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Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘Antarctica’

Persian Gulf Region Hottest Place on Earth, Again

Posted by feww on July 17, 2017

Mitribah (Kuwait) Records Maximum Daily High of 50.4°C — Earth’s Hottest Today

Mitribah (Kuwait) experienced today’s hottest recorded temperature globally at 50.4°C (122.7°F).

At least twenty other recording stations in five countries across the region – Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia – recorded maximum daily highs exceeding 48.6°C.

Coldest Place on Earth:

  • Vostok (Antarctica) -73.6°C (-100.48°F)

[Maximum and minimum temperatures represent the last 24 hours to 17:00UTC on 07/17/2017]

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Trillion-ton Iceberg Brakes Off Antarctica

Posted by feww on July 12, 2017

Larsen C Calves Giant Iceberg [“A68”]

One of the largest icebergs on record has finally calved away from the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica. The 5,500km² section of Larsen C broke away during the past 48 hours. The iceberg could be named “A68.” It has a volume of about 1,150km³, weighing about 1.1 trillion tons.

A cluster of mini icebergs may have also broken off the ice shelf.

Related Links

Source of image: http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2017/07/Monitoring_the_rift

Image Details:

  • Title Monitoring the rift
  • Released 12/07/2017 1:46 pm
  • Copyright contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016–17), processed by Swansea University
  • Description The fissure in the Larsen C ice shelf first appeared several years ago, but seemed relatively stable until January 2016, when it began to lengthen. In January 2017 alone it travelled 20 km, reaching a total length of about 175 km. After a few weeks of calm, the rift propagated a further 16 km at the end of May, and then extended further at the end of June. More importantly, as the crack grew, it branched off towards the edge of the shelf, whereas before it had been running parallel to the Weddell Sea. With just a few km between the end of the fissure and the ocean by early July, the fate of the shelf was sealed. Images from 12 July showed that part of the ice shelf had finally broken away.
  • Id 380991

 

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Global High and Low Temperatures

Posted by feww on July 7, 2017

Today’s hottest recorded temperature was 51.6°C (124.9°F)  in Mitribah (Kuwait) 

Max Temp Last 24h

Mitribah (Kuwait), 51.6°C
Basrah-Hussen (Iraq), 51.4°C
Sabriyah (Kuwait), 51.2°C
Omidieh (Iran), 51°C
Ahwaz (Iran), 50.8°C
Badrah (Iraq), 50.8°C
Abadan (Iran), 50.7°C

Death Valley, CA (USA), 50.6°C  (123°F)

Min Temp Last 24h
Dome A (Antarctica), -75.3°C (-103.5°F)

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Antarctica Hit by Crazy Record High Temperature at 17.5°C (63.5°F)

Posted by feww on March 1, 2017

Temperature Extreme of 17.5°C Recorded in Antarctic Continent

Researchers at World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have announced new records for the highest temperatures recorded in the Antarctic Region.

A record high temperature 17.5°C (63.5°F) was recorded at Experanza base, an Argentine  research base near the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula. The temperature extreme was recorded on March 24, 2015, WMO reported after reviewing data around Antarctica as part of its “continuing efforts to expand a database of extreme weather and climate conditions throughout the world.”

The highest temperature for the “Antarctica Region” (defined by the WMO and United Nations as all land and ice south of 60°S) of 19.8 degrees Celsius (67.6 degrees Fahrenheit) was observed on 30 January 1982 at Signy Research Station, Borge Bay on Signy Island. 

The highest temperature for the “Antarctic continent” defined as the main continental landmass and adjoining islands is the temperature extreme of 17.5°C (63.5°F) recorded on 24 March 2015 at the Argentine Research Base Esperanza located near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. 

Thirdly, the highest temperature for the Antarctic Plateau [at or above 2500 meters (8202 feet)] was the observation of -7.0°C (19.4°F) made on 28 December 1980 at an Automatic Weather Station (AWS) site D-80 located inland of the Adélie Coast. 

The lowest temperature yet recorded by ground measurements for the Antarctic Region, and for the whole world, was −89.2°C (-128.6°F) at Vostok station on 21 July 1983.

Antarctica in 6 Seconds

  • Area: 14 million km2 (about twice the size of Australia)
  • Climate: Cold, windy and dry.
  • Average annual temperature:  Ranges from about −10°C on the Antarctic coast to −60°C at the highest parts of the interior.
  • Ice sheet:  Up to 4.8km thick, contains 90% of the world’s fresh water.

