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Sat, 23 Sep 2023
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Igloo

The day the sea froze: Temperatures plunge to MINUS 12C and forecasters say it won't warm up until Sunday

Frozen sea
© The Daily Mail
Two walkers venture out over the frozen area which, in the distance, can be seen encroaching on a small boat
Temperatures plunged so low today that the sea actually began to freeze as Arctic conditions continued to grip the UK.

In the exclusive enclave of Sandbanks in Poole, Dorset, a half-mile stretch along the shoreline reaching about 20 yards out to sea is covered in ice.

The enclosed area and lack of movement caused by light tides would make the sea here more susceptible to this occurring, said Tony Conlan, a forecaster with the MeteoGroup.

The sea freezing is a relatively rare occurrence and the last time the sea in the South froze was in February 1991. It was in 1963 that the seas iced over more widely.

Fish

Journey Of A Green Turtle From Indonesia Into Australian Opens Mystery Of 'Oceanic Superhighway'

Green turtle swimming
© iStockphoto
Green turtle swimming. The remarkable journey of a green turtle from Indonesia into Australian waters is helping conservationists to track the migratory route of this species to the Kimberley-Pilbara coast - one of the few relatively pristine coastal areas left on Earth.

The remarkable journey of a green turtle from Indonesia into Australian waters is helping conservationists to track the migratory route of this species to the Kimberley-Pilbara coast - one of the few relatively pristine coastal areas left on Earth.

Ana, a female green turtle, was tagged in Indonesia in November as part of a turtle tracking project by WWF and Udayana University in Bali, Indonesia, and has slowly made her way from a nesting beach in East Java, across the Indian Ocean, and is on track for the beaches of the Kimberley in Western Australia.

Her journey, monitored online by WWF, demonstrates the strong biological ties between Indonesia and the reefs on the west Australian coast.

"Ana's journey is unique. She has revealed an 'oceanic superhighway' that helps us better understand how marine turtles navigate around the world's oceans as well as highlighting the strong ecological and evolutionary connections between Indonesia and Australia's Kimberley-Pilbara coast," said Gilly Llewellyn, WWF Ocean's Program Leader.

Attention

US: Mercury Found at High Levels in Indiana Streams

Foam on a stream in southeast Indiana
© Bernie Kasper
Foam on a stream in southeast Indiana.
INDIANAPOLIS - Six of every 100 streams in Indiana contain mercury at levels greater than the state water quality standard protecting human health, according to research released today by the U.S. Geological Survey. With new mapping techniques, the scientists identified an area in southeastern Indiana with some of the highest levels of mercury deposition in the United States.

Mercury concentrations in 73 percent of the samples exceeded the more restrictive state water quality standard protecting wildlife.

More than 80 percent of the water samples had detectable methylmercury, the most toxic form of mercury that accumulates in fish, birds, and mammals at the top of food chains.

In a separate report looking at mercury in rain and snow, USGS scientists found that mercury concentrations in more than 40 percent of the samples exceeded the Indiana water quality standard for human health and nearly all concentrations exceeded the standard protecting wildlife.

"Our studies are showing that mercury can be found in the water everywhere we've looked in Indiana, but the mercury varies from place to place and changes both seasonally and year to year," said USGS scientist Martin Risch, an author on both papers.

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.