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Jason Heller | Oct 27, 2007 2:00 AM
according to a statement released yesterday. The statement was released during a five-day conference held at ESRIN, ESA's Earth Observation Centre in Frascati, Italy, in which operational ice experts from Europe and North America gathered to discuss the state of the polar regions. "In September 2007, the Arctic sea ice reached the minimum extent - the lowest amount of ice recorded in the area annually - in the history of ice charting based on satellite, aircraft and surface observations, continuing a recent trend of diminishing sea ice that began in the 1980s and has accelerated. While there will still be natural inter-annual variability, the decline is likely to continue," the statement reads. "The Arctic is already experiencing an increase in shipping, primarily for oil and gas development and tourism, and we can expect to see further increases as diminishing ice extent makes Arctic marine transportation more viable. The International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG) cautions that sea ice and icebergs will continue to present significant hazards to navigation for the foreseeable future."
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Jason Heller | Oct 27, 2007 2:00 AM
Docs on the Bay, a new documentary film festival to be held annually in Stephenville, is the first film festival in Atlantic Canada dedicated solely to the presentation and promotion of documentary cinema. Docs on the Bay will launch its festival with two documentary films by award-winning Newfoundland and Labrador filmmaker, Anne Troake, who will be in attendance. The first film is "My Ancestors Were Rogues and Murderers" (2005) and the second is "Up the Anti - Voices of Sealing People" (2007). The National Film Board of Canada said Rogues and Murderers is "a thoughtful contribution to the ongoing debate on Canada's seal hunt, Newfoundland artist Anne Troake offers an insightful and beautifully crafted study of traditional Newfoundland outport culture." This film received the Best Newfoundland Documentary Award at the 2005 Nickel Film Festival held in St. John's
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Jason Heller | Oct 26, 2007 2:00 AM
THE controversial practice of transferring tonnes of crude oil between tankers will not be covered by a UK Marine Bill, it emerged yesterday, sparking fury among environmentalists. It was expected that the bill would regulate industry in the sea and ensure that potentially hazardous activities were carried out in the most appropriate place. This issue has been highlighted by the lack of regulations covering a proposal to transfer Russian crude in the Firth of Forth, where any spill could harm important seabird colonies, whales, dolphins and other wildlife
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Jason Heller | Oct 26, 2007 2:00 AM
Queensland's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says a protected coral reef off the far north Queensland coast has been deliberately damaged. EPA officers visited Hicks Island 600 kilometres north of Cairns after hearing allegations the coral reef that surrounds it, which is within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, had been damaged. They found a channel had been deliberately dug out, but the EPA will not comment on its size or how it may have been created
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Jason Heller | Oct 26, 2007 2:00 AM
The ocean's cerulean, aquamarine and emerald hues offer more than artistic inspiration-they reveal how sea biology is struggling with climate change. NASA's Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) has constantly measured ocean color as an indicator of sea life productivity since the satellite reached orbit in 1997. Combined with ocean temperature data, the observations suggest climate change is playing a big role in negatively altering ocean ecosystems. A new video made from the decade of data illustrates how blooms of phytoplankton, which form the base of the oceanic food chain, are gradually thinning. In the video, purples and blues indicate low concentrations of chlorophyll, which plants and phytoplankton use to gather light energy, whereas yellows, oranges and reds show the highest concentrations
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Jason Heller | Oct 25, 2007 2:00 AM
DivePhotoGuide Does The Galapagos In Style. There are only a few spots left to join Jason & Wendy Heller as we seek underwater photo opportunities with whale sharks, sea lions, schooling hammerheads and more. Join us on a final frontiers adventure...
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Jason Heller | Oct 25, 2007 2:00 AM
A cataclysm 50 million years ago changed the face of the planet from the Hawaiian Islands to Antarctica, according to new research. The collapse of an underwater mountain range in the Pacific Ocean turned Australia into a warm and sunny continent instead of a snowbound wasteland and created some of the islands that dot the South Pacific today
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Jason Heller | Oct 25, 2007 2:00 AM
A fossil of a new crab species reveals the itsy-bitsy crustaceans inhabited towering sponge reefs during the Jurassic Period, where they made tasty snacks for ichthyosaurs and other ancient reptiles. The fossil was discovered in eastern Romania within cylindrical reef structures about 100 feet (30 meters) across and just as tall, which were once blanketed by deep ocean. It represents a new species within the oldest lineage of true crabs that lived 150 million years ago when dinosaurs walked the Earth
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Jason Heller | Oct 25, 2007 2:00 AM
THE multibillion-dollar Japanese southern bluefin tuna scandal is worsening under closer Australian Government scrutiny. An official investigation has already found that over 20 years Japanese fishers hid an $8 billion overcatch of the highly prized sashimi fish that migrates around southern Australia. But an international meeting has been told the scale of the overcatch is climbing, Japan's figures still do not add up, and Tokyo is stonewalling attempts to regulate fishing of the critically endangered species
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Jason Heller | Oct 25, 2007 2:00 AM
Further evidence for the decline of the oceans' historical role as an important sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide is supplied by new research by environmental scientists from the University of East Anglia. Since the industrial revolution, much of the CO2 we have released into the atmosphere has been taken up by the world's oceans which act as a strong 'sink' for the emissions. This has slowed climate change. Without this uptake, CO2 levels would have risen much faster and the climate would be warming more rapidly
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