The Antarctic Peninsula (the northwest tip near to South America) is among the fastest warming regions of the planet, almost 3°C over the last 50 years. Some 87% of glaciers along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula have retreated in the last 50 years with most of these showing an accelerated retreat in the last 12 years.

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FIRE-EARTH Alert: Larsen C Calving in Antarctica

Posted by feww on January 7, 2017

Larsen C Ice shelf primed to shed 10% of its area –Researchers

Larsen C Ice shelf in Antarctica is primed to shed 10% of its area, or nearly 5,200 km² of ice.

  • Only 20 km of ice now connects an iceberg  half the size of Jamaica [“one quarter the size of Wales,”] to its parent ice shelf.
  • Fundamentally changing the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula, the calving event will result in a new, less stable configuration for Larsen C,  one that could “eventually follow the example of its neighbour Larsen B, which disintegrated in 2002 following a similar rift-induced calving event,” according to researchers at Project Midas.
The current location of the rift on Larsen C, as of January 2017. Labels highlight significant jumps. Tip positions are derived from Landsat (USGS) and Sentinel-1 InSAR (ESA) data. Background image blends BEDMAP2 Elevation (BAS) with MODIS MOA2009 Image mosaic (NSIDC). Other data from SCAR ADD and OSM. Via Project Midas

The current location of the rift on Larsen C, as of January 2017. Labels highlight significant jumps. Tip positions are derived from Landsat (USGS) and Sentinel-1 InSAR (ESA) data. Background image blends BEDMAP2 Elevation (BAS) with MODIS MOA2009 Image mosaic (NSIDC). Other data from SCAR ADD and OSM.

Additional Information:

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FIRE-EARTH Alert: Seawater Continues Warming

Posted by feww on December 12, 2016

  • CJ Members

West Antarctic glaciers losing 7m in height each year: Study

antarctic-melting

Daily Sea Ice Extent. Credit nsidc.org

  • Details of the Alert are available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

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West Antarctic Glaciers Retreating Irreversibly: Study

Posted by feww on May 13, 2014

West Antarctic Ice Sheet Retreat Passes the Point of No Return

West Antarctic glaciers are retreating irreversibly and there is no barrier to hold them back, according to a recent study.

The Thwaites, Smith, Haynes, Pope, Smith and Kohler Glaciers and the Pine Island Glacier (PIG) have been thinning rapidly, the study says.

The warming seawater has been thinning six key glaciers from below, and they are flowing rapidly into the Amundsen Sea.

“In our new study, we present additional data that the junction of the glaciers with the ocean – the grounding line – has been retreating at record speeds unmatched anywhere in the Antarctic,” said the report’s lead author.

“We present observational evidence that a large section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has gone into a state of irreversible retreat; it has passed the point of no return.”

Nothing to hold the retreat back

“We also present new evidence that there is no large hill at the back of these glaciers that could create a barrier and hold the retreat back. This is why we conclude that the disappearance of ice in this sector is unstoppable,” he said.

“This retreat will have major consequences for sea level rise worldwide. It will raise sea levels by 1.2m, or 4ft, but its retreat will also influence adjacent sectors of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet which could triple this contribution to sea level.”

Title: Widespread, rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith and Kohler glaciers, West Antarctica from 1992 to 2011.

Abstract

We measure the grounding line retreat of glaciers draining the Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica using Earth Remote Sensing (ERS-1/2) satellite radar interferometry from 1992 to 2011. Pine Island Glacier retreated 31 km at its center, with most retreat in 2005–2009 when the glacier un-grounded from its ice plain. Thwaites Glacier retreated 14 km along its fast-flow core and 1 to 9 km along the sides. Haynes Glacier retreated 10 km along its flanks. Smith/Kohler glaciers retreated the most, 35 km along its ice plain, and its ice shelf pinning points are vanishing. These rapid retreats proceed along regions of retrograde bed elevation mapped at a high spatial resolution using a mass conservation technique (MC) that removes residual ambiguities from prior mappings. Upstream of the 2011 grounding line positions, we find no major bed obstacle that would prevent the glaciers from further retreat and draw down the entire basin.

