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Tue, 30 Nov 2021
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Ice Cube

Antarctic iceberg six times the size of Manhattan in open ocean tracked by scientists

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© NASA/REUTERS
The B-31 Iceberg as it separated from a rift in Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier
Scientists are monitoring one of the largest icebergs in existence, after it broke off from an Antarctic glacier and began to head into the open ocean.

The iceberg covers about 255 square miles, making it roughly six times the size of Manhattan - and is up to 500 meters thick.

Known as B31, glacial crack that created the iceberg was first detected in 2011 but the iceberg separated from Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier in November.

NASA glaciologist Kelly Brunt said that the iceberg is not currently presenting a danger, but needs to be continually monitored.

"It's one that's large enough that it warrants monitoring. There is not a lot of shipping traffic down there. We're not particularly concerned about shipping lanes. We know where all the big ones are."

Snowflake Cold

Third coldest start to a year on record in US

US temperatures through April 23 are the third coldest on record

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Generated by :

./ghcn.exe US23042014.txt through=0423 > US23042014_through_0423.csv

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YearTDeptUS.png (688×531)


Igloo

UN issues new 15 year climate tipping point - but UN issued tipping points in 1982 and another 10-year tipping point in 1989!

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© Space.com
According to the Boston Globe, the United Nations has issued a new climate "tipping point" by which the world must act to avoid dangerous global warming.

The Boston Globe noted on April 16, 2014: "The world now has a rough deadline for action on climate change. Nations need to take aggressive action in the next 15 years to cut carbon emissions, in order to forestall the worst effects of global warming, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."

Once again, the world is being warned of an ecological or climate "tipping point" by the UN.

As early as 1982, the UN was issuing a two decade tipping point. UN official Mostafa Tolba, executive director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), warned on May 11, 1982, the "world faces an ecological disaster as final as nuclear war within a couple of decades unless governments act now." According to Tolba in 1982, lack of action would bring "by the turn of the century, an environmental catastrophe which will witness devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust."

Ice Cube

Another report of dead whales stranded by ice off Newfoundland

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© Kayla Kendall
Kayla Kendall tweeted this photograph on Saturday of a whale stranded at Rocky Harbour because of ice.
The Canadian Coast Guard has issued a new report of dead whales off western Newfoundland.

Mariners have been warned about four whale carcasses at different locations at the entrance to Bonne Bay.

It has not said what kind of whales have died.

Earlier this month, at least nine blue whales died in ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

In March, dozens of dolphins were killed when they were crushed by ice near Cape Ray, on Newfoundland's southwest coast.

Attention

Rare Arctic Bowhead whale seen in Cape Cod Bay - only the second in recorded history

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© NOAA
A bowhead whale was spotted feeding with right whales in Cape Cod Bay last week
Experts call the sighting rare and remarkable

It is a remarkable sighting, according to experts from the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) in Provincetown. Last Friday marks only the second time in recorded history that a bowhead whale has been seen so far south in the waters of the Atlantic. The whale was spotted swimming and feeding with right whales on Cape Cod Bay on April 11, according to a CCS release.

The first time a bowhead was spotted in our waters was two years ago, when one was observed by CCS researchers off the Outer Beach in Orleans in August 2012.

Ice Cube

Why it's a big deal: Half of the Great Lakes are still covered in ice

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© NASA
Over the winter, as polar vortices plunged the U.S. Midwest into weeks of unceasing cold, the icy covers of the Great Lakes started to make headlines. With almost 96 percent of Lake Superior's 32,000 miles encased in ice at the season's peak, tens of thousands of tourists flocked to the ice caves along the Wisconsin shoreline, suddenly accessible after four years of relatively warmer wintery conditions.

The thing is, all of that ice takes a long time to melt. As of April 10, 48 percent of the five lakes' 90,000-plus square miles were still covered in ice, down from a high of 92.2 percent on March 6 (note that constituted the highest levels recorded since 1979, when ice covered 94.7 percent of the lakes). Last year, only 38.4 percent of the lakes froze over, while in 2012 just 12.9 percent did - part of a four-year stint of below-average iciness.

Ice Cube

Coast Guard still battling thick Great Lakes ice - in April

Almost one month into spring, and the U.S. Coast Guard is still breaking up ice around the Great Lakes.

