THE GREEN PLANET BLOG - Our World and Environment...

All about conservation, ecology, the environment, climate change, global warming, earth- watch, and new technologies etc.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quake shakes icebergs into Tasman Glacier Lake....

Aerial view of New Zealand's Tasman Lake, surr...Image via Wikipedia

Quake shakes icebergs into Tasman Glacier Lake...

The earthquake that struck Christchurch today was so powerful it caused huge icebergs to break off and cave into the Tasman Lake.

The magnitude 6.3 earthquake shook large icebergs in the Tasman Glacier's Terminal Lake, sending about 30 million tonnes of ice loose, reports.

The pieces floated into the lake at Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.

Tourism manager for Aoraki Mt Cook Alpine Village, Denis Callesen, says the quake caused a major calving from the Basal and Terminal Face of the Glacier

“We have procedures to deal with this type of event and for some time have stayed 800m away from the Terminal Face as we suspected it was becoming unstable,” he was quoted as saying.

Passengers aboard two tour boats also felt the disturbance, experiencing waves of up to 3.5m for about 30 minutes.

Tourism manager Denis Callesen told the NZ Herald that the dangers for the passengers could have been worse if not for safety procedures that were put in place.

The calving was the third biggest event in the history of the Terminal Lake, which is now over 6km long and 2km wide in places, after a huge quake.

Acknowledgements: MSN News, TV3 News

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Britain wasn't always an island - it was once part of Northwest Europe...

An image of the area known as Doggerland which...Image via Wikipedia
Satellite view of Northwest Europe - showing Britain as an Island (the land that once joined Britain to the rest of Europe has been destroyed by a tsunami) See image below: To th right - Doggerland

Melting ice, rising seas and a huge tsunami heads for the coast. These are not headlines from the twenty first century. But they are stories from prehistory. Today, we worry about the effects of global warming, but humans have lived though eras of extreme climate change before. During the Middle Stone Age, the world's seas were rising far more rapidly than today.

Today on Discovery Enterprise we present the story of a vanished kingdom - a Stone Age Atlantis.

In Stone Age times Northern Europe was a wonderful place to live where people pioneered a new advanced culture. But these were also times of frenzied climate change when the seas were rising and drowning huge swards of land.

In today’s video feature we investigate the story of a lost world of the Stone Age. In Northern Europe, an area the size of California disappeared under the waves. This documentary features the archaeologists who are now reconstructing this lost land and have given it a name - Doggerland.

Stoneage Atlantis

Acknowledgements:  Discovery Enterprise

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

We need clean water rules now in New Zealand...

Logo for the Clean Water Network interest group.Image via Wikipedia
We need clean water rules now in New Zealand...

During the summer of 2010, NZ Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman rafted and kayaked down some of our most polluted lowland rivers as a fun and unusual way to draw attention to the water pollution problems in our own backyard.

In 2011, Russel is again touring the country, rafting some of our most polluted and threatened rivers to highlight why we need clean water rules now.

There is no room for delay. Good clean water rules are ready to go in the form of a National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management. All they need is Environment Minister Nick Smith's signature, but he is sitting on his hands. Many of our rivers and lakes are in a dire state right now. By visiting these places, Russel is highlighting why we can't afford to delay any longer.

Every river and lake is different, but good clean water rules will help everywhere. Russel is meeting locals to hear about their specific water issues, and how national clean water rules would make a difference in their area.

Below are Russel's stories, photos and videos from the tour as he documents unfenced streams, cows in rivers, overgrown willows, and industrial discharges, and non-pollution threats like dams and irrigation projects. Join him as he imagines a future in which our rivers are once more full of birds and fish, and are safe for our kids to swim in.

Russel's tour highlights some of the worst practices of industrial dairying, but there are plenty of examples of great farmers doing fantastic work for the environment. You can read about some of these in our Good Farm Stories feature.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Death of the Earth...

Solar System Planets.Image via WikipediaWhat is the ultimate fate of planet Earth? Traditionally, the prevailing view has been that billions of years in the future the ageing Sun would loosen its gravitational grip on the planet and allow it to escape a fiery demise.

The sobering reality is quite different and the clock is ticking for our beloved planet.

Along with a team of leading scientists carrying out pioneering research in fields of biology, climatology, geology and astronomy...

Read more here from Naked Science about the future death of Planet Earth...

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