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Fri, 24 Sep 2021
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Igloo

Sea Ice Ends Year at Same Level as 1979

Thanks to a rapid rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those seen 29 years ago, when the year 1979 also drew to a close.

Ice levels had been tracking lower throughout much of 2008, but rapidly recovered in the last quarter. In fact, the rate of increase from September onward is the fastest rate of change on record, either upwards or downwards.

The data is being reported by the University of Illinois's Arctic Climate Research Center, and is derived from satellite observations of the Northern and Southern hemisphere polar regions.

Each year, millions of square kilometers of sea ice melt and refreeze. However, the mean ice anomaly -- defined as the seasonally-adjusted difference between the current value and the average from 1979-2000, varies much more slowly. That anomaly now stands at just under zero, a value identical to one recorded at the end of 1979, the year satellite record-keeping began.

Igloo

Saskatoon cold streak sets record: 24 days in a row of -25 C or lower

How's this for cold comfort? Sask-atoon's deep freeze is likely the longest streak of low temperatures below -25 C that has numbed this city since record-keeping began in 1892.

The 24-day streak started cruelly Dec. 13 after relatively mild temperatures and continued at least through Monday, said David Phillips, Environment Canada's senior climatologist.

"That's the thing that's brutal," Phillips said from Toronto, where he was enjoying a temperature of -4. "We can all handle a few (cold) days. It's the long haul that wears you down.

Bell

Freak Weather Causes Devastation in North Spain

Four people have died as a result of severe weather conditions, which battered the north and east of the country. Cataluña was one of the areas which was worst affected by the storms, where two people were washed out to sea by enormous waves, the first whilst walking through the Port in Barcelona, and the other a man who was driving along the breakwater when his car was dragged into the sea.

Wolf

Eiffel Tower closed, flights hit by snow

A winter storm brought blankets of snow across Europe on Monday, forcing the closure of an icy Eiffel Tower in Paris and causing flight cancellations.

Up to 10 centimetres of snow was recorded in parts of France, the national weather service said. Most areas, including Paris, got about half that amount.

French authorities issued traffic alerts in around 30 regions because of icy roads.

The Eiffel Tower, one of Paris' main tourist attractions, was closed because of slippery conditions.

Binoculars

Hundreds of birdwatchers turn out to see rare snowy owl

Hundreds of birdwatchers have gathered in a Cornish village to catch a glimpse of a rare snowy owl.
british snowy owl
© SWNS
The owl was first spotted in Cornwall on Dec 21

The bird, which is a native of the Arctic Circle, and is usually found in Greenland, Canada and Russia, has been seen at Zennor, near St Ives.

It is the first time in 60 years one has been seen in Cornwall.

In Britain, the snowy owl is usually only a rare winter visitor to Shetland, the Outer Hebrides and the Cairngorms. On average there are between one and four seen each year in the United Kingdom.

The young owl was believed to appeared in Cornwall after being blown off course by storms. Birdwatchers said it appeared to be content, and at home in the freezing temperatures.

Fish

New Park Protects Penguins And Other Marine Life In Argentina

Magellanic penguins
© Graham Harris/Wildlife Conservation Society
Some of the 500,000 Magellanic penguins now under protection in the new marine park in Golfo San Jorge in Argentina.
The Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society has just announced that its efforts to protect a wildlife-rich coastal region in South America have paid off in the form of a new coastal marine park recently signed into law by the Government of Argentina.

The park, which became official in early December protects half a million penguins along with several species of rare seabirds and the region's only population of South American fur seals. It is the first protected area in Argentina specifically designed to safeguard not only onshore breeding colonies but also areas of ocean where wildlife feed at sea.

The park's creation represents a joint effort by the National Parks Service of Argentina, Government of Chubut, Wildlife Conservation Society and its local partner Fundación Patagonia Natural with support from the United Nations Development Programme and the Global Environment Facility.

Info

Amazon Deforestation Trend On The Increase

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon forest
© iStockphoto
Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon forests has flipped from a decreasing to an increasing trend, according to new annual figures recently released by the country's space agency INPE.
Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon forests has flipped from a decreasing to an increasing trend, according to new annual figures recently released by the country's space agency INPE.

Commenting on the figures, Brazilian environment minister Carlos Minc confirmed that the government will on Monday announce forest related carbon emission reduction targets, which will link halting deforestation to the national climate change campaign.

From August 2007 to July 2008, Brazil deforested 11,968 square kilometers of forests in the area designated as the Legal Amazon, a 3.8 per cent increase over the previous year and an unwelcome surprise following declines of 18 per cent over the previous period.

Snowman

Whatever Happened to Global Warming?

Image
© Eliot Kamenitz, New Orleans Times-Picayune
A New Orleans streetcar dodges snowflakes
on December 11
Winter officially arrived with Sunday's solstice. But for many Americans, frigid January-like conditions have prevailed for weeks.

Christmas and Hanukkah travelers are delayed if not stranded at airports on the northwest and northeast coasts. Snow clogs runways, and ice coats airplane wing flaps as Americans wait extra hours and days to reach their loved ones.

New Englanders still lack electricity after a December 11 ice storm snapped power lines. Some 3,900 Granite State customers remain in the dark after what PSNH, the local utility, called "the most devastating natural disaster to hit New Hampshire in recent history." Over the weekend, snow similarly knocked out the lights in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri.

Igloo

Britain in grip of longest cold snap for 10 years

Britain is in the grip of the longest cold snap for more than 10 years as forecasters predict another week of freezing temperatures.

Cold, mainly dry and frosty conditions, which set in on Boxing Day, are likely to continue for at least seven days as the weather is dominated by a huge region of high pressure coming from the Continent.

For this time of year, forecasters say it is likely to be the longest prolonged spell of cold weather - where temperatures barely rise above zero centigrade (32F) - since 1996.

Usually long spells of cold weather occur around February when the effect of warming from the Atlantic sea is reduced.

"We have another five to seven days of colder weather still to come which will make it the longest spell since 1996 at this early stage of winter," said Philip Eden, the Daily Telegraph weather correspondent.

Better Earth

Earthquakes at Yellowstone Supervolcano: Update

Here is the latest on the earthquake swarms at Yellowstone:

1) The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory put out an update yesterday evening
Yellowstone Lake Earthquake Swarm Update: 2 January 2008

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that as of 1800 MST on 2 January 2009, seismicity of the ongoing Yellowstone earthquake swarm continues. Over 500 earthquakes, as large as M 3.9, have been recorded by an automated earthquake system since the inception of this unusual earthquake sequence that began Dec. 27, 2008. More than 300 of these events have been reviewed and evaluated by seismic analysts. Depths of the earthquakes range from ~ 1km to around 10 km. We note that the earthquakes extend northward from central Yellowstone Lake for ~10 km toward the Fishing Bridge area, with a migration of recent earthquakes toward the north. Some of the dozen M3+ earthquakes were felt in the Lake, Grant Village and Old Faithful areas. Personnel of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory continue to evaluate this earthquake sequence and will provide information to the NPS, USGS and the public as it evolves.

Comment: Ah, Scientific American. Doing their bit to put the sheeple to sleep on this threat as well as the one from cometary impacts.