E. Rignot, doi: 10.1002/2014GL060140

Posted in Climate Change, Global Disaster watch, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

MACQUARIE ISLAND Earthquake Alert

Posted by feww on June 5, 2011

M6.5 Strikes West of MACQUARIE ISLAND

Earthquake Details

Region: West of Macquarie Island
Magnitude: 6.5Mw
Date and Time: June 5, 2011 at 11:51:12UTC
Epicenter: 147.30°E 55.92°S
Depth: 10 km
Status: M – manually revised
Source: GFZ Potsdam – Earthquake Bulletin

Earthquake Location Maps

Source: USGS; enhanced by FIRE-EARTH

Related Links

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Eco-Terrorism and Dead Rare Sunfish

Posted by feww on June 27, 2009

Guilty of Eco-Terrorism: Tourists and Tour Operators

Eco-Tourists [sic] and Eco Tour Operators [sic] are systematically destroying the fragile marine environment in the south Pacific and Southern [Antarctic] oceans.

“Eco-tourists” love dead natural beauty, at least according to a short article in New Zealand Nelson Mail:

“Tourists being guided along Farewell Spit were mesmerised by more than just the area’s natural beauty yesterday.

“A large sunfish, about 2 metres long, and 2m wide from fintip to fintip, was spotted as Farewell Spit Eco Tours driver John Stevens was heading towards the spit with a busload of tourists.”

Dead Rare SunfishDo the eco-terrorists get a warm sensation rushing through their body knowing they are alive and can spot the dad rare sunfish, but the dead fish can’t see them?

Look What We Caught! [Original caption: STRANGE FIND.  Shelley Climo from the Farewell Spit Eco Tours office with the sunfish, found near Puponga township.] Photo: PADDY GILLOOLY/Farewell Spit Eco Tour (Via Nelson Mail). Image may be subject to copyright.

According to Farewell Spit Eco Tours owner Paddy Gillooly “the sunfish fascinated the tourists.”

“It was quite a good way to start the day. It’s one of the biggest ones I’ve seen.”

“The day before, tourists had seen a small dead minke whale that had washed up on the spit, and had since been washed away again.” The Nelson Mail said.

How very revealing!

“Mr Gillooly said he had seen about half a dozen sunfish washed up at the spit over the years. Because they could not manoeuvre easily, they could get washed into shallow water and stuck there.”

But do they all die of natural causes [sic]?

They were also a “very hard fish”, he said.

“Boaties and yachts sometimes [very often] run into them, and the yacht will [sometimes] come off second best.”

Source:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/2542883/Sunfish-a-rare-sight

The world cannot survive with the impact of airline industry and tourism, but the “economy” can cope without the two!

Related Links:

Posted in eco-terrorism, Farewell Spit, marine ecology, sunfish, tasman sea massacre | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Possible Thule Eruption Disastrous for Antarctic Ice

Posted by feww on March 2, 2009

A Thule eruption may be a harbinger of an intense period of seismic and volcanic activities in  Antarctica, accelerating ice melt

A possible Thule eruption could signal the start of an intense period of seismic and volcanic activities in Antarctica, FEWW Moderators believe. Increased seismic and volcanic activities in the region could accelerate the ice melt by up to  500 percent [possibly by an even larger factor, if the Antarctic plate fragments as a result of enhanced seismic activity.]


Thule Islands.
Thule (left) and Cook (right) islands are seen surrounded by ice floes in this ASTER satellite image. Douglas Strait, the ice-free area in the center of the image, is underlain by a 4.3 x 4.8 km wide caldera between the two volcanic islands. A third stratovolcano forms Bellingshausen Island, just out of view to the right. The Thule Islands lie at the southern end of the South Sandwich island arc bordering the Scotia Sea and consist of three stratovolcanoes constructed along an E-W-trending line. ASTER satellite image, 2003 (National Aeronautical and Space Administration, courtesy of ASTER science team). Caption: GVP.

Baker forecast a possible eruption of  the Thule Islands volcano before the end of last century. According to Global Volcanism Program, GVP, “steam was observed at the summit crater of Thule Island in 1962,”  and ash appeared  there as well as on Bellingshausen Island, “indicating possible 20th-century eruptions (Baker, 1968).”  It’s also believed that a “small explosion crater formed on the southern flank of Bellinghausen Island sometime between 1964 and 1986.”

Recent seismic activity near the Thule Islands suggest that an eruption may occur.

Related Links:

References:

  • Baker P E, 1968. Comparative volcanology and petrology of the Atlantic island arcs. Bull Volc, 32: 189-206
  • Thule Islands Data Sources

Posted in Bellingshausen Island, Cook Island, E-W-trending line, South Sandwich island, stratovolcano | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Oh NASA

Posted by feww on February 24, 2009

NASA Still Believes You Need a Rocket Scientist to Launch a Satellite into Orbit!

