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Arctic Sea Ice at Second-Lowest Level in Satellite Record: Scientists – ChrisD.ca

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By Bob Weber, The Canadian Press

Sea Ice Ships are framed by pieces of melting sea ice in Frobisher Bay in Iqaluit, Nunavut on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

Satellite pictures show Arctic sea ice is at its second-lowest level since such records began and barely missed breaking the old mark.

“There’s no going back at this point,” said Mark Serreze of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center.

“It’s not going to come back up.”

Although some melting might yet occur, the centre fixed Monday as the day when the overall level of all Arctic sea ice — crucial to northern ecosystems and southern weather patterns — stops shrinking and starts growing again.

Satellite images suggest the area at least 15 per cent covered by sea ice is now 3.7 million square kilometres.

That’s at least 1.5 million square kilometres less than the 1981-2010 median. It’s barely more than the all-time low in 42 years of satellite data, the 3.4 million square kilometres recorded in 2012.

All 14 of the lowest ice years on record have happened in the last 14 years, said Serreze.

Like 2012, this year’s low depended on a lot of things happening at once, Serreze said. That included an Arctic heat wave on the Siberian side, which helped create unprecedented fires across the Russian tundra.

The melt cost the Arctic much of its remaining multi-year ice, meaning the ice is increasingly seasonal. The old coverage of thick ice that survives the summer will soon be a thing of the past, said Serreze.

“I don’t think there’s any escaping that. It’s just too warm now.”

This summer, Canada’s last intact ice sheet — the Milne on Ellesmere Island — collapsed.

The implications are many, said David Barber, an Arctic systems scientist at the University of Manitoba.

“The ice controls the light and it controls the heat. We don’t find anything that isn’t affected.”

Whole ecosystems that hang on the bottom of the ice are disappearing. Invasive species from small fish to killer whales are moving in from both east and west.

Biologists have recently estimated that polar bears along south Hudson Bay will have trouble raising cubs by the end of the decade, due to the loss of their frozen hunting platform.

Less ice cover means bigger storm surges. Erosion on Arctic coastlines has more than doubled in the last few decades.

It also means the remaining ice has more room to drift, which leads to choking jams in places that don’t normally experience them.

“Some people locally will go, ‘Hold it. There’s all kinds of ice out here,’” Barber said. “That’s because it’s so much more mobile.”

Many scientists also believe sea ice matters to southern weather.

Published research suggests the strength of the jet stream — a high-atmosphere river of air that influences continental weather patterns — depends on the temperature difference between the Arctic and mid-latitudes. Less ice and a warmer Arctic Ocean means a weaker jet stream.

Any effects of melting sea ice are likely to increase. Open ocean absorbs more sunlight than water covered by reflective ice, so heavy melt years create a feedback loop.

“That (open water) is absorbing all that heat and you have to get rid of it in the fall before you can start to form ice,” Barber said. “Which means you’ll have a thinner ice cover.”

CP - The Canadian Press

CP - The Canadian Press

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COVID-19: Okanagan resort closes temporarily after staffer tests positive – Revelstoke Review

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Sparkling Hill Resort is closing for 11 days Friday after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

The popular tourist destination said its immediate closure effective Friday, Oct. 30, is a proactive and precautionary measure.

“Due to the extensive COVID-19 plan in place at the resort, Interior Health confirmed there is no concern for any guests that stayed recently,” the resort said in a statement.

The individual contracted the novel coronavirus outside the resort and immediately self-isolated. Any other staff members who were in close contact with the affected member of staff have been identified and contacted by the regional health agency with information and advice.

The resort will resume operations Monday, Nov. 9.

Any guests who have upcoming reservations will be contacted and provided with options.

“The health and safety of our staff, guests and community are a top priority,” the statement reads. “While the closure is not required by Interior Health, the immediate actions are taken to ensure there is no further spread of the virus.”

In September, the resort was notified a guest that had recently visited had tested positive for COVID-19 (Sept. 3).

READ MORE: COVID-19 case confirmed at Vernon’s Sparkling Hill Resort

READ MORE: Hunters free themselves from rollover on Westside


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COVID-19: Okanagan resort closes temporarily after staffer tests positive – Summerland Review

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Sparkling Hill Resort is closing for 11 days Friday after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

The popular tourist destination said its immediate closure effective Friday, Oct. 30, is a proactive and precautionary measure.

“Due to the extensive COVID-19 plan in place at the resort, Interior Health confirmed there is no concern for any guests that stayed recently,” the resort said in a statement.

The individual contracted the novel coronavirus outside the resort and immediately self-isolated. Any other staff members who were in close contact with the affected member of staff have been identified and contacted by the regional health agency with information and advice.

The resort will resume operations Monday, Nov. 9.

Any guests who have upcoming reservations will be contacted and provided with options.

“The health and safety of our staff, guests and community are a top priority,” the statement reads. “While the closure is not required by Interior Health, the immediate actions are taken to ensure there is no further spread of the virus.”

In September, the resort was notified a guest that had recently visited had tested positive for COVID-19 (Sept. 3).

READ MORE: COVID-19 case confirmed at Vernon’s Sparkling Hill Resort

READ MORE: Hunters free themselves from rollover on Westside


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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Well-known Okanagan resort voluntarily closes following positive COVID-19 test – Global News

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One of the Okanagan’s better-known resorts has temporarily closed its doors following a positive COVID-19 test.

In a statement issued Friday, Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon said it was closing for 11 days following a positive test by a staff member.

The closure was effective immediately, Friday, Oct. 30, and was being called a “proactive and precautionary measure” for the continued safety of its guests, staff and vendors.

Read more:
B.C. adds 272 new COVID-19 cases, grants powers for region-specific health orders

“The precaution comes as a result of Interior Health informing the resort on Oct. 30 of a confirmed case of COVID-19 with one staff member,” the resort said.

According to the resort, the staff member contracted COVID-19 outside of the resort and started self-isolating immediately.

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It added that “due to the extensive COVID-19 plan in place at the resort, Interior Health confirmed there is no concern for any guests that stayed recently.”


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The resort also said staff members who had been in close contact with the affected staff member have been identified and contacted by Interior Health.

The resort expects to resume operations on Monday, Nov. 9, adding that the closure was voluntary and not required by Interior Health.

Contacted by Global News, Interior Health said that it has not ordered any businesses to close, adding they may choose to close on their own.


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