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Canadian biologist Catherine La Farge spends a lot of time poking around the edge of a glacier on Ellesmere Island in the far northern reaches of her country. As the ice recedes some dozen feet a year now, she has collected scores of samples of what has been locked there for the four hundred years since the Little Ice Age—ancient mosses—and she recently accomplished what seems like science fiction: she brought some of it back to life.

From the National Post:

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Arctic Drilling Getting a Critical Second Look

Cold feet? Yeah, you'd have to guess so.

Cold feet? Yeah, you'd have to guess so.

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The Big Melt: Watch Alaska's Coastline Collapse Into the Sea

Time lapse footage from National Geographic shows the incredible shrinking Alaskan coastline.

The polar regions are the real canaries in the climate change coal mine. While the entire planet is warming, the temperature increases at the poles are mind-boggling. Remember how the crazy polar warming broke NASA's temperature scale? These charts show the temperature anomaly above the history average.

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In Alaska, As Goes the Ice, So Goes the Food

The Arctic food web is unraveling as the ice melts. An interactive animation shows you what happens when even the smallest species disappears.

The cover article of the current issue of OnEarth is a terrific, if somewhat depressing, must read. (Is there a term yet for must-read long reads?) Bruce Barcott plunges into the frigid, but melting, Arctic Seas, and comes out with a story of how the oh-so-fragile food web of the upper latitudes is starting to come undone.

Perhaps as good as the article itself is the accompanying material online. An interactive, animated graphic invites you to click on various Arctic species to see what would happen if they disappeared. By watching the impacts on other species—even humans—it becomes as clear as an Alaska stream how interconnected the aquatic ecosystem is, and what a severe threat warming is on the entire Arctic way of life. Click here or on the image below to toy around with the web.

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Greenland Ice Melt Sets New Record The Big Melt: Greenland Lost More Than a France-Sized Area of Ice Last Year

New research finds an astounding amount of ice and snow melt this year on Greenland. See the map that shows just how much.

A longer-than-usual melt season in 2010 proved a record-setter in Greenland. Melting started early, and lasted longer than usual, and in all, melting lasted 50 days longer than average. This map image shows last year compared to number of melts days on average between 1979 and 2009.

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New Hybrid Species Threaten Santa's Home Grolar Bears and Narlugas: New Arctic Hybrids

As the arctic ice cap vanishes, polar bears and grizzlies are meeting. And mating, forming a new hybrid species of "grolar bears."



Polar bears and grizzlies are now breeding, creating a new hybrid species of "grolar bears." (Note: the above photo is not a "grolar bear," which aren't yet represented by any Creative Commons-licensed photos, but a plain old boring polar bear.) Narwhals and belugas too are suddenly swapping genes. Why, after thousands of years of separation, are these arctic species finding mates from the subarctic? Climate change, it seems.

The latest issue of Nature features an article, "The Arctic Melting Pot," that delves into this new trend. Says lead author Brendan Kelly, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Alaska, "The rapid disappearance of the Arctic ice cap is removing the barrier that’s kept a number of species isolated from each other for at least ten thousand years."

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