Worlds largest iceberg broke free in November, stuck on the ocean floor for over 30 years

Covering 1500 square miles, the iceberg grounded in 1986 on the ocean floor, but now it is free it is heading into the Southern ocean.

Carving like this, is quite natural. Unfortunately, though this is occurring far more often, and this is a sign of global warming.

It should be noted that as this was frozen sea water, it should not raise ocean levels, as the water was in the ocean before it froze and will return as it melts.

Ozone layer hole early – Antarctic sea ice in danger?

The fear is that, with the Tonga eruption, this larger than normal hole might do extra damage to the vast store of ice on Antactica.

The Antarctic Continent has about 30 million cubic kilometres of ice. If just a small amount melts were in trouble

Why is this concerning?

Well, given the Antarctic and the Greenland icesheet has enough ice to raise sea levels by 65m worldwide. This means a 5% melt in Antarctica would raise sea levels by several meters (even without any melting of Greenland at all).

This quantity of sea level rise, would threaten cities such as Shanghai and London, to large parts of Florida and Bangladesh to total nations that would be wiped out, such as Maldives.

This means that while it may well take a century and increased carbon emissions for all of the ice at the poles to melt, it could threaten human populations long before this occurs.

Around 410 million people on earth live within just 2m of the height of the sea. This is roughly 5% of human population. Currently, there are issues with just 2% immigration into the UK. A sea level rise of 2m would likely trigger an order of magnitude more to move here, Western Europe, USA and other countries. We are all going to be hit hard, but some far harder than others.

Emperor penguins listed as endangered by the USA

Under the Biden administration in the USA, science is not ignored. There were a handful of animals that were listed as endangered in the rest of the world, but the listing was not changed in the USA because of the political impact. Thankfully, that time is at least over at the current time. The Emperor penguins are obviously threatened by global warming given there uses of extreme areas of the Antarctic.

Emperor penguins face extinction by the end of the century, because of the destruction of their habitat

The population that was filmed for the popular film “March of the Penguin” has halved in size in the last 50 years. These sorts of issues are predicted to lead to a 99% reduction in population by the end of the century, should these changes not lead to the total extinction.

Huge icefish colony discovered near Antarctica

Researchers looking at the Antarctic sea floor, have discovered a vast and completely unprecedented colony of ice fish. Consisting of as much as 60 million individual nests, they were spread out over an area of the floor similar to the size of London.

Before this discovery, the biggest colony contained just 60 nests. This area was first looked at, because a natural upwelling of water from the depths, means that the temperature here is usually about 2 degrees above the surrounding area. It is thought that the Wendell sea (where this colony was discovered) is likely to have an ecosystem that relies in some way on these fish.

It is astounding to find such a large thriving species in the wild, and shows that there is still we know very little about.

Gathering of 1000 fin whales seen off the Antarctic peninsular

Fin whales were driven near to extinction in these waters a century ago, yet they have returned. A huge gathering of 1000 whales is not a regular site.

Incredible site to see. If we do not restart whaling, perhaps it will be a site we see regularly in a few centuries when the population has recovered
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18 months ago, I wrote about the concern over the breakup of Thwaites glacier – now its getting worse

Cracks and fissures have appeared on Thwaites glacier, leading to fears of it collapsing. If it were to collapse, this glacier alone could raise sea levels by half a meter.

The issue with this glacier, is that it essentially operates as a dam for the vast ice floes behind it.

Cracks like this one may never heal, but instead trigger the start of the entire collapse

Of particular alarm, thwaites glacier operates a bit like a cork, blocking a whole collection of glaciers from collapsing. It is feared that with the collapse of Thwaites glacier, a large amount of the Antarctic ice shelf might slide into the sea – leading to global sea level rises of several meters.

To put this in perspective, if all the west Antarctic glaciers collapse, no coastal city in the world would escape. Over time every single one would be swamped and lost back to the sea. It was thought (until recently) that this glacier loss would take centuries.

In other words, what this does is make it clear – it is not just our children and grandchildren that are going to have to do something about global warming. If we don’t correct our behaviour quickly, we will make life far harder for ourselves as well

Lockdown has shown the perils of overreliance on tourism: what to do

Uganda has suffered during lockdown. As much as 7% of the countries population works in tourism, a sector which has been either totally shut down, or greatly reduced over the last few years. Several other countries like Tanzania have suffered in a similar way.

To protect some of the most special wildernesses in the world we need a better system

How can we expect countries to protect huge ecosystems if the income to protect them can dry up with no warning?

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Is the government finally going to ban hunting trophy import

Back in 2019, the conservative government passed a law banning the import of trophies from animals hunted abroad.

For most, a photo like this is disgusting. However, is there anywhere in the world where this is a necessary evil to protect the remaining wildlife? And how will the governments rules effect this?

Despite their status, various wild species are hunted in the wild and in theory this law would stop this.

Now, you might notice that it is now almost 2022, so what happened? Well it was announced in 2019 queens speech but has not been brought forwards by the conservatives who are currently in power (and suggested the law in the first place). Worryingly, they have not actually announced a timetable of when they will try to enact this law! Given it has been 3 years before they announced it, no firm timetable being in place would suggest that this is still not a certainty. Delay is particularly concerning, as many Conservative supporters are wealthy, so it is reasonable to think that wealthy donors are the reason that this law is taking so long to come into place.

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