…a genus of rhopalonematid hydrozoans that are widespread throughout all oceans. Unlike some other hydrozoans (and like trachymedusae) members of Crossota do not have a sessile larval stage. Instead they spend their entire lives in the water column as “plankton”. Once they reach adulthood as medusae they will feed on zooplankton which are dispatched via nematocysts.
Global warming finally reaches the last Arctic region
by Kathleen Rühland
Lakes of the Hudson Bay Lowlands, in northeast Canada, are showing evidence of abrupt change in one of the last Arctic regions of the world to have experienced global warming, according to Canadian research published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal.
The research team consisting of Kathleen Rühland, John Smol, and Neal Michelutti from Queen’s University Ontario, Andrew Paterson of Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, and Bill Keller from the Laurentian University Ontario, retrieved sediment cores from lakes around the western shoreline of Hudson Bay and looked for changes in the microscopic algae that settle at the lake bottom after death.
These algae, known as diatoms, are at the base of the food chain and are an important component of lake ecosystems. When they die and fall to the lake bed, they leave behind an environmental archive in the sediment layers that continually accumulate year after year. By examining the changes through time, researchers can trace the environmental history of the region…
'I was on a razor's edge' by: Paul Souders - Hudson Bay, Churchill, Canada
It was the moment he had spent two cold, grueling, and solitary weeks waiting for. But when Paul Souders finally came face to face with a polar bear his patience paid off beautifully - as these stunning snaps show. The 51-year-old photographer managed to keep his cool to capture these incredible close-up images of a swimming polar bear. Standing in his 11-foot inflatable zodiac, Souders drifted up to the female bear he spotted roaming on the ice capped shores of Churchill, Canada.
He followed her as she paddled up the coast until she was relaxed enough to venture right up to his boat. Wildlife photographer Souders, from Seattle, USA, said: ‘It took her some time to settle down. I really felt like I had to earn her trust. ’I didn’t feel threatened, but I knew that I was on a razor’s edge - I had no margin for error.’I watched her reaction very closely looking for any sign of aggression.’
The Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus) is a small wader which breeds in northeastern Russia and winters in Southeast Asia.
This bird is critically endangered, with a current population of fewer than 2500 – probably fewer than 1000 – mature individuals.The main threats to its survival are habitat loss on its breeding grounds and loss of tidal flats through its migratory and wintering range.
These costumed polar bears have been traveling the country to highlight the relationship between climate change and proposed Arctic drilling. Yesterday, they let loose in DC, and some fun happened. They’d rather be in the Arctic, but they’ll make do here.
The distinctive red and orange pigment make this hydrozoan easy to distinguish (if you happen to find yourself in its neighborhood, below 1000 meters in the Arctic or North Pacific) but that’s not the most unusual thing about it. Crossota millsae, unlike most Hydrozoa, has only a medusa stage, never forming a sessile, polyp stage. They reporoduce sexually, and mothers brood their young within their bell, until they are ready to fend for themselves in the vast bathypelagic zone.
… are best known for having a single long, straight tusk that grows in a counterclockwise spiral and protrudes two to three meters out of the upper left jaw. This tusk is the stuff unicorn legends are made of. But what is a narwhal, exactly, and what do we know about these creatures? A narwhal is a medium-sized, toothed whale that is only found in Arctic waters…
Explore the world’s new coastlines if sea level rises 216 feet…
The maps here show the world as it is now, with only one difference: All the ice on land has melted and drained into the sea, raising it 216 feet and creating new shorelines for our continents and inland seas.
There are more than five million cubic miles of ice on Earth, and some scientists say it would take more than 5,000 years to melt it all. If we continue adding carbon to the atmosphere, we’ll very likely create an ice-free planet, with an average temperature of perhaps 80 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the current 58…
Though found across nearly all of Canada, Common Loons occur in the United States only in Alaska and the most northern parts of the northeast. They are seen by most Americans only during migration, when they may rest on smaller bodies of water between their coastal wintering sites and their summer lake territories. The species also winters along the coastlines of western Europe, where it is known as the Great Northern Diver.
The European name reflects its foraging habits; though primarily predators of fish, they will take other prey (such as this crab) where conveniently available. They are incredibly swift and agile swimmers; their feet are set far back on their bodies, awkward for walking on land but excellent for propulsion and steering underwater (their wings remain folded for streamlining while they dive).
The Common Loon’s lonely call and striking plumage have led to its frequent presence in human culture; besides being the subject of many Native American stories, the species is the state bird of Minnesota and the provincial bird of Ontario, and occurs on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin its colloquial name, “loonie”.
photo of winter phase Common Loon by Andrew A. Reding (Andrew Reding)
…a species of imphimediid amphipod that is distributed throughout arctic and European waters. Like the closely related "Red Bull" (A.inflatum) the white knight probably feeds mostly on bryozoans and spends its time resting on algae/coral.
Shrinking Arctic Ice Will Lead to Ice-Free Summers
by Denise Chow
The Arctic is losing about 30,000 sq mi (78,000 sq km) — an area roughly equivalent to the state of Maine — of sea ice each year, NASA scientists say. And while ice cover at the North Pole has rebounded from last year’s record-setting lows, Arctic sea ice continues to retreat and thin at an alarming pace.
In 2012, the ice cap over the Arctic Ocean shrank to its lowest extent ever recorded. Measures of sea ice extent take into account the area of the Arctic Ocean on which ice covers at least 15 percent of the surface. This year’s summer melting season is unlikely to break that record, but that does not necessarily herald good news, said Walt Meier, a glaciologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
"This is not going to be as extreme a year as last year, but we’re still seeing a strong downward trend," Meier told LiveScience. "We’re still at levels that are much lower than average."…
"it’s a fact that early sea ice breakup, late ice freeze-up and the overall reduction in ice pack could erase half of a population in a single year." - university of alberta professor andrew derocher, co author “rapid ecosystem change and polar bear conservation.”