Recent studies note a significant increase in highpressure blocking over the Greenland region (Greenland Blocking Index, GBI) in summer since the 1990s. Such a general circulation change, indicated by a negative trend in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index, is generally highlighted as a major driver of recent surface melt record

Nineteen subpopulations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic, and in all regions they depend on sea ice as a platform for traveling, hunting, and breeding. Therefore polar bear phenology – the cycle of biological events – is linked to the timing of sea-ice retreat in spring and advance in fall. We analyzed the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in all 19 polar bear subpopulation regions from 1979 to 2014, using daily sea-ice concentration data from satellite passive microwave instruments.

This study focuses on the present-day surface elevation of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Based on 3 years of CryoSat-2 data acquisition we derived new elevation models (DEMs) as well as elevation change maps and volume change estimates for both ice sheets. Here we present the new DEMs and their corresponding error maps. The accuracy of the derived DEMs for Greenland and Antarctica is similar to those of previous DEMs obtained by satellite-based laser and radar altimeters.

Recent estimates indicate that the Antarctic sea ice cover is expanding at a statistically significant rate with a magnitude one-third as large as the rapid rate of sea ice retreat in the Arctic. However, during the mid-2000s, with several fewer years in the observational record, the trend in Antarctic sea ice extent was reported to be considerably smaller and statistically indistinguishable from zero.

Analyses of 32 yr (1979–2010) of Arctic sea ice extents and areas derived from satellite passive microwave radiometers are presented for the Northern Hemisphere as a whole and for nine Arctic regions. There is an overall negative yearly trend of −51.5 ± 4.1 × 103 km2 yr−1 (−4.1 ± 0.3% decade−1) in sea ice extent for the hemisphere.

In sharp contrast to the decreasing sea ice coverage of the Arctic, in the Antarctic the sea ice cover has, on average, expanded since the late 1970s. More specifically, satellite passive-microwave data for the period November 1978–December 2010 reveal an overall positive trend in ice extents of 17 100 ± 2300 km2 yr−1. Much of the increase, at 13 700 ± 1500 km2 yr−1, has occurred in the region of the Ross Sea, with lesser contributions from the Weddell Sea and Indian Ocean.

Greenland ice sheet mass loss has accelerated in the past decade responding to combined glacier discharge and surface melt water runoff increases. During summer, absorbed solar energy, modulated at the surface primarily by albedo, is the dominant factor governing surface melt variability in the ablation area. Using satellite-derived surface albedo with calibrated regional climate modeled surface air temperature and surface downward solar irradiance, we determine the spatial dependence and quantitative impact of the ice sheet albedo feedback over 12 summer periods beginning in 2000.

A single large glacier can contain tens of millions of times the mass of a small glacier. Nevertheless, very small glaciers (with area ≤1 km2) are so numerous that their contribution to the world's total ice volume is significant and may be a notable source of error if excluded. With current glacier inventories, total global volume errors on the order of 10% are possible. However, to reduce errors to below 1% requires the inclusion of glaciers that are smaller than those recorded in most inventories.

This study addresses the extrapolation of in-situ glacier mass balance measurements to the mountain-range scale and aims at deriving time series of area-averaged mass balance and ice volume change for all glaciers in the European Alps for the period 1900–2100. Long-term mass balance series for 50 Swiss glaciers based on a combination of field data and modelling, and WGMS data for glaciers in Austria, France and Italy are used. A complete glacier inventory is available for the year 2003.