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Apocalypse begun on 27.June.2016 at 11.00 am
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Ice free Arctic could occur this year, warns expert
Sea ice in the Arctic could be a thing of the past, a leading scientist has warned. For the first time in 100,000 years the chilling landscape known for its snow-capped mountains and polar bears may be without its sea ice either this year or the next.
Ocean Physics Professor Peter Wadhams from Cambridge University based his prediction on projected data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center showing that on 1 June this year there were estimated to be 11.1 million square kilometers of sea ice. This is below the average from the past 30 years of 12.7 million square kilometers, a difference of an area roughly the same size as the UK.
A giant ‘blob’ of warm ocean water has had a bigger impact on marine ecosystems than El Niño, according to new research.
The previously believed to be dead phenomenon known as ‘The Blob’ is an estimated 1,000 miles in diameter and 300 feet deep, and lurks off the coast of California.
‘The Blob’ was first detected in 2013. A mass of water roughly 1 to 4 degrees Celsius (2 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than its surrounding water. It was credited with causing adverse weather including drought and of affecting marine biology when it fed a toxic algae bloom in the Pacific.
Originally thought to have disappeared with the arrival of El Niño scientists now believe it instead retreated deeper into the ocean and now hovers about 500 to 650 feet below the surface.
“The residual effect of the blob is still there” Ian Perry, a senior research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada,told CBC.
Despite a weaker than normal El Niño this season the effects of the resurrected ‘blob’ have been damaging the Californian coast, depleting marine food sources and disrupting migration patterns, according to a study published in Geophysical Research Letters. The research carried out by scientists from NOAA Fisheries, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and University of California, Santa Cruz, is among the first to assess the marine effects of the 2015-2016 El Niño off the US’ West Coast.