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Mon, 20 Sep 2021
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Bizarro Earth

Strong quake hits off northern Peru coast

Lima - The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting a strong earthquake off the coast of northern Peru.

The magnitude 6.2 quake shook the region at 5:04 a.m. local time on Sunday (10:04 GMT, 5:04 a.m. EST) about 22 miles (35 kilometers) under the ocean floor.

Bizarro Earth

Earth May Be Home to Unearthly Life

Scientists may not need to explore outer space to find 'alien' biology, cosmologist says.

When ET phones home, he may not have to make a long-distance call.

Forms of life different from the organisms humans are familiar with may exist on this planet already, says cosmologist Paul Davies of Arizona State University in Tempe. At a news conference on February 14 at the annual meeting of American Association for the Advancement of Science, Davies and other scientists interested in identifying alien life-forms called for a "mission to Earth" to discover "life as we don't know it."

Many scientists used to believe that life was statistically improbable. In recent decades that view has shifted, and many now think that life may exist all over the universe. If it is possible to find life on other Earth-like planets, then "weird" or "shadow" life might already exist on Earth, Davies says.

Better Earth

Study: 'Astonishing richness' in polar sea species

Bangkok, Thailand - The polar oceans are not biological deserts after all.

A marine census released Monday documented 7,500 species in the Antarctic and 5,500 in the Arctic, including several hundred that researchers believe could be new to science.

"The textbooks have said there is less diversity at the poles than the tropics, but we found astonishing richness of marine life in the Antarctic and Arctic oceans," said Victoria Wadley, a researcher from the Australian Antarctic Division who took part in the Antarctic survey. "We are rewriting the textbooks."

Wolf

Amazing Pictures of Color Striped Icebergs in Antarctic

Icebergs in the Antarctic area sometimes have stripes, formed by layers of snow that react to different conditions.

Blue stripes are often created when a crevice in the ice sheet fills up with meltwater and freezes so quickly that no bubbles form.

When an iceberg falls into the sea, a layer of salty seawater can freeze to the underside. If this is rich in algae, it can form a green stripe.

Brown, black and yellow lines are caused by sediment, picked up when the ice sheet grinds downhill towards the sea.

Here's what I mean...

Eye 1

Arctic ice thickness 'plummets'

Ice bergs
© unknown
The data proves that overall volume of sea ice is decreasing, say researchers

The thickness of Arctic sea ice "plummeted" last winter, thinning by as much as one-fifth in some regions, satellite data has revealed.

A study by UK researchers showed that the ice thickness had been fairly constant for the previous five winters.

The team from University College London added that the results provided the first definitive proof that the overall volume of Arctic ice was decreasing.

The findings have been published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

"The ice thickness was fairly constant for the five winters before this, but it plummeted in the winter after the 2007 minimum," lead author Katharine Giles told BBC News.

Sea ice in the Arctic shrank to its smallest size on record in September 2007, when it extended across an area of just 4.13 million sq km (1.59 million sq miles), beating the previous record low of 5.32 million sq km, measured in 2005.

The team from the university's Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling - part of the UK's National Centre for Earth Observation - found that last winter the ice had thinned by an average of 10% (26cm/0.9ft) below the 2002-2008 winter average.

Dr Giles added that the data also showed the western Arctic experienced the greatest impact, where the ice thinned by up to 19% (49cm/1.6ft).

Document

Propaganda: Arctic ice meltdown close to 'tipping point'

Polar Bear
© Reuters

Arctic ice is melting quicker than predicted and may now be close to a "tipping point" when the changes cannot be reversed, a conservation group has claimed.

Satellite monitoring suggests that the ice has shrunk by more than a third since the late 20th century, and the pace at which both Arctic sea ice and the Greenland ice sheet are melting has "severely accelerated".

This could bring about rapid and unstoppable change in natural systems across the world, according to the WWF.

Better Earth

Propaganda: Arctic Sea Ice Gone in Summer Within Five Years?

Iceberg off Ammassalik Island, Greenland, on July 19, 2007
© John McConnico / Associated Press

An already relentless melting of the Arctic greatly accelerated this summer - a sign that some scientists worry could mean global warming has passed an ominous tipping point.

One scientist even speculated that summer sea ice could be gone in five years.

Greenland's ice sheet melted nearly 19 billion tons more than the previous high mark, and the volume of Arctic sea ice at summer's end was half what it was just four years ago, according to new NASA satellite data obtained by the Associated Press.

"The Arctic is screaming," said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the government's snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colorado.

Bizarro Earth

Propaganda: Environment Summit -Arctic thaw may be at "tipping point"

Oslo - A record melt of Arctic summer sea ice this month may be a sign that global warming is reaching a critical trigger point that could accelerate the northern thaw, some scientists say.

"The reason so much (of the Arctic ice) went suddenly is that it is hitting a tipping point that we have been warning about for the past few years," James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told Reuters.

The Arctic summer sea ice shrank by more than 20 percent below the previous 2005 record low in mid-September to 4.13 million sq km (1.6 million sq miles), according to a 30-year satellite record. It has now frozen out to 4.2 million sq km.

The idea of climate tipping points -- like a see-saw that suddenly flips over when enough weight gets onto one side -- is controversial because it is little understood and dismissed by some as scaremongering about runaway effects.

Info

Propaganda: Has the Arctic melt passed the point of no return?

Scientists have found the first unequivocal evidence that the Arctic region is warming at a faster rate than the rest of the world at least a decade before it was predicted to happen.

Climate-change researchers have found that air temperatures in the region are higher than would be normally expected during the autumn because the increased melting of the summer Arctic sea ice is accumulating heat in the ocean. The phenomenon, known as Arctic amplification, was not expected to be seen for at least another 10 or 15 years and the findings will further raise concerns that the Arctic has already passed the climatic tipping-point towards ice-free summers, beyond which it may not recover.

The Arctic is considered one of the most sensitive regions in terms of climate change and its transition to another climatic state will have a direct impact on other parts of the northern hemisphere, as well more indirect effects around the world.

Better Earth

Propaganda: Meltdown fear as Arctic ice cover falls to record winter low

Record amounts of the Arctic ocean failed to freeze during the recent winter, new figures show, spelling disaster for wildlife and strengthening concerns that the region is locked into a destructive cycle of irreversible climate change.

Satellite measurements show the area covered by Arctic winter sea ice reached an all-time low in March, down some 300,000 square kilometres on last year -an area bigger than the UK.

Scientists say the decline highlights an alarming new trend, with recovery of the ice in winter no longer sufficient to compensate for increased melting in the summer. If the cycle continues, the Arctic ocean could lose all of its ice much earlier than expected, possibly by 2030.

Walt Meier, a researcher at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, which collected the figures, said: "It's a pretty stark drop. In the winter the ice tends to be pretty stable, so the last three years, with this steady decline, really stick out."