earthstory:

Puma YumcoThe uplifted plateau of Tibet has risen out of the Asian continent due to piston like tectonic forces from below resulting from the compression as India meets Eurasia in a slow motion collision. Many lakes, some with outlets to the sea and others without dot the plateau including this one snapped last winter as a mosaic from the International Space Station. Puma Yumco measures 31x14km .Sitting at just over 5,000 metres altitude it is low in nutrients and has clear blue water (due to the relative absence of life) , features it shares with many high altitude Himalayan lakes. Changes in colour are due to the depth rather than contents of the water. The white lines are patterns made by frozen blocks of ice as the lake passed through repeated cycles of freezing and fracturing, abetted by the howling winds.LozImage credit: NASA






http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Puma_Yumco

earthstory:

Puma Yumco

The uplifted plateau of Tibet has risen out of the Asian continent due to piston like tectonic forces from below resulting from the compression as India meets Eurasia in a slow motion collision. Many lakes, some with outlets to the sea and others without dot the plateau including this one snapped last winter as a mosaic from the International Space Station. Puma Yumco measures 31x14km .

Sitting at just over 5,000 metres altitude it is low in nutrients and has clear blue water (due to the relative absence of life) , features it shares with many high altitude Himalayan lakes. Changes in colour are due to the depth rather than contents of the water. The white lines are patterns made by frozen blocks of ice as the lake passed through repeated cycles of freezing and fracturing, abetted by the howling winds.

Loz


Image credit: NASA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Puma_Yumco

awkwardsituationist:

photographer sebastian copeland has reached both poles on foot, traveling more than 8,000 kilometers across the arctic sea, greenland and antarctica (and setting four world records in the process), in order to document this disappearing landscape and highlight the effects of climate change.  

says copeland, “helping people fall in love with their world is a catalyst to wanting to save it. our actions here, in the industrialized world, are changing this fragile, beautiful landscape forever, and i wanted to ask people to think about that.” 

though to many the poles may seem unimportant in their remoteness, copeland notes, “the rapid changes in this stark yet fragile icy realm may sound the last warning before the destruction of our environment as we know it today.”

it was revealed this week, for example, that the eventual loss of a major section of west antarctica’s ice sheet — a region which contains enough ice to raise global sea levels by four feet — now appears unstoppable. 

(the trailer for copeland’s documentary, “into the cold, a journey of the soul”. see also camille seaman’s the last iceberg)

musts:

Chameleon_9946s by Angi Wallace

awkwardsituationist:

photos by (click pic) flip nicklin (previously featured) and bryant austin (previously featured) of a mother humpback and her calf. 

(Source: awkwardsituationist)

leebarguss:

Blue Iceland (by andy lee)

(via h4ilstorm)

earthstory:

The Milky SeaWhile the Milky way up in the airy sky is something we frequently share here on the Earth Story, it has a watery cousin down below, in which teeming life resembles the teeming sky above, glowing softly to itself. Long a matter of legend amongst seafarers (and dismissed by sceptic scientists) , being mentioned (amongst others) in Jules Verne’s 20,000 leagues under the sea, the phenomenon was finally captured and turned into fact by satellite observation back in 2005.Bioluminescence is light produced by life, encountered in creatures of the deep such as angler fish (who use their light as lures for prey) and bacteria, and the Milky Sea is the world’s largest known such zone (over 15,000 square km). It is caused by a huge seasonal concentration of bacteria (probably Vibrio harveyi), and was rediscovered by a bit of detective work by a scientist working for the US Navy. He found a log from a ship that had crossed the region in 1995 describing the glowing sea and decided to see if there was any sign of it visible from space.Using the archives from the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program for the night in which the ship crossed the area, he found this large bright area in the Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa. The archive revealed it glowed like this for three days that January before fading. How the bacteria bloom and concentrate there remains unknown. There are other such areas reported in historical records, including near Somalia and Indonesia.The image has been processed, and the appropriate colour for the bacterial glow added, since the satellites can only see in black and white at night. To cap it all, old Jules Verne placed his fictional recounting of what was then one of the ocean’s many legends on the same date, 27 January.LozImage credit: Steven Millerhttp://www.atlasobscura.com/places/milky-seashttp://biolum.eemb.ucsb.edu/organism/milkysea.htmlOriginal paper, paywall access: http://www.pnas.org/content/102/40/14181.long






Milky Sea Milky Way Bioluminescence Plankton earth from space Earth at night Science Photography The earth story Africa Bacteria

earthstory:

The Milky Sea

While the Milky way up in the airy sky is something we frequently share here on the Earth Story, it has a watery cousin down below, in which teeming life resembles the teeming sky above, glowing softly to itself. Long a matter of legend amongst seafarers (and dismissed by sceptic scientists) , being mentioned (amongst others) in Jules Verne’s 20,000 leagues under the sea, the phenomenon was finally captured and turned into fact by satellite observation back in 2005.

Bioluminescence is light produced by life, encountered in creatures of the deep such as angler fish (who use their light as lures for prey) and bacteria, and the Milky Sea is the world’s largest known such zone (over 15,000 square km). It is caused by a huge seasonal concentration of bacteria (probably Vibrio harveyi), and was rediscovered by a bit of detective work by a scientist working for the US Navy. He found a log from a ship that had crossed the region in 1995 describing the glowing sea and decided to see if there was any sign of it visible from space.

Using the archives from the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program for the night in which the ship crossed the area, he found this large bright area in the Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa. The archive revealed it glowed like this for three days that January before fading. How the bacteria bloom and concentrate there remains unknown. There are other such areas reported in historical records, including near Somalia and Indonesia.

The image has been processed, and the appropriate colour for the bacterial glow added, since the satellites can only see in black and white at night. To cap it all, old Jules Verne placed his fictional recounting of what was then one of the ocean’s many legends on the same date, 27 January.

Loz

Image credit: Steven Miller

http://www.atlasobscura.com/
places/milky-seas
http://biolum.eemb.ucsb.edu/organism/milkysea.html
Original paper, paywall access: http://www.pnas.org/content/102/40/14181.long

Milky Sea Milky Way Bioluminescence Plankton earth from space Earth at night Science Photography The earth story Africa Bacteria

smithsonianmag:

Scientists Just Discovered Water Near a Star 170 Light Years Away
The star GD61 is a white dwarf. As such, it’s insanely dense—similar in diameter to Earth, but with a mass roughly that of the Sun, so that a teaspoon of it is estimated to weigh about 5.5 tons. All things considered, it’s not a particularly promising stellar locale to find evidence of life.
But a new analysis of the debris surrounding the star suggests that, long ago, GD61 may have provided a much more hospitable environment. As part of a study published today in Science, scientists found that the crushed rock and dust near the star were once part of a small planet or asteroid made up of 26 precent water by volume. The discovery is the first time we’ve found water in a rocky, Earth-like planetary body (as opposed to a gas giant) in another star system.
“Those two ingredients—a rocky surface and water—are key in the hunt for habitable planets,” Boris Gänsicke of the University of Warwick in the UK, one of the study’s authors, said in a press statement. “So it’s very exciting to find them together for the first time outside our solar system.”
Why was water found in such a seemingly unhospitable place? Because once upon a time, GD61 wasn’t so different from our Sun, scientists speculate. But roughly 200 million years ago, when it exhausted its supply of fuel and could no longer sustain fusion reactions, its outer layers were blown out as part of a nebula, and its inner core collapsed inward, forming a white dwarf. (Incidentally, this fate will befall an estimated 97 percent of the stars in the Milky Way, including the Sun.)
When that happened, the tiny planet or asteroid in question—along with all the other bodies orbiting GD61—were violently knocked out of orbit, sucked inward, and ripped apart by the force of the star’s gravity. The clouds of dust, broken rock and water that the scientists recently discovered near the star are the remnants of these planets.
Continue reading about this amazing discovery at Smithsonian.com.

smithsonianmag:

Scientists Just Discovered Water Near a Star 170 Light Years Away

The star GD61 is a white dwarf. As such, it’s insanely dense—similar in diameter to Earth, but with a mass roughly that of the Sun, so that a teaspoon of it is estimated to weigh about 5.5 tons. All things considered, it’s not a particularly promising stellar locale to find evidence of life.

But a new analysis of the debris surrounding the star suggests that, long ago, GD61 may have provided a much more hospitable environment. As part of a study published today in Science, scientists found that the crushed rock and dust near the star were once part of a small planet or asteroid made up of 26 precent water by volume. The discovery is the first time we’ve found water in a rocky, Earth-like planetary body (as opposed to a gas giant) in another star system.

“Those two ingredients—a rocky surface and water—are key in the hunt for habitable planets,” Boris Gänsicke of the University of Warwick in the UK, one of the study’s authors, said in a press statement. “So it’s very exciting to find them together for the first time outside our solar system.”

Why was water found in such a seemingly unhospitable place? Because once upon a time, GD61 wasn’t so different from our Sun, scientists speculate. But roughly 200 million years ago, when it exhausted its supply of fuel and could no longer sustain fusion reactions, its outer layers were blown out as part of a nebula, and its inner core collapsed inward, forming a white dwarf. (Incidentally, this fate will befall an estimated 97 percent of the stars in the Milky Way, including the Sun.)

When that happened, the tiny planet or asteroid in question—along with all the other bodies orbiting GD61—were violently knocked out of orbit, sucked inward, and ripped apart by the force of the star’s gravity. The clouds of dust, broken rock and water that the scientists recently discovered near the star are the remnants of these planets.

Continue reading about this amazing discovery at Smithsonian.com.

latimes:

Meet a lonely, drifting planet
An enigmatic planet has been discovered wandering the vast cosmos by University of Hawaii scientists, notable not just for its free-floating nature, but for being the first planet not in orbit of a star.

"This thing is floating in space like our sun floats in space," said Eugene Magnier of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, coauthor of a study about the lonely planet. "It is drifting around through the galaxy."
Astronomers are not yet sure how this rogue planet came to be out there in space, all by itself. One theory is that it formed from a clump of hydrogen gas that condensed. Another, less likely thought is that it started its life in the vicinity of a star and got bumped out of its orbit.

Read more over at Science Now.
Photo: MPIA

latimes:

Meet a lonely, drifting planet

An enigmatic planet has been discovered wandering the vast cosmos by University of Hawaii scientists, notable not just for its free-floating nature, but for being the first planet not in orbit of a star.

"This thing is floating in space like our sun floats in space," said Eugene Magnier of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, coauthor of a study about the lonely planet. "It is drifting around through the galaxy."

Astronomers are not yet sure how this rogue planet came to be out there in space, all by itself. One theory is that it formed from a clump of hydrogen gas that condensed. Another, less likely thought is that it started its life in the vicinity of a star and got bumped out of its orbit.

Read more over at Science Now.

Photo: MPIA

earthlynation:

submitted by stateoftheartairbrushing
earthstory:

WORLD RECORD TUSKS!
In an odd little corner of Northern Greece, where as recently as twenty years ago no one expected there had ever been any elephants at all, the longest fossil tusks ever found were excavated in 2007. These are from a proboscidean (the taxonomic order containing today’s Elephantidae as well as all the extinct species of elephants and mammoths) known as Mammut borsoni that lived in the late Pliocene, some 2.5 million years ago.
Elephants in Greece? Yes, elephants. And mammoths. When the initial discovery of elephant fossils were made in the 1990’s (as it happens, in a field belonging to my husband), they were thought by many residents to be the remains of elephants that had escaped from a traveling circus. This first find, an Elephant antiquus (also known as the “straight-tusked elephant”) was dated to ~200,000 years in age. The far older Mammut borsoni lived throughout Southern Europe and Asia, and possessed long (very long!) straight tusks. They also had small tusks jutting from their lower jaws as well, as can be seen in some of the local fossil finds.
Previous to this discovery, the “tuskholder” record had been from a nearby fossil with tusks measuring ~4.39m. But even before those tusks could be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records, a chance excavation in a sand quarry revealed a new pair of tusks, even longer, measuring 4.58 and 5.02m in length. And much more… The site has recently revealed the tusks of a newborn baby Mammut, which might comprise the smallest tusks in the fossil record.
This week we celebrate these tusks and many other amazing fossil elephant discoveries at the VIth International Conference on Mammoths and their Relatives held in Siatista-Grevena, Northern Greece.
Annie RPhoto: by Dina Ghikas on our field trip to the excavation in 2007.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753396900800075http://www.amna.gr/english/articleview.php?id=988http://www.mammothconference.com/A past post featuring a carved pair of mammoth tusks:http://tinyurl.com/kxxjp8q

earthstory:

WORLD RECORD TUSKS!

In an odd little corner of Northern Greece, where as recently as twenty years ago no one expected there had ever been any elephants at all, the longest fossil tusks ever found were excavated in 2007. These are from a proboscidean (the taxonomic order containing today’s Elephantidae as well as all the extinct species of elephants and mammoths) known as Mammut borsoni that lived in the late Pliocene, some 2.5 million years ago.

Elephants in Greece? Yes, elephants. And mammoths. When the initial discovery of elephant fossils were made in the 1990’s (as it happens, in a field belonging to my husband), they were thought by many residents to be the remains of elephants that had escaped from a traveling circus. This first find, an Elephant antiquus (also known as the “straight-tusked elephant”) was dated to ~200,000 years in age. The far older Mammut borsoni lived throughout Southern Europe and Asia, and possessed long (very long!) straight tusks. They also had small tusks jutting from their lower jaws as well, as can be seen in some of the local fossil finds.

Previous to this discovery, the “tuskholder” record had been from a nearby fossil with tusks measuring ~4.39m. But even before those tusks could be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records, a chance excavation in a sand quarry revealed a new pair of tusks, even longer, measuring 4.58 and 5.02m in length. And much more… The site has recently revealed the tusks of a newborn baby Mammut, which might comprise the smallest tusks in the fossil record.

This week we celebrate these tusks and many other amazing fossil elephant discoveries at the VIth International Conference on Mammoths and their Relatives held in Siatista-Grevena, Northern Greece.

Annie R
Photo: by Dina Ghikas on our field trip to the excavation in 2007.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753396900800075
http://www.amna.gr/english/articleview.php?id=988
http://www.mammothconference.com/
A past post featuring a carved pair of mammoth tusks:http://tinyurl.com/kxxjp8q

earthstory:

Hydrofracking Hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracking for short: if you’ve been paying attention at all to news about the gas and oil industry these days, you will have heard of this extremely controversial topic. Hopefully we at The Earth Story can shed some light on the process of hydrofracking so you may have a better understanding of it.  Hydrofracking is the high pressure injection of water and a slew of chemicals into the ground via a very deep well to break apart rock (mainly shale) formations so natural gas released from the shale layers can be collected. All over the United States, from New York and Pennsylvania to Colorado and Wyoming, natural gas is becoming a widely popular resource, heating about half of the United States’ homes and with hydrofracking as the way to reach the gas. The main concern of hydrofracking is the worry of groundwater contamination when the chemicals are injected. In a previous post, we mentioned how groundwater accounts for much of the drinking water in the United States (link below). What many people are concerned about is how far the chemicals spread underground and whether they can reach groundwater resources kilometers away. Here is the hydrofracking process: A well is first drilled thousands of meters into the ground to reach geological formations, usually shale or tight sands, which have natural gas trapped within the rock. As the well bore, encased in a steel pipe, gets deeper into the ground, concrete is pumped around the surrounding space in effort to seal off the well from the aquifers which contain drinking water. The fracking process itself involves 700,000 to 22 million liters of water mixed with a medley of solvents, surfactants, and acids. The oil and gas companies have not been disclosing the chemicals and amounts of each compound that go into the mixture, claiming these are trade secrets. This mixture of water and chemicals is then pumped into the well under thousands of pounds of pressure cracking open the deep rocks that the well has reached, often 2500 meters deep, and releasing the gas. Small sands and particles are also within the mixture and prop open the newly formed fissures so the recently released gas and pumped water can flow freely. Often once a well is drilled down to those depths, it is then turned horizontally to allow vertical fissures to reach more of the shale layers and also collect more natural gas. The horizontal fracking process uses vastly more chemicals and water than the vertical fracking process: water that can never again be used for human consumption. During the fracking process, tens of thousands of trucks deliver water for the drilling processes and remove the polluted wastewater to be stored in other areas.  It is unclear to pinpoint how far these man-made fissures reach or if they come in contact with unknown natural fissures in the ground that are a direct connection to the drinking water aquifers. There is usually no map of the underground layers and fissures. Most information that is available comes from specific points where monitoring wells were drilled. Unlike the human body, you cannot take an x-ray of the ground and plan where the water might go. The pressure exerted during the fracking process also causes unknown lengths of fissures. Some scientists think that the pressure can be so strong, and the connection so close to a human consumption well, the pressure with the millions of liters added to the groundwater system can cause well caps to be blown off.  There are pretty much no independent or peer-reviewed studies about hydrofracking’s effects on water resources. Anything that one might find on the subject will be drafted or paid for by the oil and gas industries. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that fracking is safe but has only based their decision on the industry’s materials. Many scientists say testing water wells for possible impacts is essential. What would be ideal is to put up monitoring wells surrounding an area that was going to be affected by fracking and monitor the changes. However, a project like that could cost up to $10 million (US), money the US Geological Survey and the EPA don’t have. There have been cases where drinking water, taken from ground aquifers, has been turning rancid just after drilling begins. An alfalfa farm in Wyoming, run by Louis Meeks and known by neighbors for its pristine drinking water, had its well water turn brown, smell like fuel, and started tasting awful. Tests were done and found no heavy metals, arsenic, or other obvious contaminants. However the tests did not look for chemical compounds that were often used in drilling and fracking. This was 3 months after EnCana Oil and Gas USA Inc. had put in a pipeline and drilled 150 meters from the farm. In Clark, Wyoming, benzene, a common compound found in fracking processes, was found in the aquifer after a fracking well blew out. In Silt, Colorado, the town’s water well blew the cap off and was spurting liters of nasty brown water while gas wells were being fracked nearby. All of these isolated problems have been adding up over the country and throughout world-wide fracking sites. This is a field where there is almost no research done on it. Dennis Coleman, an international geologists and an expert on underground migration says he has seen methane seep underground for more than 10 km and has a theory that if methane can seep that far, fracking fluids can as well. However, unlike gravity, this theory remains unproven. The lower layers of the earth are full of irregularities, but more data must be collected before any law can be passed determining that fracking is too dangerous. -CS For more info, check out these links: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/22/nyregion/hydrofracking-ads-pro-and-con-come-to-new-york-state.htmlhttp://www.hcn.org/issues/43.11/hydrofracked-one-mans-quest-for-answers-about-natural-gas-drilling/print_viewhttp://williamrwilson.hubpages.com/hub/Hydrofracking-What-is-it-and-why-should-you-carehttp://www.economist.com/node/21558459 Our previous post with more inof on groundwater use: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=383102551750795&set=a.352867368107647.80532.352857924775258&type=3&theater

earthstory:

Hydrofracking

Hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracking for short: if you’ve been paying attention at all to news about the gas and oil industry these days, you will have heard of this extremely controversial topic. Hopefully we at The Earth Story can shed some light on the process of hydrofracking so you may have a better understanding of it.

Hydrofracking is the high pressure injection of water and a slew of chemicals into the ground via a very deep well to break apart rock (mainly shale) formations so natural gas released from the shale layers can be collected. All over the United States, from New York and Pennsylvania to Colorado and Wyoming, natural gas is becoming a widely popular resource, heating about half of the United States’ homes and with hydrofracking as the way to reach the gas. The main concern of hydrofracking is the worry of groundwater contamination when the chemicals are injected. In a previous post, we mentioned how groundwater accounts for much of the drinking water in the United States (link below). What many people are concerned about is how far the chemicals spread underground and whether they can reach groundwater resources kilometers away.

Here is the hydrofracking process: A well is first drilled thousands of meters into the ground to reach geological formations, usually shale or tight sands, which have natural gas trapped within the rock. As the well bore, encased in a steel pipe, gets deeper into the ground, concrete is pumped around the surrounding space in effort to seal off the well from the aquifers which contain drinking water. The fracking process itself involves 700,000 to 22 million liters of water mixed with a medley of solvents, surfactants, and acids. The oil and gas companies have not been disclosing the chemicals and amounts of each compound that go into the mixture, claiming these are trade secrets. This mixture of water and chemicals is then pumped into the well under thousands of pounds of pressure cracking open the deep rocks that the well has reached, often 2500 meters deep, and releasing the gas. Small sands and particles are also within the mixture and prop open the newly formed fissures so the recently released gas and pumped water can flow freely. Often once a well is drilled down to those depths, it is then turned horizontally to allow vertical fissures to reach more of the shale layers and also collect more natural gas. The horizontal fracking process uses vastly more chemicals and water than the vertical fracking process: water that can never again be used for human consumption. During the fracking process, tens of thousands of trucks deliver water for the drilling processes and remove the polluted wastewater to be stored in other areas.

It is unclear to pinpoint how far these man-made fissures reach or if they come in contact with unknown natural fissures in the ground that are a direct connection to the drinking water aquifers. There is usually no map of the underground layers and fissures. Most information that is available comes from specific points where monitoring wells were drilled. Unlike the human body, you cannot take an x-ray of the ground and plan where the water might go. The pressure exerted during the fracking process also causes unknown lengths of fissures. Some scientists think that the pressure can be so strong, and the connection so close to a human consumption well, the pressure with the millions of liters added to the groundwater system can cause well caps to be blown off.

There are pretty much no independent or peer-reviewed studies about hydrofracking’s effects on water resources. Anything that one might find on the subject will be drafted or paid for by the oil and gas industries. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that fracking is safe but has only based their decision on the industry’s materials. Many scientists say testing water wells for possible impacts is essential. What would be ideal is to put up monitoring wells surrounding an area that was going to be affected by fracking and monitor the changes. However, a project like that could cost up to $10 million (US), money the US Geological Survey and the EPA don’t have.

There have been cases where drinking water, taken from ground aquifers, has been turning rancid just after drilling begins. An alfalfa farm in Wyoming, run by Louis Meeks and known by neighbors for its pristine drinking water, had its well water turn brown, smell like fuel, and started tasting awful. Tests were done and found no heavy metals, arsenic, or other obvious contaminants. However the tests did not look for chemical compounds that were often used in drilling and fracking. This was 3 months after EnCana Oil and Gas USA Inc. had put in a pipeline and drilled 150 meters from the farm. In Clark, Wyoming, benzene, a common compound found in fracking processes, was found in the aquifer after a fracking well blew out. In Silt, Colorado, the town’s water well blew the cap off and was spurting liters of nasty brown water while gas wells were being fracked nearby. All of these isolated problems have been adding up over the country and throughout world-wide fracking sites. This is a field where there is almost no research done on it. Dennis Coleman, an international geologists and an expert on underground migration says he has seen methane seep underground for more than 10 km and has a theory that if methane can seep that far, fracking fluids can as well. However, unlike gravity, this theory remains unproven. The lower layers of the earth are full of irregularities, but more data must be collected before any law can be passed determining that fracking is too dangerous.

-CS

For more info, check out these links: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/22/nyregion/hydrofracking-ads-pro-and-con-come-to-new-york-state.html

http://www.hcn.org/issues/43.11/hydrofracked-one-mans-quest-for-answers-about-natural-gas-drilling/print_view

http://williamrwilson.hubpages.com/hub/Hydrofracking-What-is-it-and-why-should-you-care

http://www.economist.com/node/21558459

Our previous post with more inof on groundwater use: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=383102551750795&set=a.352867368107647.80532.352857924775258&type=3&theater

earthstory:

Antarctic Warming. The recent high warming of the Antarctic over the last few years , whilst unusual, is certainly not unique.
 An ice core representing several thousand years of climate history has shown that in the past the Antarctic temperatures were a few degrees higher than they are today, however the rapid warming seen over the last few years is threatening previously stable ice sheets. The core taken and studied by the British Antarctic Survey showed that 15-20k years ago the temperature of the Antarctic Peninsula was 1°C warmer than it is presently, and then around 2.5k years ago, coninciding with the Holocene development of Ice Shelves (close to where the core was taken) the temperature cooled significantly.  The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming areas of our planet, and temperature records have shown that since 1958 the temperature has risen 3°C.  The British Antarctic Survey have estimated that over the last 50 years, the amount of water lost from Antarctica by collapsing ice sheets is the equivalent of 1000 years of British Water Consumption. The warming trend as seen in the Antarctic ice cores is a natural cycle, however world wide there is a general change in Climate and an overall warming trend. This trend is believed to be the result anthropogenic emissions speeding the natural climate trends.  -LL Links;http://www.antarctica.gov.au/http://www.antarcticconnection.com/http://www.scar.org/treaty/http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19348427http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature11391.html?WT.ec_id=NATURE-20120823

earthstory:

Antarctic Warming.

The recent high warming of the Antarctic over the last few years , whilst unusual, is certainly not unique.

An ice core representing several thousand years of climate history has shown that in the past the Antarctic temperatures were a few degrees higher than they are today, however the rapid warming seen over the last few years is threatening previously stable ice sheets.

