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Researcher from St. John’s studying ice melt in Antarctica – The Telegram

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ST. JOHN’S, N.L. —

David Holland grew up playing ice hockey in St. John’s. 

Today, the New York University (NYU) professor and researcher is spending Christmas on a different kind of ice — Antarctica.

He’s studying the effect of ocean temperatures on Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier. 

According to Holland, the glacier is “the most important place on Earth to study sea level change.”

“That’s the most rapidly changing glacier now on Earth, and it contains a lot of ice that, if it accelerates — which it seems to be doing — would have a significant change in sea level of a metre or more.”

Holland spoke with The Telegram by satellite phone from the remote marine ice sheet. 

With a team of 24 people, he will drill a kilometre-deep hole through the Florida-sized glacier, then install an instrument to collect ocean temperature and other data.

“We’re going to explore a part of the planet that nobody’s ever seen before, and make observations that nobody’s ever made before, and on top of all that is the science, which is really interesting, which is: will sea level change big time in this century, or not? 

“And our team have a really good crack at answering that over the next few years, and so that’s really important because people make a lot of noise about sea level change, and how it’s going to change the world. Well, we need to be aware of that, but let’s not get ahead of the science — let’s make sure the science is out front and guiding this.”

The research expedition is on a tight timeline, worsened already by a month of weather delays at the start of the trip in November. The group has to leave with the U.S. Air Force on Feb. 1, or else they won’t be able to leave at all when stormy winter weather sets in. 

Race to collect data

The melting of the glacier is visible from space.

“I’m standing on the surface, but the surface is dropping by metres and metres every year,” said Holland. 

“It’s the equivalent of if Newfoundland every year was like a metre or several metres lower. You’d notice it.”

He said the theory is that warm water is moving underneath the ice, melting the glacier from the bottom. However, they need to actually observe that.

While Antarctica is far from Newfoundland, Holland said melting there could affect low-lying places such as Placentia, as well as the hundreds of millions of people around the world who live in low-lying areas. Over this century, he said such areas could see water levels rise by a metre. 

“What we are detecting now is that there looks like a trend over the last 100 years whereby this piece of Antarctica is melting more, and that is not sustainable. The ice sheet should be in balance — shouldn’t be melting more than it’s gaining by snow. … And what happens here comes quickly to the shorelines of the entire globe.”

If they are successful in installing the equipment before their deadline, Holland will be able to collect the required data to build more accurate climate models and sea level projections.

While Holland is in Antarctica, his wife and colleague, Denise Holland, is also working on the project from their homes in St. John’s and New York. 

She is also employed by NYU as the field logistics, outreach and media officer with the CSLC.

“I think it’s just this love of chasing the data, and helping David do that. That’s why I do it,” she said. 

“We’re a team, and I like to help support him in whatever he needs to do to get the data for the answers.”

Twitter: @juanitamercer_

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Scientists find neutrinos from star fusion for the first time – Engadget

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Neutrino detection in INFN Gran Sasso Laboratories' facility


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Researchers have effectively confirmed one of the most important theories in star physics. NBC News reports that a team at the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics has detected neutrinos traced back to star fusion for the first time. The scientists determined that the elusive particles passing through its Borexino detector stemmed from a carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO) fusion process at the heart of the Sun.

This kind of behavior had been predicted in 1938, but hadn’t been verified until now despite scientists detecting neutrinos in 1956. Borexino’s design was crucial to overcoming that hurdle — its “onion-like” construction and ongoing refinements make it both ultra-sensitive and resistant to unwanted cosmic radiation.

It’s a somewhat surprising discovery, too. CNO fusion is much more common in larger, hotter stars. A smaller celestial body like the Sun only produces 1 percent of its energy through that process. This not only confirms that CNO is a driving force behind bigger stars, but the universe at large.

That, in turn, might help explain some dark matter, where neutrinos could play a significant role. Scientist Orebi Gann, who wasn’t involved in these findings, also told NBC that an asymmetry between neutrinos and their relevant antiparticles might explain why there isn’t much known antimatter in the universe. To put it another way, the findings could help answer some of the most basic questions about the cosmos.

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Johnny Fresco closed after employee tests positive – KitchenerToday.com

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A staff member at Johnny Fresco’s has tested positive for COVID-19, leading the restaurant to temporarily close its doors.

According to their Facebook post, the Waterloo restaurant was closed as of Tuesday for the safety of their customers and staff.

The affected employee was last in the restaurant during the lunch shift on Friday.

They say they will be following the guidance of Public Health, and thank the community for their support throughout the years and during this difficult time under the pandemic.

They will post an update to Facebook and Instagram once they feel its safe to reopen.

Johnny Fresco To our Friends and Customers, We are sad to announce that Johnny Fresco will be temporarily closed…

Posted by Johnny Fresco’s on Wednesday, 25 November 2020

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Calgary man captures photo of SpaceX Dragon docked at the International Space Station – Calgary Herald

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When Shafqat Zaman takes photos of the International Space Station (ISS) from Calgary, it may help that he’s about 1 kilometre closer than photographers shooting from sea level.

However, the ISS is still about 399 kilometres away, and moving at a speed of about 7.66 kilometres per second relative to the ground. However you measure it, snapping a shot of the orbiting laboratory is an incredible feat.

Zaman captured this shot on Wednesday evening. It features a clear view of the SpaceX Dragon capsule, which lifted off on Nov. 15 and docked with the station about 27 hours later. It’s the white cone-shaped object on the left side, near the middle.

The SpaceX Dragon capsule is the bright white cone on the left of the ISS. Photo by Shafqat Zaman /Submitted

This wasn’t his first snapshot of the most expensive object ever constructed. Zaman captured several images of the ISS showing different angles as it passed overhead in late September.

A series of 3 images of the ISS taken as it passed over Calgary in September 2020. Photo by Shafqat Zaman /Submitted

He also captured this stunning transit of the ISS in front of the sun.

A series of shots of the ISS passing in front of the sun. Photo by Shafqat Zaman /Submitted

Zaman said he uses an 8″ Meade SCT telescope with a Canon M5 camera.

Zaman’s telescope. Photo by Shafqat Zaman

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