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Greenland ice has shrunk beyond return

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Greenland’s ice sheet may have shrunk past the point of return, with the ice likely to melt away no matter how quickly the world reduces climate-warming emissions, new research suggests.

Scientists studied data on 234 glaciers across the Arctic territory — spanning 34 years through 2018 — and found that annual snowfall was no longer enough to replenish glaciers of the snow and ice being lost to summertime melting.

That melting is already causing global seas to rise about a millimetre on average per year. If all of Greenland’s ice goes, the water released would push sea levels up by an average of six metres — enough to swamp many coastal cities around the world. This process, however, would take decades.

“Greenland is going to be the canary in the coal mine, and the canary is already pretty much dead at this point,” said glaciologist Ian Howat of Ohio State University. He and his colleagues published the study Thursday in the journal Communications Earth & Environment.

The Arctic has been warming at least twice as fast as the rest of the world for the last 30 years, an observation referred to as Arctic amplification. The polar sea ice hit its lowest extent for July in 40 years.

The Arctic thaw has brought more water to the region, opening up routes for shipping traffic, as well as increased interest in extracting fossil fuels and other natural resources.

Greenland is strategically important for the U.S. military and its ballistic missile early warning system, as the shortest route from Europe to North America goes via the Arctic island.

Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump offered to buy Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory. But Denmark, a U.S. ally, rebuffed the offer. Then last month, the U.S. reopened a consulate in the territory’s capital of Nuuk, and Denmark reportedly said last week it was appointing an intermediary between Nuuk and Copenhagen some 3,500 kilometres away.

 

The Tracy glacier in Greenland is shown in September 2018 in this satellite image. Scientists studied images like this one to determine the chance of glaciers regaining mass in coming decades. (Maxar Technologies via Reuters)

 

Scientists, however, have long worried about Greenland’s fate, given the amount of water locked into the ice.

The new study suggests the territory’s ice sheet will now gain mass only once every 100 years — a grim indicator of how difficult it is to regrow glaciers once they hemorrhage ice.

In studying satellite images of the glaciers, the researchers noted that they had a 50 per cent chance of regaining mass before 2000, with the odds declining since.

“We are still draining more ice now than what was gained through snow accumulation in ‘good’ years,” said lead author Michalea King, a glaciologist at Ohio State University.

The sobering findings should spur governments to prepare for sea-level rise, King said.

“Things that happen in the polar regions don’t stay in the polar region.”

The world can still bring down emissions to slow climate change, scientists said. Even if Greenland can’t regain the icy bulk that covered its two million square kilometres, containing the global temperature rise can slow the rate of ice loss.

“When we think about climate action, we’re not talking about building back the Greenland ice sheet,” said Twila Moon, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, in Boulder, Colo., who was not involved in the study.

“We’re talking about how quickly rapid sea-level rise comes to our communities, our infrastructure, our homes, our military bases.”

Source: – CBC.ca

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Northern towns push to approve Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet project – CTV Toronto

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TIMMINS —
The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) believe Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet program is the long-awaited solution to the region’s internet coverage issues.

As the group discussed at its recent meeting in Hearst, the program hopes to do away with the decades-long efforts and billions of dollars needed to build internet infrastructure on the ground.

FONOM’s vice-president, Paul Schoppmann, said the only roadblock is approval from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

“It’s the wave of the future,” Schoppmann said in an interview.

“We’ve been talking about it for the last 15 years and we’re still no further ahead for the rural communities. So this will be a game-changer, economically.”

 

Bringing high-speed internet to the entire region

The first phase of the Starlink project would have around 400 satellites orbiting the northern hemisphere, providing high-speed gigabit internet to remote and rural areas in the U.S. and Canada.

With 775 Starlink satellites currently in orbit around the planet and bi-weekly launches of 60 satellites each, SpaceX’s goal is to have the program operational by the end of 2020.

The company plans to have near-global internet coverage by the end of 2021, with an eventual 12,000 satellite fleet.

Schoppmann said bringing Starlink to Canada would be of zero cost to the federal government, with the company apparently asking for no financial support. He said that makes this an easy decision.

“We’re sending the resolution to our MPs, MPPs and the CRTC […] saying, ‘We represent 110 municipalities in the northeast,” said Schoppmann, who is also mayor of St. Charles.

“We are asking for this but let’s get it going, let’s not wait two to five years.”

 

Fulfilling a government promise

The Ontario government expressed its commitment to making sure every household and business has access to internet connections with minimum 50 Mbps download speed and 10 mbps upload.

However, a June report from Blue Sky Net shows that the average internet connection had just below 9 Mbps download and just above 5 Mbps upload.

