Massive Chunk of Glacier Breaks Off Into Ocean

photo credit: James Balog

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Two filmmakers record a large chunk of glacier breaking off and sinking into the ocean while filming the award-winning documentary Chasing Ice. It was the single largest calving event that has ever been recorded. Over the course of 75 minutes, they watched almost five square kilometers (3 square miles) of ice break away. This isn’t just a little crust of ice either, it’s about 915 meters (3000 feet) The video shows a time lapse of what that process looks like over the course of a few seconds. At the end of the video, the filmmakers show what it would look like if lower Manhattan were sitting in that same area. It is a humbling feeling to see such a great expanse of ice fall into the water as if it were nothing.

Glacial retreat is just one of many parameters that scientists use when studying climate change. As global temperatures rise, the glaciers cannot hold the sea water as ice any longer. As they melt, the sea levels will rise. Scientists have calculated that sea levels appear to be rising at 3.5 millimeters (0.14 inches) over the last 25 years. On the surface, that sounds meager enough… unless you know how to multiply. Globally, sea levels are up as much as 8 inches (20 centimeters) in the last 100 years alone. Unfortunately, glacier retreat and subsequent sea level increase have sped up over the last two decades.

By 2100, it is estimated that sea levels will rise as much as 40-120 centimeters (16-48 inches). Unfortunately, because of all of the combining factors that play into glacial retreat and rising sea levels, more precise numbers cannot be given. On the upper end of that scale, millions living in cities like New York, London, Miami, and Los Angeles will be displaced. Entire islands could disappear. The changing ocean waters are also expected to impact the fish populations and could very well reduce the food supply. These consequences are going to be catastrophic.

– See more at: http://www.iflscience.com/environment/massive-chunk-glacier-breaks-ocean#sthash.yA2hzPpL.dpuf

Giant Jellyfish Found On Australia Beach

Scientists in Australia are working to classify a new species of giant jellyfish that washed up on a beach in Tasmania. A family found the 1.5m (5ft) jellyfish on a beach south of Hobart last month.

Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin, of Australia’s CSIRO government agency, said that scientists had known about the species for a while but had not yet classified it.

She described the specimen as a “truly magnificent animal”.

Experts at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) were alerted to the discovery by Josie Lim and her family, who came across it.

“She and her children found the jellyfish and took this amazing photo that just boggles the mind,” jellyfish expert Dr Gershwin said.

This species was part of the Lion’s Mane group, she said.

These jellyfish “look like a dinner plate with a mop hanging underneath – they have a really raggedy look to them”, she said.

The Tasmanian discovery was found stranded belly-up, Dr Gershwin explained.

It was one of a “species I’ve known about for a while but it’s not yet named and classified”, she said. “We’re very eager to know more about it.”

It is one of three new species of Lion’s Mane in Tasmania which the scientist is currently working to classify.

Recent years had seen “huge blooms” of jellyfish in Tasmanian waters, she said, but scientists were not sure why.

“We’re very keen to find out why jellyfish are blooming in such super-abundances in these southern waters,” she said.

The world’s largest jellyfish shares the same genus, Cyanea, as the Lion’s Mane. Found in the North Atlantic and Arctic, the Cyanea Arctica can grow up to 3m (10ft) across the body, Dr Gershwin said.

U.S. Navy Killing Thousands of Whales & Dolphins With Sonar & Weapons Testing

whaleNot only have whales been showing up dead with dozens of pounds of toxic, plastic waste inside their stomachs, the U.S Navy plans to raise the death toll by conducting underwater testing of explosive weapons and sonar devices. Tests will be and are taking place in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, including the Gulf of Mexico. These events are set to commence and take place from 2014 through 2019. The title is not an exaggeration, depending on the vicinity of the animals detonating these explosives underwater, it will kill whales and dolphin and injure many,according to two environmental impact statements released by the military.(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)

Keep in mind, these events have been occurring for a number of years, and are responsible for the death of large amounts of marine life. (9)

The Navy is not denying these facts. They have admitted that most of the deaths would come from detonation of explosives, sonar testing or animals being hit by ships. Although I do not trust Navy estimates, according to their computer models this activity could kill hundreds of whales. The Navy said it developed the estimates by totaling the hours it will test and practice with sonar, torpedoes, missiles, explosives and other equipment for five years.  This testing will be (and already has been) responsible for the death of thousands.

