibalism among polar bears.
Earlier this week, NASA released satellite imagery showing that 97% of Greenland’s top layer ice sheet had melted between June and July of this year, stunning members of the scientific community, including NASA cryosphere program manager Tom Wagner, who said “We have abundant evidence that Greenland is losing ice, probably because of global warming, and it’s significantly contributing to sea level rise.”