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Mauritius oil spill: Almost all fuel oil pumped out of MV Wakashio

Mauritius oil spill: Almost all fuel oil pumped out of MV Wakashio

Science
Almost all the fuel oil from the Japanese-owned ship that has caused a huge oil spill off the coast of Mauritius has been pumped out, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has said. The operation had been a race against time, he added, amid fears that the MV Wakashio would break up.The ship, believed to have been carrying 4,000 tonnes of fuel oil, ran aground on a coral reef on 25 July.Mauritius is home to world-renowned coral reefs, and popular with tourists. Africa Live: News and views from the continent What is Mauritius like? The fuel has been transferred to shore by helicopter and to another ship owned by the same Japanese firm, Nagashiki Shipping.France has sent a military aircraft with pollution-control equipment from its nearby...
Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico damaged by broken cable

Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico damaged by broken cable

Science
Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The Arecibo Observatory, the world's most powerful radio space telescope, incurred significant damage when a cable that stabilizes its radio antenna snapped. Observatory engineers worked Tuesday to secure the partially wrecked facility, which was damaged the day before, said managers of the Puerto Rican landmark, who are based at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Advertisement No injuries were reported, in large part because the damage occurred about 2:45 a.m. when no one was present. "We've informed the science community that we're not doing any astronomy observation for at least two weeks," said Ray Lugo, director of the university's space institute. "Our first priority is to put the dome, antennae and suspended platform in the most secure place in case we ...
Milne Ice Shelf: Satellites capture Arctic ice split

Milne Ice Shelf: Satellites capture Arctic ice split

Science
The Planet Earth-observation company has just released new imagery of the broken Milne Ice Shelf in the Arctic.Located on the northern margin of Canada's Ellesmere Island, the ice platform split on 30/31 July to form a free-floating bloc some 80 sq km (30 sq miles) in area.By 3 August, this berg, or "ice island", had itself ruptured in two, with both segments then seen to drift out into the Arctic Ocean. Ice shelves are the floating fronts of glaciers that have flowed off the land into the sea. Ellesmere Island was once bounded by extensive shelves that had melded into a single structure. Satellites record history of Antarctic melting Coronavirus severely restricts Antarctic science At the begin...
Climate change: Warming world will be ‘devastating’ for frozen peatlands

Climate change: Warming world will be ‘devastating’ for frozen peatlands

Science
The world's peatlands will become a large source of greenhouse gases as temperatures rise this century, say scientists.Right now, huge amounts of carbon are stored in boggy, often frozen regions stretching across northern parts of the world.But much of the permanently frozen land will thaw this century, say experts.This will release warming gases at a rate that could be 30-50% greater than previous estimates. Stretching across vast regions of the northern half of the world, peatlands play an important role in the global climate system. Over thousands of years, they have accumulated large amounts of carbon and nitrogen, which has helped keep the Earth cool. Scientists, th...
Peak viewing Tuesday night for Perseid meteor shower

Peak viewing Tuesday night for Perseid meteor shower

Science
The wait is over. For stargazers in North America, one of the most highly anticipated and reliable meteor showers will peak this week. The Perseid meteor shower will peak on Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, a reliable meteor shower that puts on a show year in and year out. Advertisement "The Perseids are the most popular meteor shower as they peak on warm August nights as seen from the northern hemisphere," the American Meteor Society said on its website. This year, spectators across the Northern Hemisphere can expect to see between 50 and 75 meteors an hour under dark skies, which averages about one meteor every minute. Areas south of the equator will still be able to see some of the Perseids, but the hourly rates will be lower. "The Geminid meteor shower in December produces...