FILE - In this March 9, 2018, file photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the aurora borealis displays above Ice Camp Skate in the Beaufort Sea during Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2018. Scientists are seeing surprising melting in Earth's polar regions at times they don't expect, like winter, and in places they don't expect, like eastern Antarctica. (MC 2nd Class Micheal H. Lee/U.S. Navy via AP, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists are seeing surprising melting in Earth's polar regions at times they don't expect, like winter, and in places they don't expect, like eastern Antarctica.
New studies and reports issued this week at a major Earth sciences conference paint one of the bleakest pictures yet of dramatic and dangerous warming in the Arctic and Antarctica. Alaskan scientists described to The Associated Press Tuesday never-before-seen melting and odd winter problems, including permafrost in 25 spots that never refroze this past winter and wildlife die-offs.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Tuesday released its annual international Arctic report card, detailing the second warmest Arctic on record and more than a dozen different problems, including record low winter sea ice in parts of the Arctic, increased toxic algal blooms, which are normally a warm water problem, and changes in weather in the rest of the country that can be attributed to what's happening in the Arctic.
"The Arctic is experiencing the most unprecedented transition in human history," report lead author Emily Osborne, chief of Arctic research for NOAA, said Tuesday.