Schoppmann said even the province’s goal of “50/10” internet speeds province-wide is not sufficient for what the average household and business needs to operate in today’s society.

He said his town has had issues connecting businesses with fibre optic internet service, which is meant to have higher internet speeds from 100 Mbps to 1.5 gigabits per second (Gbps).

 

Reaction in Timmins

Timmins city councillor John Curley, who attended FONOM’s meeting, said communities can’t wait for infrastructure to catch up while thousands require internet to operate in today’s society.

He said quick decision-making is especially crucial while many are working and learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The cost of (building infrastructure), in time, will far exceed what we’re trying to do here by trying to bring satellite reception into people’s homes throughout the north,” Curley said.

Timmins mayor George Pirie feels governments can take quick action on this, if the willpower is there to finally follow through on their promise to rural and remote communities.

“There’s areas off of Highway 101 where you cannot get internet service, so we need that in the north — well, all parts of society,” Pirie said.

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Scientist Shows There Are Two Ways to Measure a Day on Earth – The Union Journal

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How long does it take Earth to complete a 360-degree rotation? Not quite 24 hours, it turns out – it’s precisely 23 hours and 56 minutes.

But because Earth is constantly moving along its orbit around the Sun, a different point on the planet faces the Sun directly at the end of that 360-degree spin.

For the Sun to reach the exact same position in the sky, Earth has to rotate 1 degree further.

That’s how humans have chosen to measure days: not by the Earth’s exact rotation, but the position of the Sun in the sky.

Technically, these are two different types of day. A day measured by the completion of a 360-degree rotation is called the sidereal day.

A day based on the position of the Sun, however, is a solar day. The latter is four minutes longer than the former, making the even 24 hours we’re used to.

“It’s only because we move around the Sun in an orbit that the solar day takes 24 hours,” James O’Donoghue, a planetary scientist at the Japanese space agency (JAXA), told Business Insider.

“If we didn’t orbit the Sun, both days would be the same.”

He made the below animation to show how this works. 

[embedded content]

Because we go by solar days in our calendars, we count 365 days in a year. But Earth actually completes a full rotation (a sidereal day) 366 times per year. 

O’Donoghue describes the difference between these two types of day as a matter of choosing which background object we use as a basis of comparison for Earth’s rotation. A full rotation relative to the position of the Sun is a solar day. A full rotation relative to all the other stars we see is a sidereal day. 

If we used the sidereal day instead, “the Sun would rise about four minutes earlier every day,” O’Donoghue said. “After six months of doing this, the Sun would be rising 12 hours earlier.” 

He added: “We’ve decided to tie our daily rhythm to the Sun, not the stars. In fact, the stars rise about four minutes earlier every day because of our choice.”

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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Scientist Shows There Are Two Ways to Measure a Day on Earth – Armenian Reporter

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How long does it take Earth to total a 360-degree rotation? Not rather 24 hr, it ends up – it’s specifically 23 hours and 56 minutes.

But due to the fact that Earth is continuously moving along its orbit around the Sun, a various point on the world deals with the Sun straight at the end of that 360-degree spin.

For the Sun to reach the specific very same position in the sky, Earth has to turn 1 degree even more.

That’s how human beings have actually selected to measure days: not by the Earth’s specific rotation, however the position of the Sun in the sky.

Technically, these are two various kinds of day. A day determined by the conclusion of a 360-degree rotation is called the sidereal day.

A day based on the position of the Sun, nevertheless, is a solar day. The latter is 4 minutes longer than the previous, making the even 24 hr we’re utilized to.

“It’s only because we move around the Sun in an orbit that the solar day takes 24 hours,” James O’Donoghue, a planetary scientist at the Japanese area company (JAXA), informed Business Insider.

“If we didn’t orbit the Sun, both days would be the same.”

He made the below animation to demonstrate how this works.

[embedded content]

[embedded content]

Because we pass solar days in our calendars, we count 365 days in a year. But Earth in fact finishes a complete rotation (a sidereal day) 366 times each year.

O’Donoghue explains the distinction in between these two kinds of day as a matter of picking which background item we utilize as a basis of contrast for Earth’s rotation. A complete rotation relative to the position of the Sun is a solar day. A complete rotation relative to all the other stars we see is a sidereal day.

If we utilized the sidereal day rather, “the Sun would rise about four minutes earlier every day,” O’Donoghue stated. “After six months of doing this, the Sun would be rising 12 hours earlier.”

He included: “We’ve decided to tie our daily rhythm to the Sun, not the stars. In fact, the stars rise about four minutes earlier every day because of our choice.”

This short article was initially released by Business Insider.

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