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Thu, 03 Dec 2020
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Ice Cube

British Columbia glaciers 38% thicker than expected, surprising study finds

Ben Pelto, Kindy Gosal, Alexandre Bevington and Jesse Milner take radar measurements while towing the radar high on the Nordic Glacier in the southern B.C. Interior.

Ben Pelto, Kindy Gosal, Alexandre Bevington and Jesse Milner take radar measurements while towing the radar high on the Nordic Glacier in the southern B.C. Interior.
Extensive radar surveys on five glaciers in the Columbia River Basin has found the ice is 38 per cent thicker than originally believed, according to a new study from the University of Northern British Columbia.

Lead author Ben Pelto and his colleagues skied cross country on the glaciers over 182 kilometres, pulling a sled-mounted ice-penetrating radar system to collect thousands of measurements.

They found the total volume of ice in the basin is roughly 122 cubic kilometres, or about 23 per cent more than computer modelling had estimated.

"I was surprised that the models were off by that much," said Pelto, who completed the work with support from the University of Victoria's Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and from B.C. Hydro. "There are about 17,000 glaciers in B.C. and until now we only had ice measurements from a handful of them."

Seismograph

Shallow M6.0 earthquake hits Balleny Islands region, South Pacific Ocean

Balleny islands quake map
© Volcano Discovery
Date & time: 1 Dec 2020 08:52:58 UTC - 10 hours ago
Local time at epicenter: Wednesday, 2 Dec 6.52 am (GMT +10)
Magnitude: 6.0
Depth: 10.0 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude: 62°S / 154.53°E

Comment: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake also hit the Balleny Islands region last week on Nov. 25, 2020.


Attention

Semeru volcano erupts on Java, Indonesia

volcsano
About 550 people fled home as the Semeru volcano on Indonesia's main Java Island released incandescent lava and hot clouds on early Tuesday, according to the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency.

The agency spokesperson Raditya Jati said that 300 of these people fled to an observation post, and the rest stayed at shelters located in the Supiturang village.

The volcano, located in the Lumajang district of the East Java province, erupted at 1:23 a.m. local time on Tuesday. It released lava of up to 1 km and hot clouds of up to 11 km towards the Besok Kobokan area, southeast of the summit.

At 3:00 a.m. local time, rain fell with the rain water mixed with the volcanic ash around the observation post.

"We estimate this condition happened due to the quite strong potential hot lava," Jati said.


Comment: Two days earlier in the same region: Large ash content erupts from Ile Lewotolok volcano in Indonesia


Fish

Stunning dragon-like sea creatures wash up on beach in Cape Town, South Africa

Glaucus Atlanticus

Glaucus Atlanticus
Dozens of strange blue dragon-like sea creatures have washed up on a beach near Cape Town in South Africa.

The animals appear to be Glaucus atlanticus, a type of sea slug that is also known as the sea swallow and the blue angel among other nicknames.

The creatures were found on Fish Hoek Beach, where they were photographed by Maria Wagener, who runs a Facebook page about the shore and its sealife.

Ms Wagener said she found around 20 on the beach, adding that she had never seen the creatures before, despite living near the beach for most of her life.


Fish

Rare nine-legged octopus discovered by fisherman off the coast of Japan

The nine-legged octopus was one among the four that the fisherman had caught. It measured a little more than 15 centimetres.

The nine-legged octopus was one among the four that the fisherman had caught. It measured a little more than 15 centimetres.
An extremely rare nine-legged octopus was recently discovered off the coast of Japan.

The unusual creature with an extra limb was caught by a fisherman in Shizugawa Bay in the town of Minamisanriku. Interestingly, he had no idea about the extra limb until he was boiling it in a pot for dinner.

Although fisherman contacted the Minamisanriku Nature Center (MNC) for help, the octopus did not survive the boiling water. It is now preserved in alcohol being showcased to the public at the Shizugawa Nature Center.

A researcher at the MNC, Takuzo Abe, said that octopuses have the ability to regenerate severed legs and the extra appendage may have grown when the creature was regenerating a lost leg.

Fish

Anglers off coast of Virginia reel in massive fish usually found in tropical waters, possibly set record

fish
You never know what you're going to catch.

A group of anglers was shocked to reel in a massive fish 80 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. It wasn't just the size of the animal that surprised them, however. When they realized what they caught, they realized they may have made the history books.

Michael MacTaggart, Jon Wetherington and Nick Kemp were out last week near Norfolk Canyon in Virginia hoping to catch swordfish, My Fox 8 reports. According to him, the group was about to give up for the day when they felt a tug on the line.

When they reeled the fish in, they were not expecting to see a giant opah fish on the end of the line. MacTaggart described the moment as "surreal."

Sun

First day of summer in Australia sees temperatures reach a blistering 48C while SNOW is forecast for one state

Some parts of central NSW, Queensland and SA peaked at 18C above average on Tuesday

Some parts of central NSW, Queensland and SA peaked at 18C above average on Tuesday
Australians have sweated and shivered on a day of extreme weather across the country on the first day of summer.

The brutal weekend heatwave has continued in large parts of the country's east and south, with temperatures reaching well into the mid-forties in central NSW, Queensland and South Australia.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued an extreme heatwave warning on Tuesday after temperatures peaked as high as 18C above average.

On the other end of the scale, snow is due to hit alpine regions in Tasmania on Wednesday.

Seismograph

6.4-magnitude earthquake hits off southern Alaska

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake struck near the Aleutian Islands, which lie in a seismically active area off the coast of Alaska.Credit...
© NOAA
The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake struck near the Aleutian Islands, which lie in a seismically active area off the coast of Alaska.Credit...
The earthquake was reported near a sparsely populated area of the Aleutian Islands, a seismically active area.

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck off the coast of a remote area of southern Alaska on Tuesday, but there were no warnings of a tsunami that could threaten the region's sparsely populated string of islands.

The earthquake was reported just after 7 a.m. local time, about 24 miles southeast of Nikolski, a census-designated area of the Aleutian Islands that had a population of 18 people in 2010, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Umbrella

Flooding and severe hailstorm hits 2 departments of Bolivia

Floods in the city of Tarija, Tarija Department, Bolivia, 30 November 2020 .
© Municipal of Tarija
Floods in the city of Tarija, Tarija Department, Bolivia, 30 November 2020 .
Heavy rainfall on 30 November caused flooding in the department of Tarija in southern Bolivia.

Among the worst affected areas was the city of Tarija, where creeks and rivers, including the El Monte stream, broke their banks. Local authorities reported damage to roads and homes in several neighbourhoods of the city. Power outages were reported and a medical centre was also damaged.


Attention

Giant 'earthquake fish' caught after 2 quakes strike eastern Taiwan

oarfish
Taiwanese fishermen on Friday (Nov. 6) caught a massive oarfish (Regalecus glesne) nearly 5 meters in length off the coast of eastern Taiwan the same day two earthquakes struck the area.

The oarfish was 490 centimeters long and weighed about 45 kilograms. It was caught off the coast of Dong'ao in Yilan County.

The owner of Fumei Huo Seafood Restaurant (富美活海鮮餐廳) purchased the fish for NT$16,000 (US$560). Chen Kuo-pin (陳國濱) was cited by Liberty Times as saying that it was the longest "earthquake fish" (地震魚) he had ever seen.

Comment: Other such reports in 2020: