Tag Archives: oceans

Dutch reinforce main dike as seas rise, local weather modifications

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Rising up in a skinny line by way of the waters separating the provinces of North Holland and Friesland, the 87-year-old Afsluitdijk is among the low-lying Netherlands’ key defenses in opposition to its historical enemy, the ocean. With local weather change bringing extra highly effective storms and rising sea ranges , the dike is getting a significant makeover.

The Dutch authorities has launched into a future-proofing venture to beef up the enduring 32-kilometer (20-mile) dam. Work is already underway and is predicted to proceed till 2023.

Simply what the Afsluitdijk and the remainder of the world’s coastal areas must endure within the coming a long time can be outlined this week in a brand new United Nations scientific report on the affect of local weather change on ice and oceans.

The Dutch, whose low-lying nation is crisscrossed by rivers and bordered by the ocean, have been battling with water for hundreds of years. That problem will solely develop as hotter temperatures trigger sea ranges to rise. With that in thoughts, the federal government this yr established a “information program on rising sea ranges” that goals to feed experience into the nation’s ongoing program of constructing and sustaining its water defenses.

“The Netherlands is at present the most secure delta on the planet,” the federal government stated, asserting the brand new program. “We need to maintain it that approach.”

Boris Teunis, an skilled on emergency water administration with the Dutch water company Rijkswaterstaat, stated in a current interview that sea ranges have been rising for years “however what we’re worrying about is that if that’s going to speed up.”

Engineers are strengthening the Afsluitdijk, together with laying hundreds of custom-made concrete blocks and elevating elements of it. They’re additionally enhancing the freeway that runs over the slim strip of artificial land which lies between the shallow Wadden Sea and the Ijsselmeer inland sea and which, regardless of its identify, is technically a dam slightly than a dike as a result of it separates water from water.

The chopping fringe of the design work for the strengthening will not be being finished at a seaside or estuary, however in a protracted wave tank referred to as the flume in an industrial space of Delft, the historic metropolis greatest identified for its delicate blue and white china and painter Johannes Vermeer.

Engineers constructed a scale mannequin of a cross part of the Afsluitdijk within the tank and are pounding it with waves that they are saying ought to happen solely as soon as each 10,000 years. The purpose is to ensure the brand new design can survive the damaging energy of such a storm.

Mark Klein Breteler, a dike skilled and venture supervisor at Deltares, the water analysis heart that constructed and makes use of the flume, stated the brand new design of the Afsluitdijk must deal with all the things that local weather change throws at it.

“We learn about sea stage rise but additionally the storminess of this space is growing, so wind speeds are larger and we get bigger waves,” he stated.

This type of innovation and the fixed care wanted to take care of the Netherland’s hundreds of miles of dikes and levees doesn’t come low cost. The federal government has earmarked practically 18 billion euros ($20 billion) to fund such initiatives for the interval from 2020-2033.

However the return on that funding is extra than simply dry ft for the 17 million individuals who stay within the Netherlands. An trade group estimated that the nation’s water sector exports had been price 7.6 billion euros ($8.three billion) in 2018, because the Dutch promote their experience to different low-lying international locations and cities around the globe.

“The key problem is to take water and the altering local weather into consideration in all spatial planning” within the Netherlands, Delta Commissioner Peter Glas wrote in a report this month.

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Corder reported from The Hague.

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For extra Related Press tales about local weather change, go to https://www.apnews.com/Local weather

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Floating Antarctic ice goes from record high to record lows

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The amount of ice circling Antarctica is suddenly plunging from a record high to record lows, baffling scientists.

Floating ice off the southern continent steadily increased from 1979 and hit a record high in 2014. But three years later, the annual average extent of Antarctic sea ice hit its lowest mark, wiping out three-and-a-half decades of gains — and then some, a NASA study of satellite data shows.

In recent years, “things have been crazy,” said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. In an email, he called the plummeting ice levels “a white-knuckle ride.”

Serreze and other outside experts said they don’t know if this is a natural blip that will go away or more long-term global warming that is finally catching up with the South Pole. Antarctica hasn’t showed as much consistent warming as its northern Arctic cousin.

“But the fact that a change this big can happen in such a short time should be viewed as an indication that the Earth has the potential for significant and rapid change,” University of Colorado ice scientist Waleed Abdalati said in an email.

At the polar regions, ice levels grow during the winter and shrink in the summer. Around Antarctica, sea ice averaged 4.9 million square miles (12.8 million square kilometers) in 2014. By 2017, it was a record low of 4.1 million square miles (10.7 million square kilometers, according to the study in Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The difference covers an area bigger than the size of Mexico. Losing that much in just three years “is pretty incredible” and faster than anything scientists have seen before, said study author Claire Parkinson, a NASA climate scientist. Antarctic sea ice increased slightly in 2018, but still was the second lowest since 1979. Even though ice is growing this time of year in Antarctica, levels in May and June this year were the lowest on record, eclipsing 2017, according to the ice data center.

Ice melting on the ocean surface doesn’t change sea level. Non-scientists who reject mainstream climate science often had pointed at increasing Antarctic sea ice to deny or downplay the loss of Arctic sea ice.

While the Arctic has shown consistent and generally steady warming and ice melt — with some slight year to year variation — Antarctica has had more ups and downs while generally trending upward. That is probably in part due to geography, Parkinson and Serreze said.

The Arctic is a floating ice cap on an ocean penned in by continents. Antarctica is just the opposite, with land surrounded by open ocean. That allows the ice to grow much farther out, Parkinson said.

When Antarctic sea ice was steadily rising, scientists pointed to shifts in wind and pressure patterns, ocean circulation changes or natural but regular climate changes like El Nino and its southern cousins. Now, some of those explanations may not quite fit, making what happens next still a mystery, Parkinson said.

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Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter: @borenbears .

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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“A 2015 study concluded that surveys of ocean microplastics had turned up only 1…

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“A 2015 study concluded that surveys of ocean microplastics had turned up only 1 percent of the plastic estimated to be entering the oceans in one year from municipal solid waste.”
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Source: ‘Earth Has a Hidden Plastic Problem—Scientists Are Hunting It Down’ by Andrea Thompson for scientificamerican.com
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Link: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-has-a-hidden-plastic-problem-mdash-scientists-are-hunting-it-down/
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#oceans #plastic #fish #microplastic #foodchain #research #zerowaste #zerodechet #plasticpollution #science #quote

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“Ingested microplastic particles can physically damage organs and leach hazardou…

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“Ingested microplastic particles can physically damage organs and leach hazardous chemicals—from the hormone-disrupting bisphenol A (BPA) to pesticides—that can compromise immune function and stymie growth and reproduction. Both microplastics and these chemicals may accumulate up the food chain, potentially impacting whole ecosystems, including the health of soils in which we grow our food. Microplastics in the water we drink and the air we breathe can also hit humans directly.”
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Source: ‘From Fish to Humans, A Microplastic Invasion May Be Taking a Toll’ by Andrea Thompson for scientificamerican.com
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Link: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/from-fish-to-humans-a-microplastic-invasion-may-be-taking-a-toll/
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📷: @d3d3d3
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#oceans #plastic #fish #microplastic #foodchain #research #zerowaste #zerodechet #plasticpollution #science #photography #repost

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Human Planet – Web exclusive series trailer – BBC One

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HiUMlOz4UQ&w=580&h=385]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/humanplanet Human Planet is an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, heart-stopping landmark series that marvels at mankind’s incredible relationship with nature in the world today….

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