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Antarctic ice shelves (some intact for 10k yrs) loss may shift axis of Earth. Wilkins Ice Shelf diminished by 30%

the Wilkins Ice Shelf has been cracking in new places recently and images released by the European Space Agency show that it will probably very soon break off entirely. A 62 square mile piece broke off in May 2008

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The Wilkins Ice Shelf has been cracking in new places recently and images released by the European Space Agency show that it will probably very soon break off entirely. A 62 square mile piece broke off in May 2008.

Angelika Humbert of Muenster University stated, “During the last year the ice shelf has lost about 1800 square kilometers (694 square miles), or about 14 percent of its size.” The Wilkins Ice Shelf is currently about the size of Jamaica, though it has already been diminished by about 30 percent.

A seal swims by icebergs off the British Antarctic Survey's Rothera base January 23, 2009. Companies are getting more interested in research into Antarctic life, which has yielded patents helping everything from medicines to ice cream production even though a 47-nation treaty says all science should be made freely available  read more »

Arctic tragically losing ice, losing peace: Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, US all claim a piece of Arctic circle

North Pole ice extent and natural resource deposits

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Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States are all laying claim to a piece of the Arctic circle, hoping to be able to cash in on the vast natural energy resources believed to lie beneath. Each season the ice gets thinner, and the prospects of riches grows. Russia goes one step further - plans for dedicated Arctic military presence intensifies dispute with Canada.

contested borders

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Original Source: Globe and Mail

Melting glaciers in Europe force Italy and Switzerland to officially redraw their borders

Italy and Switzerland will redraw boundaries, the zones affected include areas around the Matterhorn

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Italy and Switzerland have decided to redraw their border after global warming dissolved Alpine glaciers that marked out the frontier between the two countries, according to reports.

For the past 100 years, the surface area of the glaciers, which is crossed by the border, has been shrinking steadily. In the past five years the process speeded up. The neighbors have now agreed to meet to work out a new border, the Independent reports. Daniel Gutknecht, responsible for the co-ordination of national borders at Switzerland's Office of Topography, said "the border is moving because of the warmer climate", among other reasons.

the zone affected includes the Matterhorn mountain

The border has been fixed since 1861, when Italy became a unified state. The new frontier cannot be decided until Italian parliament approve a new law at the end of next month. The areas affected include the famous Matterhorn mountain and the surrounding towns, which are popular with skiers in winter. However, no towns or communities will be forced to change countries, because the border lies 4,000 meters above sea level, well above any human habitation.  read more »

Financial crisis deprives livelihood. Poverty sparks fury, raging across Europe: Iceland, France, Russia, Greece...

a man kneels in front of police officers during clashes with demonstrators in Paris

Protests across Europe: Bosnia, Britain, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Ukraine...

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(Reuters) - French unions staged a nationwide day of action on Thursday to denounce the government's economic policies and call for more measures to help consumers.

The global financial crisis has sparked protests in many parts of Europe this year:

Chartres, France: Farmers block the entrance to the city during a nationwide strike

BOSNIA -- Bosnia's Muslim-Croat parliament canceled a session on February 26 rather than confront protesters complaining about plans to cut benefits to narrow a big budget gap.

BRITAIN -- British workers held a series of protests at power plants against the use of foreign contractors on critical energy sites. They voted to end strikes on February 5 after French oil group Total agreed to hire more British workers at its Lindsey oil refinery.

riot police arrest a farmer after he attempted to back his tractor into a group of police at the main port of Piraeus  read more »

March 18, 2009. Canada marks "Oceans and Marine Life Polar Day", International Polar Year (the 1st IPY: 1882–1883) webcast event

sea ice properties were examined in 200 m transects, both at the surface and from the air

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OTTAWA, ONTARIO - "Oceans and Marine Life Polar Day", an International Polar Year (IPY) webcast event, took place on March 18, 2009, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the theatre of the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. "Our Government has made a tremendous contribution to Arctic research during International Polar Year. Polar Days are a great opportunity to share the initial findings of this research with the public," said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. To learn more about "Oceans and Marine Life Polar Day" events in Canada and around the world, as well as other national and international initiatives related to International Polar Year, we invite you to visit www.ipy.gc.ca.  read more »

130 years ago today: March 14, 1879, Birth of Albert Einstein - Emblem of Reason, Icon of Wisdom

a childhood portrait of Albert Einstein and his sister Maja

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When Einstein was born, his mother worried that his head was too large and his grandmother exclaimed that he was "much too fat." A few years later, when Einstein was four or five, he had his first scientific experience: his father showed him a pocket compass and the young boy marveled at the fact that regardless of where the compass was turned, the needle always pointed north. The needle's invariable northward swing, guided by an invisible force, profoundly impressed the child. The compass convinced him that there had to be "something behind things, something deeply hidden."

Did Einstein think in pictures rather than words?

Einstein's formal education began at age six, when he enrolled in the Petersschule on Blumen- strasse, a Catholic elementary school in Munich. Since his parents were not practicing Jews, they cared more about the school's academic standards than its religious affiliation. Einstein did well in school, but he was a quiet child and kept his distance from his peers. He was uncomfortable with the principle of absolute obedience and the military drills that dominated the school's atmosphere.  read more »

Once-in-a-century heatwave cripples S AU, buckles rail lines, cooks egg on court at Australia Open in 60C

Australian Open tennis tournament

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Above: players and fans at the Australian Open tennis tournament did their best to keep cool.

heatwave: cooking an egg in 10 minutes on an outside court at the Australia Open, 2009
An egg cooked after ten minutes on an outside court where air temperatures reached 60C. The official temperature in the shade at 4.53 pm was 45.4C, the hottest since 1908.

heatwave in Australia buckles rail lines
A heatwave scorching southern Australia, causing transport chaos by buckling rail lines and leaving more than 140,000 homes without power, is a sign of climate change, the government said.

one of the worst heatwaves in recent history in Australia
"It is the worst heatwave most will have lived through," senior forecaster Terry Ryan said in a front-page story headlined "Heat Wave Hell". But this lot looked like they were enjoying it.

Heatwave in Melbourne plays havoc with the Australian Open  read more »

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