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Sun, 16 May 2021
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Alarm Clock

North Pole May Be Ice Free for First Time This Summer

Arctic warming has become so dramatic that the North Pole may melt this summer, report scientists studying the effects of climate change in the field.

"We're actually projecting this year that the North Pole may be free of ice for the first time [in history]," David Barber, of the University of Manitoba, told National Geographic News aboard the C.C.G.S. Amundsen, a Canadian research icebreaker.

Image
©Ralph Lee Hopkins/National Geographic/Getty Images.
A ship makes its way through crumbling Arctic sea ice near the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen in an undated photo.

Arctic warming has become so dramatic that ice covering the North Pole may melt this summer for the first time in history, according to scientists in the field.

Info

US: Flooding strands 100-plus barges on Mississippi River

WINFIELD, Mo. - The flooding in the Midwest has brought freight traffic on the upper Mississippi to a standstill, stranding more than 100 barges loaded with grain, cement, scrap metal, fertilizer and other products while shippers wait for the water to drop on the Big Muddy.

"We're basically experiencing total shutdown," said Larry Daily, president of Alter Barge Line Inc. of Bettendorf, Iowa.

While the bottleneck is costing him and other barge operators tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue per day, June is a slow shipping period on the river compared with the late-summer harvest, the shutdown is expected to last only a few weeks, and it involves primarily non-perishable goods. So no major damage to the economy is expected.

Among the freight being held up: corn and soybeans headed downstream for New Orleans, where grain is loaded onto ships for export. Construction supplies and petroleum products headed upstream on the Mississippi are not getting through either.

Attention

Climate change threat to whales: study

The effect of climate change on the ecology of krill and whales in the Southern Ocean urgently needs monitoring, a group of Australian scientists warn.

The Australian Antarctic Division scientists say the effects of climate change on the sea ice that breeds krill which feeds whales can no longer be ignored.

Bizarro Earth

Scotland: Mystery virus threatens to wipe out bees

Scotland's population of honeybees could be wiped out by a mystery virus.

Known as the Marie Celeste Syndrome, it has already killed million of insects around the world.

Beekeepers say Scottish swarms - which total half a billion bees - are at risk because defences against the virus are "woefully inadequate".

In Marie Celeste Syndrome, also known as Colony Collapse Disorder, worker bees disappear without trace and never return.

Comment: See the SoTT focus article: To Bee or not to Be


Sherlock

Looking to Leeches for Clues on Climate Change



Arctic leech
©Unknown
Arctic leech

Call it the invasion of the marine bloodsuckers. As conditions in Antarctica continue to heat up, new species of leeches, which are known vectors for viruses and bacteria, have slowly begun infiltrating the frigid waters -- putting many commercially valuable fish species at risk.

Bizarro Earth

Alaska salmon may bear scars of global warming

Tanana, Alaska -- With a sickening thud, another hefty and handsome salmon lands in the waste barrel, headed for the dogs.

"See, it's all of the biggest, best-looking fish," said Pat Moore, waving a stogie at the pile of discards. "It breaks my heart. My dogs cannot eat all that. The maggots will get them first."

Alaskan salmon
©Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times
Faith Peters and Haley Brigham, 12, help Kathleen Zuray cut king salmon into strips at a fish camp on a stretch of the Yukon River called the Rapids. Eagerly awaited each year, king salmon are the biggest and most prized fish migrating upriver to spawn in the Yukon's headwaters, in Canada

Snowman

Arctic sea ice melt 'even faster'



arctic seal
©Getty Images
A widespread Arctic melt would have major impacts on wildlife

Arctic sea ice is melting even faster than last year, despite a cold winter.

Data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) shows that the year began with ice covering a larger area than at the beginning of 2007.

But now it is down to levels seen last June, at the beginning of a summer that broke records for sea ice loss.

Cloud Lightning

Bangladesh: Heavy rain paralyses life in Chittagong City



Chittagong flood
©Zobaer Hossain Sikder
Vehicles slog through knee-deep water on the main thoroughfare at Bahadderhat in Chittagong after deluge throughout yesterday swamped much of the port city. Photo: Zobaer Hossain Sikder

Life became paralysed in Chittagong yesterday as major parts of the port city were submerged in knee-deep water following heavy rains throughout the day.

Besides, two walls collapsed at Lalkhan Bazar and Surson Road in the morning due to the downpour, but none was hurt.

According to the Met Office at Patenga, over 202 millimetres (8 inches) of rainfall was recorded in last 24 hours till 3:00pm yesterday.

Black Cat

Arsonists caused the blaze in Cyprus

Wednesday's huge fire that devastated 14 kilometres of brush land in the Larnaca and Limassol districts was the work of arsonists, it emerged yesterday.

Despite initial reports that suggested the fire was a result of a re-ignition of a small fire in the area, the Fire Services yesterday said that the blaze appeared to be an arson attack.

Bizarro Earth

US: Illinois levee buckles under rising waters



Image
©AFP
Workers examine the closed memorial bridge as water crosses it from the flooding Mississippi River June 18, 2008 in Quincy, Illinois. Rising waters burst through an overtaxed levee on the Mississippi River Tuesday, sending gushing torrents into an Illinois town as the sodden US midwest reeled from days of epic flooding. The levee break left Highway 34 at Gulfport, on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, under water, prompting officials to close a bridge to the neighboring town of Burlington and creating havoc for commuters.

Chicago -- Rising waters burst through an overtaxed levee on the Mississippi River Tuesday, sending gushing torrents into an Illinois town as the sodden US midwest reeled from days of epic flooding.

The levee break left Highway 34 at Gulfport, on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, under water, prompting officials to close a bridge to the neighboring town of Burlington and creating havoc for commuters.

More than 1,000 Illinois National Guard troops were working alongside hundreds of inmates from the state's prisons to shore up levees throughout the state, a spokeswoman with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency told CNN.

The New York Times said people in dozens of Mississippi towns facing flooding were working Tuesday to shore up about 30 levees.