Heavenly halo lights up the Arctic

(Photo: Ed Stockard)

Is this heaven? No, it’s Greenland — lit up by a dazzling display of refracted sunlight.

These pictures are from Ed Stockard, who’s part of the team at Summit Station on the peak of the Greenland ice cap. The research facility, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, serves as an observation post for the complex interactions between the atmosphere and one of the world’s biggest reservoirs of ice.

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Arctic sea ice reaches new low, shattering record set just 3 weeks ago

New sea ice is finally starting to form again in the Arctic, scientists reported Wednesday, but not before reaching another record low last Sunday. 

"We are now in uncharted territory," Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said in a statement announcing the record low of 1.32 million square miles — nearly half the average extent from 1979 to 2010. The extent has been tracked by satellite since 1979.

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Starving polar bears a sign of warming Arctic

Wildlife biologist Ian Bullock is a seasoned visitor to the Arctic, but even he was surprised by what he saw last month: a thin female polar bear, shadowed by her cub, trying to challenge a much bigger, stronger male for food.

'A less polar pole': Arctic sea ice at record low

The amount of summer sea ice in the Arctic has reached a record low in three decades of satellite data, scientists reported Tuesday, with one of them describing recent warm years there as creating a “less polar pole.” The decline was expected to continue for at least several more days before cold weather sets in and creates new ice through fall and winter.