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Better Earth

U.S. Military research site shows Arctic ice thickening over last 12 months

US MIL Arctic buoy locations
© Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory
US MIL Arctic buoy locations

The WUWT Arctic Ice Thickness Survey has been conducted from the comfort of a warm living room over the last half hour, without sponsors, excessive CO2 emissions or hypothermia. The data is collected from the US military web site. All of the active military buoys show significant thickening ice over the past six months to a year, as at right.
Catlin Arctic Survey Team position

Location of Catlin team relative to buoy 2008D and the North Pole

Bizarro Earth

El Salvador: Earthquake Magnitude 4.6

Image
© USGS
Date/Time:

* Monday, April 13, 2009 at 00:33:20 UTC

* Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 06:33:20 PM at epicenter

Location 13.548°N, 88.511°W

Depth 188.4 km (117.1 miles)

Distances 40 km (25 miles) WNW of San Miguel, El Salvador

75 km (50 miles) ESE of SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador

120 km (75 miles) ESE of Santa Ana, El Salvador

1305 km (810 miles) ESE of MEXICO CITY, D.F., Mexico

Attention

'Britain's Beach Litter Worst Since Records Began' Say Conservationists

Image
Britain's beaches are more littered than at any time since records began, according to a report published today by the Marine Conservation Society.

An average of 2,195 pieces were found for every kilometer cleaned in the society's Beachwatch project last year, more than two items per meter and more than double the amount found in the first clean-up in 1994.

The amount of plastic rubbish found had tripled in the same time and made up about 60 per cent of the waste recovered, said Emma Snowdon, the project's coordinator.

South West England was the worst affected area, with almost 5,000 pieces of litter on every kilometer of beach. Almost 40 per cent of the litter was discarded by beach users.

Better Earth

New orangutan population found in Indonesia

Black Orangutan
© Associated Press Photo/The Nature Conservancy, HO
n this undated photo released by The Nature Conservancy, an orangutan of a newly found population is seen in Sangkulirang forest on Borneo island, Indonesia. Conservationists have discovered a new population of orangutans in a remote, mountainous corner of Indonesia, perhaps as many as 2,000, giving a rare boost to one of the world's most critically endangered great apes.
Jakarta - Conservationists have discovered a new population of orangutans in a remote, mountainous corner of Indonesia - perhaps as many as 2,000 - giving a rare boost to one of the world's most endangered great apes.

A team surveying forests nestled between jagged, limestone cliffs on the eastern edge of Borneo island counted 219 orangutan nests, indicating a "substantial" number of the animals, said Erik Meijaard, a senior ecologist at the U.S.-based The Nature Conservancy.

"We can't say for sure how many," he said, but even the most cautious estimate would indicate "several hundred at least, maybe 1,000 or 2,000 even."

The team also encountered an adult male, which angrily threw branches as they tried to take photos, and a mother and child.

Fish

Australia: Catching food a spit in ocean for dolphin

Snubfin dolphin
© Unknown
A rare and recently discovered species of Australian dolphin catches its prey by spitting at it.

The snubfin dolphin is found along Australia's northern coastlines and was recognised as a new species only in 2005.

The snubfin not only looks strange - it has a small dorsal fin and round, melon-like head - but new research shows it has an unusual method of feeding.

World Wildlife Fund Australia's marine and coasts manager Lydia Gibson said the small dolphins hunt in groups, chasing fish to the surface and rounding them up by shooting jets of water from their mouths. "This incredibly unusual behaviour, first seen in Australia off the Kimberley coast, has only been noted before in Irrawaddy dolphins, which are closely related to this species," Ms Gibson said.

Magnify

US: Study of fault directly under San Jose points to hard shaking

A new study deepens the knowledge of Silver Creek Fault, charting its precise route under San Jose. The emerging research suggests that if the fault erupts, the city could suffer high levels of ground shaking.

Seismic profiles of the earth underneath three streets near downtown San Jose - Empire Street, Mission Street and Gish Road - provide conclusive evidence of a shallow fault, according to a study by geophysicist Rufus Catchings of the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park.

"Because the fault zone extends through downtown San Jose, and likely much of the East Bay, the fault may pose a significantly high seismic hazard to the region," Catchings said.

Evil Rays

Bad news for Catlin Expedition: Satellite Data Shows Arctic Cooling in February and March

As reported by Anthony, RSS satellite temperature data is out for March. And as the Catlin adventurers have discovered, it has been "stupidly cold" in the Arctic. March was the second consecutive month of below normal Arctic temperatures, and the continuation of a four year cooling trend - as seen below. Google's linest() function shows that since the beginning of 2005, Arctic temperatures have been cooling at a rate of 1.8 degrees C per decade, or 18C per century ( see comments). Also note that Arctic monthly temperature anomaly now is about three degrees lower than in January, 1981.

That short term trend isn't meaningful, except in the context of the Catlin Expedition and the cold they are experiencing.

Bizarro Earth

Galapagos volcano erupts, could threaten wildlife

Image
© AP Photo/Galapagos National Park
In this photo released by Galapagos National Park, La Cumbre volcano erupts in Fernandina Island, in the Galapagos islands, Ecuador, Saturday, April 11, 2009. The Galapagos National Park says La Cumbre volcano began spewing lava, gas and smoke on uninhabited Fernandina Island on Saturday after four years of inactivity.
Ecuador officials say a volcano is erupting in the Galapagos Islands and could harm unique wildlife.

The Galapagos National Park says La Cumbre volcano began spewing lava, gas and smoke on uninhabited Fernandina Island on Saturday after four years of inactivity.

The park says in a statement the eruption is not a threat to people living on nearby Isabela Island.

But it says lava flowing to the sea will likely affect marine and terrestrial iguanas, wolves and other fauna.

Igloo

Catlin Arctic Team in Peril?

Catlin Arctic Survey Team
© unknown
Pen Hadow and Martin Hartley of the Catlin Arctic Survey battle the elements in the name of science, and their own survival.

The three-person team of British explorers on the Arctic ice cap may or may not be in danger, depending upon which of the team's representatives back at headquarters in London is doing the talking.

Martin Hartley, Pen Hadow, and Ann Daniels have been on a "scientific" mission to measure sea ice thickness that is routinely measured by satellite and buoys. Unfortunately, just about all of their equipment failed as soon as the team got onto the ice, due to what the BBC has reported as unexpected wind chill values as low as minus 70 degrees Celsius.

On the health front, according to Catlin Arctic Survey medical adviser Doctor Martin Rhodes, the team are battling chronic hypothermia. Additionally, Martin Hartley has frostbite on one foot, photographs of which are on the mission website, with a disclaimer for the faint of heart.

Bizarro Earth

Nova program focuses on rain of comets 12,900 years ago

Mammoth
© Royal BC Museum, Victoria, British Columbia
Impact victim? Nanodiamonds suggest to some scientists that a huge impact did in the mammoths.

Last night at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, a dozen faculty members and students gathered for a "mammoth barbecue" before the U.S. Public Broadcasting System's NOVA program laid out the story of the provocative--and highly controversial--proposal that a huge impact drove the mammoths and dozens of other large North American animals to extinction 12,900 years ago. The verdict?

"It was NOVA theater," says geologist and host Nicholas Pinter. "It was enjoyable, there were nice animals, but there was skepticism [expressed at the gathering] about the impact story." That, despite the first revelation of evidence from Greenland, added further support to an extraterrestrial killer.