NASA’s mission to measure carbon dioxide from space fails as the $300 million satellite dives into Antarctica.


NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory and its Taurus booster lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base. A contingency was declared a few minutes later. Image credit: NASA TV

OCO was launched on a Taurus XL, the smallest rocket used by NASA.  XL is manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation and has reportedly flown eight times, with a 25 percent failure rate (two failures including the OCO  launch).

In a statement released shortly after the failed launch NASA said:

NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite failed to reach orbit after its 4:55 a.m. EST liftoff this morning from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Preliminary indications are that the fairing on the Taurus XL launch vehicle failed to separate. The fairing is a clamshell structure that encapsulates the satellite as it travels through the atmosphere.

The spacecraft did not reach orbit and likely landed in the Pacific Ocean near Antarctica, said John Brunschwyler, the program manager for the Taurus XL.

A Mishap Investigation Board will immediately be convened to determine the cause of the launch failure.

Preliminary indications are that the fairing on the Taurus XL launch vehicle failed to separate. The fairing is a clamshell structure that encapsulates the satellite as it travels through the atmosphere.

The European Space Agency, ESA, reconstructed its Cryosat spacecraft after it was destroyed on launch in 2006.  ESA officials recently announced that it would be launched again in late 2009.  However, the future of the OCO mission remains uncertain for now.


This is an artist’s concept of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory. The mission, scheduled to launch in early 2009, will be the first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide, the principal human-produced driver of climate change. It will provide the first global picture of the human and natural sources of carbon dioxide and the places where this important greenhouse gas is stored. Such information will improve global carbon cycle models as well as forecasts of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and of how our climate may change in the future. Image credit: NASA/JPL. Caption: NASA.

Posted in Atmospheric carbon dioxide, Climate Change, JPL, Pacific Ocean, Taurus XL | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Image of the Day: Antarctica

Posted by terres on January 30, 2009

Antarctica: The [Formerly] Frozen Continent


NASA EO image acquired January 27, 2009

Relatively few people have seen Antarctica. A myth until the early 1800s, the ice-covered southern continent is difficult to get to and hostile to most life. But now, the MODIS Rapid Response System is producing daily photo-like images of Antarctica. The images are valuable to scientists studying everything from ice to penguins, as well as to the crews of ships navigating through the southern ice pack.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this composite image on January 27, 2009. Few features are visible on the ice-covered landscape. The surface appears rough where the Transantarctic Mountains curve in a shallow “s” from the shore of the Ross Sea to the Ronne Ice Shelf. The Polar Plateau in the center of the continent is smooth, shaded only by the faint shadow cast by clouds. The Weddell Sea is textured with chunks of sea ice.

Antarctica was enjoying summer when this image was taken. During the summer, sunlight shines on the continent constantly. Winter is dark. For this reason, MODIS can only image Antarctica during the summer. Flying on both the Aqua and Terra satellites, MODIS orbits the Earth from north to south, passing over Antarctica many times every day. This mosaic image of Antarctica was created from data collected on various overpasses throughout the day. Each overpass is a pie-shaped wedge in the image.

More information about the daily mosaic is available from the MODIS Rapid Response System’s Antarctica Project Page.

NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

Instrument: Aqua – MODIS

Posted in Antarctic Peninsula, Ronne Ice Shelf, Weddell Sea | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Ice Melt in Alaska, Antarctica, Greenland Accelerating

Posted by feww on December 17, 2008

2 trillion tons of ice in Alaska, Antarctica and Greenland melted since 2003, NASA says

About 2 trillion tons of ice in Alaska, Antarctica  and Greenland has melted since 2003,  NASA scientists say, due to accelerating climate change.

Analyzing data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, GRACE, in which two orbiting satellites are used to measure the “mass balance” of a glacier, that is the net difference between ice accumulation and ice loss each year, NASA geophysicist Scott Luthcke says the losses are colossal.

“The ice tells us in a very real way how the climate is changing,” said Luthcke. “A few degrees of change [in temperature] can increase the amount of mass loss, and that contributes to sea level rise and changes in ocean current.”

Greenland has lost about 160 gigatons (one billion tons) each year for 5 consecutive years, enough to raise global sea levels about .5 mm per year,  according to another NASA researcher, Jay Zwally.