Take action by sending an email to The Honorable Charles T. Hagel, U.S. Secretary of Defense. You can email him at charles.t.hagel.mil@mail.mil.  Feel free to use this sample letter provided by PETA. Sign a petition here as well as here.

According to Green Peace, government estimates are calculated at 138,500 whales and dolphins will be injured or killed.(2) There are also corporate interests here, exploration companies are allowed to use dangerous blasts of noise to search for offshore oil and gas. The U.S. Department of the Interior is considering allowing geophysical companies that work for the oil and gas corporations to use these techniques in the Atlantic Ocean, from Delaware to Florida.(2)

“There are no noise-cancelling headphones to stop the U.S. Navy’s 235-decibel pressure waves of unbearable pinging and metallic shrieking. At 200Db, the vibrations can rupture your lungs, and above 210 Db, the lethal noise can bore straight through your brain until it hemorrhages that delicate tissue. If you’re not deaf after this devastating sonar blast, you’re dead. This is the real life of marine mammals destroyed by the U.S. Navy’s all-out acoustic war on the world’s oceans. The collateral damage of this high intensity military sonar is shocking. But because all these millions of dying whales or dolphins are too often out of human sight, they’re also out of mind” (8)

Just like Orca researcher Ken Balcomb calls it, this is “acoustic holocaust.”  Scientific American calls military sonar a brutal and inhumane death sentence (4)

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The Navy is claiming that these tests are needed for homeland security, but people are starting to see through the justification for immoral actions being the result of an ‘increased need for security.’ 9/11 is a perfect example. We have been warned in the past that the military industrial complex seeks to capitalize on an announced need for an increase in security, in order to  push secrecy to the very limitings of censorship and concealment. JFK warned us, and so did Dwight Eisenhower. This increased (in my opinion manufactured) need for security has allowed the military industrial complex to do whatever they want without anybody knowing.

According to National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) policy analyst  Michael Jasny, a study published in the Proceedings of the  Royal Society B shows that even mid-frequency noises disrupt feeding patterns in baleen whales and could negatively affect entire populations. The NRDC cites multiple mass strandings on beaches after sonar has been used, including 200 beached melon-headed whales in 2004 off the coast of Hawaii, one of many examples.(6)

The Navy has rejected any suggestion to limit their sonar and weapons training.  There is a lot more information on this topic, nothing is hidden and everything is out in the open. This is happening, and it is killing a large amount of marine life.

Whales, dolphins and other marine mammals use sound to navigate, to locate each other over great distances for a number of reasons. Human technology is now drastically changing, damaging the delicate web of life and threatening life. Marine life is constantly dying, high intensity sonar alone used by the military can emit sounds as loud as a rocket blasting off. Offshore oil and gas exploration also make intense bursts. Imagine a day in your life disrupted by excruciating sound, sound so loud that it paralyzes you and your ability to function.

Sources:

(1)http://hstteis.com/

(2)http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/oceans/Seismic-Testing-Sonar-Testing/

(3)http://inhabitat.com/defiant-navy-releases-report-that-shows-testing-could-kill-hundreds-of-whales-and-dolphins/

(4)http://articles.latimes.com/print/2002/dec/08/magazine/tm-whales49

(5)http://inhabitat.com/defiant-navy-releases-report-that-shows-testing-could-kill-hundreds-of-whales-and-dolphins/

(6)http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brenda-peterson/killing-with-sound_b_2744864.html

(7)http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/urge-federal-officials-save-marine-animals-navy-tests-3/?utm_campaign=0114%20Urge%20Federal%20Officials%20to%20Save%20Marine%20Animals%20From%20Navy%20Tests%20Post&utm_source=PETA%20Facebook&utm_medium=Promo

(8)http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/30/navy-dolphins-whales_n_3841924.html?utm_hp_ref=green

(9)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8rZxmCejD0

 

Satellites Glimpse Ultra-Powerful “Black hole” Whirlpools in Atlantic

Satellites Glimpse Ultra-Powerful “Black hole” Whirlpools in Atlantic

Satellites have shown two mysterious ‘black hole’ whirlpools in the South Atlantic ocean – ultra powerful “vortexes” which suck water down into the depths.

The whirpools – never witnessed before – would suck down ships, debris and even living creatures, moving 1.3 million cubic metres of water per second.

Two of the black holes – or “maelstroms” – have been sighted in three months by physicists from Zurich and Miami.

The powerful vortices of current have been described as ‘maelstroms’ and are ‘mathematical analogues’ for black holes – which is to say they do exactly the same with water that black holes do with light.

 

A whirlpool pictured by NASA.

A whirlpool pictured by NASA.

The discovery could give new insights into how oceanic currents transport debris and may even have implications for climate change studies.

Astronomical black holes bend space and time into a perpetually collapsing vortex. Light itself bends around them, which enables astronomers to recognise their existence.

Similarly, these oceanic maelstroms funnel current into an almost permanent spiral, trapping debris, oil and potentially living creatures in a body of water. Hardly anything leaks out.

The scientists used Edgar Allen Poe’s 1841 story ‘A descent into a Maelstrom’ to describe their discovery:
“The edge of the whirl was represented by a broad belt of gleaming spray; but no particle of this slipped into the mouth of the terrific funnel…”

The ability to apply the same mathematical principles to water currents on earth as black holes in space is an unexpected side-effect of the theory of general relativity.

This phenomenon has been observed in the South Atlantic and South-western Indian Ocean, using satellite imagery designed to spot the aquatic equivalent of black hole currents. According to scientists, the maelstroms are prevalent in this area thanks to the southbound Agulhas current in the Indian Ocean.

In a three-month period, two perfect matches were found to mimic black hole behaviour, “We have found exceptionally coherent material belts in the South Atlantic, filled with analogues of photon spheres around black holes,” said George Haller, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich and Francisco Beron-Vera at the University of Miami in Florida, who worked on the study.

 

Top panel: Evolution of black-hole eddies (extracted from 3 months of data) in the South Atlantic over a period …

Top panel: Evolution of black-hole eddies (extracted from 3 months of data) in the South Atlantic over a period …

 

The phrase ‘photon spheres’ refers to the light that is trapped around astronomical black holes, and in this instance is comparable to the rings of debris that are forming around these ocean maelstroms. As Haller and Beron-Vera’s findings note, ‘these vortices will capture and swallow nearby passively floating debris.’In their research findings, Haller and Beron-Vora express their surprise at finding real-world examples that hold so closely to the theoretical equations. ‘Vortices in turbulence are often envisaged as rotating bodies of fluid, traveling as coherent islands in an otherwise incoherent ambient flow. This… …view is appealingly simple, yet challenging to apply in actual vortex detection.’

The maelstroms are detected by their rotating edges, which the scientists found were reliable indicators of the vortex within, based on pioneering research carried out by Stephen Hawking on black holes: ‘Intuitively, one expects that any…vortex in the fluid must contain such a singularity in its interior, just as all black holes are expected to contain Penrose-Hawking singularities. This expectation turns out to be correct’.

The singularities, as they have been termed, last for months at a time, moving across the ocean without interference from other currents.Thus they can transport water of different temperatures and salinity to other areas of the ocean, potentially influencing the regional climate.

Haller and Beron-Vera found that the vortices transported water in a north-western direction 30% faster than had previously been reckoned – at a rate equating to 1.3 million cubic metres of water per second.

In addition, the maelstroms were found to occur four times deeper in the ocean than previously estimated; the study found examples as deep as 2000m below the surface.