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Arctic sea ice shrinks to 2nd lowest level in 4 decades

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Warming in the Arctic shrank the ice covering the polar ocean this year to its second-lowest extent in four decades, scientists announced Monday, yet another sign of how climate change is rapidly transforming the region.

Satellites recorded this year’s sea ice minimum at 3.74 million square kilometres on Sept. 15, only the second time the ice has been measured below 4 million square kilometres in 40 years of record keeping, said researchers at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

“It’s fairly devastating that we’ve had such consistently low sea ice. But unfortunately, it’s not surprising,” said Twila Moon, a glaciologist at the research centre in Boulder, Colorado.

The record low of 3.41 million square kilometres, reached in 2012 after a late-season cyclonic storm broke up the remaining ice, is not much below what researchers see today.

This year’s decline was especially fast between Aug. 31 and Sept. 5, thanks to pulses of warm air coming off a heat wave in Siberia, according to the NSIDC. The rate of ice loss during those six days was faster than during any other year on record. Another team of scientists found in July that the Siberian heat wave would have been all but impossible without human-caused climate change.

As the Arctic sea ice vanishes, it leaves patches of dark water open. Those dark waters absorb solar radiation rather than reflecting it back out of the atmosphere, a process that amplifies warming and helps to explain why Arctic temperatures have risen more than twice as fast as the rest of the world over the last 30 years.

 

Arctic sea ice at the North Pole is seen from the German icebreaker RV Polarstern, on Aug. 19, 2020. The voyage made an unplanned detour because of lighter-than-usual sea ice conditions. (Markus Rex/Alfred Wegener Institute via AP)

 

The loss of sea ice also threatens Arctic wildlife, from polar bears and seals to plankton and algae, said Tom Foreman, a polar wildlife expert and Arctic guide.

“The numbers that we’re getting in terms of extent of sea ice decrease each year put us pretty much on red alert in terms of the level of worry that we have, our concern for the stability of this environment,” Foreman said.

The same warming that is opening summertime Arctic waters is also eating away at the ice sheets covering Arctic lands in Canada and Greenland. The faster those ice sheets melt into surrounding ocean, the faster sea levels will rise worldwide.

Given that a warmer Arctic could impact weather patterns worldwide, Moon said the world should not wait for another new record sea ice low before taking action to limit climate change.

“We should work very hard to make differences in our emissions of polluting gases so that we do not see so many records created in the future,” Moon said.

Source:- CBC.ca

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There will be a blue Hunter's Moon this Halloween – Yahoo Canada Sports

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Full moon and clouds at nightFull moon and clouds at night

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The October full moon is known as a Hunter’s Moon (Getty)
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Appropriately for the spookiest night of the year, there’ll be something unusual going on in the sky this Halloween – a blue Hunter’s Moon.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”32″>Appropriately for the spookiest night of the year, there’ll be something unusual going on in the sky this Halloween – a blue Hunter’s Moon

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The moon will not (sadly) be blue, but it’s the second full moon in the month which makes it a blue moon (by some definitions at least, see below).&nbsp;” data-reactid=”33″>The moon will not (sadly) be blue, but it’s the second full moon in the month which makes it a blue moon (by some definitions at least, see below). 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Full moons are separated by 29 days, NASA says, and most months are 30 or 31 days long, so a “blue moon” happens every two and a half years on average.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”34″>Full moons are separated by 29 days, NASA says, and most months are 30 or 31 days long, so a “blue moon” happens every two and a half years on average. 

Full moons occur when the moon appears as a full circle in the sky, when the whole side of the moon facing the Earth is lit up by the sun.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more: Five moon myths (and how to disprove them yourself)&nbsp;” data-reactid=”36″>Read more: Five moon myths (and how to disprove them yourself) 

The moon will be full at 2.49pm on October 31, according to Royal Museums Greenwich. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="A blog post at Royal Museums Greenwich explains, “It may at first seem odd to think of a full Moon occurring during daylight hours.” data-reactid=”38″>A blog post at Royal Museums Greenwich explains, “It may at first seem odd to think of a full Moon occurring during daylight hours.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“The reason this happens is that the time refers to the exact moment when the Sun and Moon are aligned on opposite sides of the Earth.

“This moment is known as the ‘syzygy’ of the Sun-Earth-Moon system, and can happen at any time day or night.”” data-reactid=”39″>“The reason this happens is that the time refers to the exact moment when the Sun and Moon are aligned on opposite sides of the Earth.

“This moment is known as the ‘syzygy’ of the Sun-Earth-Moon system, and can happen at any time day or night.”

NASA expert Gordon Johnston explains that American names for Full Moons are derived from Native American folklore.

Johnston writes, “The Maine Farmer’s Almanac first published Native American names for the full Moons in the 1930s. 

This image was taken in Tuam county galway. Ireland.This image was taken in Tuam county galway. Ireland.

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Blue moons, despite the name, are not actually blue. Stock, Galway, Ireland (Getty)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“Over time these names have become widely known and used.

“The Hunter’s Moon is the full Moon after the Harvest Moon. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, with the leaves falling and the deer fattened, it is time to hunt.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”62″>“Over time these names have become widely known and used.

“The Hunter’s Moon is the full Moon after the Harvest Moon. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, with the leaves falling and the deer fattened, it is time to hunt. 