“Every few extra inches of sea level have very significant economic impacts, because they change the sea level, increase flooding and storm damage,” said Zwally. “It’s a warning sign.”

“We’re seeing the impacts of global warming in many areas of our own lives, like agriculture,” he said.

Citing the pine beetle infestation in the forests of Colorado and western Canada [how about Alaska?] he said: “[The pests] were believed to be spreading because the winter was not cold enough to kill them, and that’s destroying forests.”

Sermersuaq (Humboldt) Glacier, Greenland


acquired August 30, 2008 – NASA Earth Observatory


acquired August 30, 2000 – NASA Earth Observatory

Stretching about 90 kilometers across Kane Bassin in the Nares Strait, northwestern Greenland’s Sermersuaq Glacier, also called Humboldt Glacier, is the Northern Hemisphere’s widest tidewater glacier—a glacier that begins on land, but terminates in water. The Sermersuaq is a major source of icebergs in the strait, which connects the Lincoln Sea in the north to Baffin Bay in the south.

This pair of images shows the retreat of the Sermersuaq Glacier between 2000 and 2008. In these natural-color images from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, the approximate terminus of the glacier on August 31, 2000 (bottom image), is traced with a yellow line on an image from August 30, 2008 (top). Although the southern part of the terminus showed little change during the period, significant retreat is visible in the northern part, where a fast-flowing ice stream is located. In both images, the deep blue waters of Kane Bassin are littered with ice, which may include icebergs and sea ice.

Having a “toe” in the water adds complexity to the natural cycle of advance and retreat that a glacier experiences in response to climate changes. The behavior of tidewater glaciers is affected not only by melting and snowfall on land, but also by the shape of the fjord or coastline where the glacier enters the water, the depth of the water, tides, and the thickness of the moraine (a shoal of sediment and rock) that builds up underwater at the tip of the glacier.

Even in the absence of human-caused climate change, tidewater glaciers naturally experience century-long cycles that include phases of rapid retreat. After decades of slow advance, the terminus of the glacier eventually becomes grounded on its own moraine. The shoal can become so thick that it stops icebergs from calving for extended spans of time. The support of the shoal allows the glacier to grow larger than it could if it were free-floating.

A small amount of thinning or retreat at the terminus can trigger a rapid retreat once the glacier—too large to float—is ungrounded from the shoal. The initial thinning or retreat of a tidewater glacier may result from a warming climate, but the extremely rapid retreat thereafter has as much to do with topography and the laws of physics as it does with the current climate.

NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data obtained from the Goddard Level 1 and Atmospheric Archive and Distribution System (LAADS). Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.

Instrument: Terra – MODIS
Date Acquired: August 30, 2008

Posted in Colorado forests, pine beetle infestation, Sermersuaq Glacier, western Canada | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Penguins DDT Contamination Levels Still High

Posted by feww on May 10, 2008

Just when you thought penguins fared better than polar bears!

Just when you thought the Antarctic marine life had only a few minor problems like the climate change and ozone hole to worry about, but were otherwise safe from other harms like ingesting plastic trash, or growing a “skin” rash from pesticide contamination, it has been revealed that the deadly pesticide DDT, banned in most countries more than 35 years ago, stills show up in penguins in Antarctica.

A researcher has blamed the DDT contamination on the chemical’s accumulation of the poison in melting glaciers.

“DDT, along with a lot of other of these organic contaminants, actually travel through the atmosphere … toward the polar regions by a process of evaporation and then condensation in cooler climates,” according to Heidi Geisz of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

The DDT contamination in the Adelie penguins was first discovered in 1964. The contamination level rose in the 1970s and has stayed stable since then, Geisz said.


Mating Adelie penguins at Cape Adare in Ross Sea, Antarctica January of 2001. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license versions 2.5, 2.0, and 1.0 (Credit: Mila Zinkova)

In 1962, Silent Spring by American biologist Rachel Carson was published. The book cataloged the environmental impacts of the indiscriminate spraying of DDT in the US and questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without fully understanding their effects on ecology or human health. The book suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds. Its publication was one of the signature events in the birth of the environmental movement. Silent Spring resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led to most uses of DDT being banned in the US in 1972. DDT was subsequently banned for agricultural use worldwide, but its limited use in disease vector control continues to this day in certain parts of the world and remains controversial. (source)

Is it possible that New Zealand is still using DDT in large quantities?

Related Links:

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