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© NOAA
Satellite image of ice cover on the Great Lakes on April 15, 2014. Overall, nearly 39 percent of the Great Lakes were covered in ice as of April 15, including 62 percent of Lake Superior.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more than 64 percent of Lake Superior was covered in ice as of Wednesday. Lake Michigan was 21 percent covered, Lake Huron was 31 percent covered, Lake Erie was 14 percent covered, and Lake Ontario was 2 percent covered. The entire Great Lakes system was 37 percent covered in ice.
VIDEO. #USCG cutters break a way into #Marquette Harbor, helping local mining industry avoid a shutdown. #Michigan buff.ly/Qd6Fq4 -
USCG Great Lakes (@USCGGreatLakes) April 16, 2014
The Coast Guard on Wednesday released video of the cutter Morro Bay carving up ice in the harbor in Marquette, Mich., nestled along the shores of Lake Superior.

Snowflake Cold

Ice Age Cometh: Record mid-April hard freeze kill Great Plains wheat

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Last Tuesday, April 15, was the coldest "Tax Day" nationwide on record. Hard freezes extended as far south as northern Texas. Mid-April snows were seen throughout the Corn Belt states. Columbus, Ohio had nearly four inches of the white stuff on Tuesday, its heaviest snowfall ever for so late in the spring season. Traces of snow were reported in the Texas Panhandle, Arkansas and Tennessee. Even northern Louisiana had a few flakes. Detroit, Michigan set a seasonal snowfall record on Tuesday.

A hard freeze in the southern Great Plains on Tuesday produced temperatures between 21 and 24 degrees at Amarillo, Dalhart, Perry and Lubbock, Texas. Near Gage, Oklahoma, one rancher reported 18 degrees. Ponca City, Oklahoma dipped to a record low of 21 degrees for April 15.

In Kansas, the nation's leading wheat producing state, already plagued by winterkill this harsh winter of 2013-14 that refuses to end and parching drought, there were reports of morning lows near 15 degrees both Monday and Tuesday. It was a frigid 13 degrees at Valentine, Nebraska.

Jointing wheat was damaged by the record cold early this past week in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, especially in those areas where the mercury plunged into the teens and lower 20s for several hours. Any wheat heading out can be at risk even at readings near 30 degrees. Fortunately, there was very little wheat heading out despite recent 90 degree temperatures in the southern Great Plains.

Snowflake Cold

Snowy Owls dying and having trouble migrating north due to prolonged cold weather

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It is time for many bird species to begin their spring migrations and Snowy Owls are among the many species that migrate. Although most birds migrate without any trouble it seems that more and more snowy owls are being found dead along their migration paths. While most ornithologists believe the recently reported Snowy Owls deaths are not related and only accidents, many are still studying the dead birds to be sure.

When a Snowy Owl wearing a GPS tracking device was found dead near Martha's Vineyard, many people became concerned and wanted to know why this bird and so many others were dying. Tufts University veterinary center and Norman Smith, who is an expert on Snowy Owls, decided to find out what caused the bird's death. They named the bird Sandy Neck.

The team examined the bird and released a report with their findings. The report said,

"The necropsy at Tufts showed no trauma except for a minor deep bruise in her left pectoral, no food in the proventriculus (stomach) or gizzard, and no signs of disease or unusual parasites. As Gus (Ben David) noted, she was in otherwise excellent condition - great muscle mass and fat deposits. Nor was there any water in the respiratory system. Mark Pokras (a veterinarian and professor at Tufts) said if he had to guess, she got swamped, swam to shore and went down from hypothermia - but also couldn't rule out drowning."

Attention

Heavy ice likely to have crushed 9 blue whales to death off Newfoundland

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© Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans
Blue whale carcasses were spotted on the ice on southwest coast of Newfoundland.

Warning: Disturbing images. Blue whale carcasses were spotted on the ice off the southwest coast of Newfoundland, while a sperm whale carcass washed up on the southeast coast.

Several endangered blue whales have been found dead in ice off Newfoundland - probably crushed to death by ice, says the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

DFO said the carcasses of blue whales were spotted last month, stuck in thick ice off of the southwest coast of the island.

Dr. Jack Lawson, a researcher with DFO, told Global News he and a colleague spotted nine dead whales while flying over the ice, about 40 nautical miles west of Cape Anguille. He said they were around 20 metres long - the "length of two school buses."