The core taken and studied by the British Antarctic Survey showed that 15-20k years ago the temperature of the Antarctic Peninsula was 1°C warmer than it is presently, and then around 2.5k years ago, coninciding with the Holocene development of Ice Shelves (close to where the core was taken) the temperature cooled significantly.
The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming areas of our planet, and temperature records have shown that since 1958 the temperature has risen 3°C.

The British Antarctic Survey have estimated that over the last 50 years, the amount of water lost from Antarctica by collapsing ice sheets is the equivalent of 1000 years of British Water Consumption.
The warming trend as seen in the Antarctic ice cores is a natural cycle, however world wide there is a general change in Climate and an overall warming trend. This trend is believed to be the result anthropogenic emissions speeding the natural climate trends.

-LL

Links;
http://www.antarctica.gov.au/
http://www.antarcticconnection.com/
http://www.scar.org/treaty/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19348427
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature11391.html?WT.ec_id=NATURE-20120823

earthstory:

ASPERATUS CLOUD FORMATION, NEW ZEALAND Asperatus (aka undulatus asperatus) cloud formations are very rare worldwide – so rare they were not proposed as a separate cloud classification until 2009. The name translates as roughened or agitated waves. It is thought that asperatus clouds’ choppy undersides may be due to strong winds disturbing previously stable layers of warm and cold air. Graeme Anderson, an MSc student at the Department of Meteorology, Reading University, studied weather records and used a computer model to simulate the cloud formation. In doing so, Graeme found that asperatus clouds form in the sort of conditions that produce mamma clouds (also known as mammatus); asperatus clouds form when the winds up at the cloud level cause the cloud to shear into wave-like forms known as undulatus.  If accepted as a new classification, asperatus will be the first new classification in the World Meteorological Organization’s International Cloud Atlas since cirrus intortus in 1951.  This image, captured by Merrick Davies in 2009, is of a rather turbulent sky over Hanmer Springs, South Island, New Zealand. Such cloud formations have been seen all over Britain, as well as in the plains of the USA. -TEL Photo: Merrick Davies For more cloud photos, and to send your own cloud photos, check out the cloud appreciation society: http://cloudappreciationsociety.org/, https://www.facebook.com/cloudappreciationsociety The Royal Meteorological Society is gathering evidence of the type of weather patterns in which undulatus asperatus clouds appear.http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/photogalleries/new-cloud-pictures/#/asperatus-cloud-new-zealand_9627_600x450.jpg; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1189877/The-cloud-Meteorologists-campaign-classify-unique-Asperatus-clouds-seen-world.html See our previous post on Asperatus clouds here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=370617989665918&set=a.352867368107647.80532.352857924775258&type=3&theater

earthstory:

ASPERATUS CLOUD FORMATION, NEW ZEALAND

Asperatus (aka undulatus asperatus) cloud formations are very rare worldwide – so rare they were not proposed as a separate cloud classification until 2009. The name translates as roughened or agitated waves. It is thought that asperatus clouds’ choppy undersides may be due to strong winds disturbing previously stable layers of warm and cold air.

Graeme Anderson, an MSc student at the Department of Meteorology, Reading University, studied weather records and used a computer model to simulate the cloud formation. In doing so, Graeme found that asperatus clouds form in the sort of conditions that produce mamma clouds (also known as mammatus); asperatus clouds form when the winds up at the cloud level cause the cloud to shear into wave-like forms known as undulatus.

If accepted as a new classification, asperatus will be the first new classification in the World Meteorological Organization’s International Cloud Atlas since cirrus intortus in 1951.

This image, captured by Merrick Davies in 2009, is of a rather turbulent sky over Hanmer Springs, South Island, New Zealand. Such cloud formations have been seen all over Britain, as well as in the plains of the USA.

-TEL

Photo: Merrick Davies
For more cloud photos, and to send your own cloud photos, check out the cloud appreciation society: http://cloudappreciationsociety.org/, https://www.facebook.com/cloudappreciationsociety
The Royal Meteorological Society is gathering evidence of the type of weather patterns in which undulatus asperatus clouds appear.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/photogalleries/new-cloud-pictures/#/asperatus-cloud-new-zealand_9627_600x450.jpg; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1189877/The-cloud-Meteorologists-campaign-classify-unique-Asperatus-clouds-seen-world.html

See our previous post on Asperatus clouds here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=370617989665918&set=a.352867368107647.80532.352857924775258&type=3&theater