The coldest ever December has rolled through Russia causing the evacuation of hundreds of people in Siberia, where temperatures hit below -50C, and plunging Moscow into its coldest night in the season. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HPfUOID85Q
Forget global warming, Alaska is headed for an ice age http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/forget-global-warming-alaska-headed-ice…
Earth’s Equator after 20 degree Axis Shift (The white line on the video marks the new line of the equator with a Read more…
For its birthday, Svalbard will receive seeds from war-torn Syria and celebrate years of success preserving our inheritance from Neolithic times.
The world’s agricultural hard drive, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, turns four years old today. The vault was a media sensation when it first opened in 2008, but it hasn’t been in the news much since. I figured it was time to check in and see how these first four years have gone. An awesome technology by any measure, the vault is a steely compound tunneled five hundred feet into an icy mountain in the Norwegian Arctic, just 600 miles from the North Pole. It is designed to last a thousand years, and to withstand a wide range of global disasters, including climate change, nuclear war, and even an asteroid strike. Over the past four years the vault has amassed some 740,000 seed samples and eventually it may house every crop seed ever used by a human being.
The NOAA National Geophysical Data Center maintains a data set of annual magnetic north pole coordinates going back to the year 1590, derived from early measurements from ships logs to modern day techniques.
Noting that there has been lots of reporting of pole shift lately, to the point where the phenomenon is actually causing real-world issues such as temporary airport closures, a deeper investigation was in order.
After transferring 420 years of north pole position data from the NOAA Geo Data Center, configuring it to fit in an Excel spreadsheet, adding a complicated formula to determine exact distance between 2 sets of latitude-longitude coordinates, applying the formula to each data point in the series, and then finally plotting it all in a visual graph, it is alarming to discover the Read more…
This year could be well on its way toward earning a dubious spot in the record books.
Arctic sea ice has melted away with astonishing speed in the first half of July, at an average rate of about 46,000 square miles (120,000 square kilometers) per day, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colo.
That’s equivalent to an area roughly the size of Pennsylvania melting into the sea every 24 hours.
“That’s relatively fast,” said Julienne Stroeve, a research scientist at the NSIDC.
Already, sea ice extent — how far ice extends across the ocean — this year is below the extent for the same time in 2007, a year which, in September, saw the lowest sea ice coverage ever recorded.
As of July 17 this year, sea ice covered 2.92 million square miles (7.56 million square kilometers) of the frigid Arctic Ocean. That may sound like a lot, but it’s 865,000 square miles (2.24 million square kilometers) below the 1979 to 2000 average.
However, Stroeve said, much of what Read more…
The stratospheric ozone layer, which shields the Earth from the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, has been damaged to its greatest-ever extent over the Arctic this winter.
The protective layer of gas, which can be destroyed by reactions with industrial chemicals, has suffered a loss of about 40 per cent from the start of winter until late March, exceeding the previous seasonal loss of about 30 per cent, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
The phenomenon is annual in the Antarctic, where after its discovery in the 1980s it came to be known as the “ozone hole“. Although CFC levels are now dropping, they remain in the atmosphere for so long that they will still be causing ozone depletion for decades in certain conditions, particularly the intense cold of the stratosphere.
Arctic ozone conditions vary more and the temperatures are always warmer than over Antarctica, where the ozone hole forms high in the stratosphere near the South Pole each winter and spring. Because of changing weather and temperatures, some Arctic winters experience almost no ozone loss – but others with exceptionally cold stratospheric conditions can occasionally lead to substantial ozone depletion.
This is what has happened over the Arctic this winter; for while at ground level the Arctic region was unusually warm, temperatures 15-20km above the Earth’s surface plummeted. WMO officials say the latest losses, which are unprecedented, were detected in Read more…
Spawned by strangely cold temperatures, “beautiful” clouds helped strip the Arctic atmosphere of most of its protective ozone this winter, new research shows.
The resulting zone of low-ozone air could drift as far south as New York, according to experts who warn of increased skin-cancer risk.
The stratosphere’s global blanket of ozone—about 12 miles (20 kilometers) above Earth—blocks most of the sun‘s high-frequency ultraviolet (UV) rays from hitting Earth’s surface, largely preventing sunburn and skin cancer.
But a continuing high-altitude freeze over the Arctic may have already reduced ozone to half its normal concentrations—and “an end is not in sight,” said research leader Markus Rex, a physicist for the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany.
Preliminary data from 30 ozone-monitoring stations throughout the Arctic show the Read more…
Farmers from Australia are the latest donors to a polar bear-patrolled Arctic doomsday vault that stores seeds as insurance against an international food emergency.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a converted mine, is located about 800 miles from the North Pole in Arctic Norway.
An Australian delegation of farmers and scientists next week will deposit 301 samples of peas and 42 rare chickpeas in the vault, intending to protect the plant species from extinction by climatic or man-made events.
“It’s a very robust structure, concrete, made into the Read more…