By Paul Homewood
Thousands of emperor penguin chicks drowned when the sea-ice on which they were being raised was destroyed in severe weather.
The catastrophe occurred in 2016 in Antarctica’s Weddell Sea.
Scientists say the colony at the edge of the Brunt Ice Shelf has collapsed with adult birds showing no sign of trying to re-establish the population.
And it would probably be pointless for them to try as a giant iceberg is about to disrupt the site.
The dramatic loss of the young emperor birds is reported by a team from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
Drs Peter Fretwell and Phil Trathan noticed the disappearance of the so-called Halley Bay colony in satellite pictures.
It is possible even from 800km up to spot the animals’ excrement, or guano, on the white ice and then to estimate the likely size of any gathering.
But the Brunt population, which had sustained…
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By Paul Homewood
h/t Philip Bratby
When a giant iceberg breaks away from near Britain’s Halley research base, it won’t be because of climate change.
Scientists Jan De Rydt and Hilmar Gudmundsson have spent years studying the area and say the calving will be the result of natural processes only.
The Antarctic station, which sits on a floating platform of ice, was moved in 2017 to get it away from a large chasm.
That crack is now expected to dump a berg the size of Greater London into the Weddell Sea.
It’s not clear precisely when this will happen, but the breakaway looks imminent, prompting the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to withdraw its staff from Halley as a precaution.
As soon as the calving does occur, though, it can be guaranteed that one of the first questions everyone will ask is: what was the influence of climate change?
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The shocking thing is …. they tell people it is natural!
Now academics from Northumbria University, in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, in collaboration with scientists from ENVEO, a remote sensing company in Austria, have submitted new research to the journal The Cryosphere, which shows that the break-off is part of the ice shelf’s natural lifecycle, and that similar events may have occurred in the past.
As Professor Hilmar Gudmundsson of Northumbria explains: “I have been carrying out research in this area for more than 15 years and have been monitoring the growth of the cracks since they first emerged in 2012.
“Satellite images of the changes in the ice shelf have been shared online and there has been much speculation about the cause of this movement and the impact the iceberg will have when it breaks away.
“However, what many people do not realise is that this is…
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