The Arctic marine environment is undergoing a transition from thick multi-year to first-year sea-ice cover with coincident lengthening of the melt season. Such changes are evident in the Baffin Bay-Davis Strait-Labrador Sea (BDL) region where melt onset has occurred ~8 days decade−1 earlier from 1979 to 2015. A series of anomalously early events has occurred since the mid-1990s, overlapping a period of increased upper-air ridging across Greenland and the northwestern North Atlantic. We investigate an extreme early melt event observed in spring 2013.

Significant salinity anomalies have been observed in the Arctic Ocean surface layer during the last decade. Our study is based on an extensive gridded dataset of winter salinity in the upper 50 m layer of the Arctic Ocean for the periods 1950–1993 and 2007–2012, obtained from ~20 000 profiles. We investigate the interannual variability of the salinity fields, identify predominant patterns of anomalous behavior and leading modes of variability, and develop a statistical model for the prediction of surface-layer salinity.

Economic globalization and concomitant growth in international trade since the late 1990s have profoundly reorganized global production activities and related CO2 emissions. Here we show trade among developing nations (i.e., South–South trade) has more than doubled between 2004 and 2011, which reflects a new phase of globalization. Some production activities are relocating from China and India to other developing countries, particularly raw materials and intermediate goods production in energy-intensive sectors.

Albedo—a primary control on surface melt—varies considerably across the Greenland Ice Sheet yet the specific surface types that comprise its dark zone remain unquantified. Here we use UAV imagery to attribute seven distinct surface types to observed albedo along a 25 km transect dissecting the western, ablating sector of the ice sheet. Our results demonstrate that distributed surface impurities—an admixture of dust, black carbon and pigmented algae—explain 73% of the observed spatial variability in albedo and are responsible for the dark zone itself.

A new study on climate change in India has confirmed a rapid rise in surface temperatures in the past 70 years.