“Since the harvesters have reaped the fields, hunters can easily see the animals that have come out to glean (and the foxes that have come out to prey on them). 

“The earliest use of the term “Hunter’s Moon” cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1710.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more: What is a supermoon?&nbsp;” data-reactid=”65″>Read more: What is a supermoon? 

Strictly speaking, the definition of a “blue moon” as the second full moon in a given month is wrong – but it is now widely used, says Royal Museums Greenwich. 

Royal Museums Greenwich writes, ‘Traditionally the definition of a blue moon is the third full Moon in an astronomical season containing four full moons. The astronomical seasons begin and end at the equinoxes and solstices (e.g. the winter season begins at the winter solstice and ends at the spring equinox, the spring season begins at the spring equinox and ends at the summer solstice and so on).”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“Another definition of the blue moon, perhaps the more commonly used due to its simplicity, is actually a mistake, made in the 1940s and perpetuated by radio shows and the Trivial Pursuit board game through the 1980s.

“This definition describes the blue moon as the second full Moon in any calendar month with two full moons.”” data-reactid=”68″>“Another definition of the blue moon, perhaps the more commonly used due to its simplicity, is actually a mistake, made in the 1940s and perpetuated by radio shows and the Trivial Pursuit board game through the 1980s.

“This definition describes the blue moon as the second full Moon in any calendar month with two full moons.”

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'Massive' coral reef taller than the Empire State Building discovered in Australia – CTV News

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A “massive” new reef measuring 500 metres has been discovered in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, making it taller than some of the world’s highest skyscrapers.

Scientists found the detached reef, which is the first to be discovered in more than 120 years, in waters off North Queensland while on an expedition aboard research vessel Falkor, ocean research organization Schmidt Ocean Institute announced Monday.

The reef was first discovered on October 20, as scientists completed an underwater mapping of the seafloor of the northern Great Barrier Reef.

At 500 metres high, it is taller than the Empire State Building (381 metres to the top floor), the Sydney Tower (305 metres) and the Petronas Twin Towers (451.9 metres.)

Using an underwater robot named SuBastian, the team explored the reef on Sunday, and live streamed footage of the exploration.

Experts say that the base of the “blade-like” reef measures 1.5 kilometres wide, rising 500 metres to its shallowest depth of 40 metres below the ocean surface.

There are seven other tall detached reefs in the area, including the reef at Raine Island — a significant green turtle nesting site.

Robin Beaman, who led the expedition, said he was “surprised” by the discovery.

“To not only 3D map the reef in detail, but also visually see this discovery with SuBastian is incredible,” he said in a statement.

“This unexpected discovery affirms that we continue to find unknown structures and new species in our ocean,” Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Ocean Institute, said in a statement.

“The state of our knowledge about what’s in the ocean has long been so limited. Thanks to new technologies that work as our eyes, ears and hands in the deep ocean, we have the capacity to explore like never before. New oceanscapes are opening to us, revealing the ecosystems and diverse life forms that share the planet with us.”

The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef, covers more than 214,000 square kilometres and is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 411 species of hard corals and dozens of other species.

But the reef is facing a crisis — recent studies have shown that it has lost 50% of its coral populations in the last three decades, with climate change a key driver of reef disturbance.

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Surrey vet offers tips as Canada reports first COVID-19 case in dog in Ontario – News 1130

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SURREY (NEWS 1130) – As Canada’s first case of COVID-19 among dogs is reported in Ontario, a Surrey-based vet is providing some advice to pet owners who may have concerns.

Dr. Sajjid Ijaz with Lifetime Veterinary Clinic says research on COVID-19 in pets is still evolving, but at this point, there’s little evidence to suggest dogs can transmit the virus to humans.

He notes many owners have flagged their COVID-19 concerns with him and his staff over the past few months.

“Obviously, at this point because we do not have any data to give any concrete answers to them, so, we have just been telling them to be careful about going out of their own bubble, as far as their own personal self, as well as the pets themselves. So what we’ve been telling them is to try and limit the pet access to dog parks and all that stuff, and be careful about it,” he explains.

Ontario dog tests positive for COVID-19

A dog in Ontario’s Niagara area has been identified as the first canine to test positive for COVID-19 in Canada. Experts have said this isn’t cause for panic.

The dog apparently belongs to a household where four people tested positive for COVID-19.

Experts told the Toronto Star the dog “had no symptoms and a low viral load, suggesting that dogs remain at relatively low risk of becoming gravely ill or passing on COVID to others.”

Ijaz says while they’re not pushing that message too hard, he and his staff want pet owners to continue to be smart.

Pets and your social bubble

Because of the uncertainty around how the coronavirus is transmitted among pets, Ijaz says it’s wise to apply the same advice to pets when it comes to humans and their social bubbles.

“So, yes, I’ve been telling my clients to limit access, not just totally isolate them, but just to be smart about it,” he explains.

Ijaz understands that pets are often a big part of any family, which is why he believes it’s best to be safe rather than sorry.

“As much as we can limit the bubble, that will help,” he says, adding your social bubble shouldn’t exclude these animals.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, there’s been no report of pets spreading COVID-19 to people. There have been reports of possible transmission from mink at a farm in the Netherlands to humans, however, the federal government says this is still being studied.

-With files from 680 NEWS

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