Archive for 2017

Drastic increase in the number of icebergs in transatlantic shipping lanes – The Watchers

Posted in 2017, Extreme Weather with tags , , , on April 12, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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Last week, we reported car and house-sized chunks of broken-up sea ice are being pounded onto the shore of St. John’s harbor in a sight locals haven’t seen since the 1980’s. Now, USCG’s International Ice Patrol reports a drastic increase in icebergs drifting in the transatlantic ship lanes.

As of April 4, 2017, 455 icebergs have drifted or been sighted south of 48°N in the transatlantic shipping lanes, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s International Ice Patrol. On average, 83 icebergs drift south of this latitude by the end of March based on data collected between 1900 and 2016. The number of icebergs we are seeing now is usually not seen until late May or early June.

Coast Guard Cmdr. Gabrielle McGrath, who leads the ice patrol, told AP she has never seen such a drastic increase in such a short time. Adding to the danger, three icebergs were discovered outside the boundaries of the area the Coast Guard had advised mariners to avoid, she said. According to AP, McGrath is predicting a fourth consecutive “extreme ice season” with more than 600 icebergs in the shipping lanes.

“Cold temperatures and persistent, strong northerly winds caused sea-ice expansion south and east through to near 46°N,” IIP said in their 7-day Iceberg Outlook released April 5. “These conditions also brought significant numbers of icebergs into Flemish Pass. During the last week of March, three icebergs were detected outside of IIP’s published Iceberg Limit.” 

“While sea ice is forecasted to contract and recede to the north, hundreds of icebergs are expected to continue drifting the Flemish Pass expanding the Iceberg Limit southward. The Southern Iceberg Limit will reach near 42°N close to the mid-April median Iceberg Limit while the Eastern Iceberg Limit is expected to remain inside of the mid-April median over the next seven days,” IIP said.

IIP’s data records, which extend to 1900, show that nearly 500 icebergs enter the shipping lanes in an average year. However, the year-to-year variation is wide. In 1984, the busiest iceberg year in IIP’s history, 2 202 icebergs entered the shipping lanes. On the other hand, during two years (1966 and 2006) no icebergs reached the shipping lanes.

TO BE CONTINUED ON THE WATCHERS

Source: Drastic increase in the number of icebergs in transatlantic shipping lanes

Etna Volcano Activity in Italy on Monday, 30 January, 2017

Posted in 2017, Earthquakes with tags , , , on January 30, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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Schools in Sicily were evacuated on Monday after the island’s active volcano, Mount Etna, experienced a flurry of quakes. Seismic experts at Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (Ingv) registered more than 60 tremors on Monday morning – the most significant measuring at least 3.5 magnitude, at 10:51am.

The quakes began shortly after 6am, and five have measured over 3.0 in magnitude. Local authorities have alerted residents to the series of tremors, which have had their epicentre between Ragalna and Monte San Leo, at around 14km deep.

Ingv said there was “nothing unusual” about the volcanic activity, and there have not been any reports of damage to buildings or any injuries caused by the quakes. In the towns of Ragalna, Nicolosi and Bronte on the south side of the volcano, schoolchildren were evacuated on Monday morning as a precaution. Etna, nestled between the cities of Messina and Catania, is Europe’s most active and highest volcano and Italy’s highest peak south of the Alps.

Together with Mount Vesuvius near Naples, it is one of 16 volcanoes in the world designated as ‘Decade Volcanoes’ by the UN, which means that they are studied particularly closely due to the frequency of activity and density of nearby population.

It is in a near-constant state of activity, and striking video footage from the past week shows the snow-covered peak sending out clouds of smoke.

Source: RSOE Emergency and Disaster Information Service (EDIS)

http://hisz.rsoe.hu/

Wishing You the Best for 2017

Posted in 2017 with tags , , , , , , , on January 1, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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