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a kennedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:52 AM
Original message
Polar base evacuated as ice melts early
MOSCOW, Russia (AP) -- Russian scientists are evacuating a research station built on an ice floe drifting in the western Arctic Ocean because global warming is melting the ice early, a spokesman said.

The North Pole-35 station, where 21 researchers and two dogs live in huts, will be pulled out this week instead of late August, said Sergei Balyasnikov of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in St. Petersburg.

"The evacuation is ahead of schedule because of global warming," Balyasnikov said.

The nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika will escort a research vessel to the station, which is drifting between the Franz Josef Land archipelago and the island of Novaya Zemlya in the western Arctic.

The researchers are packing up their winterized huts and equipment to prepare for the arrival of the icebreaker and the research vessel Mikhail Somov, Balyasnikov said.

The research crew landed in early September on the 2- by 4-kilometer (1.2- by 2.5-mile) ice floe in near the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago. During its westward drift of more than 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles), the floe has shrunken to just 300 meters by 600 meters (1,000 feet by 2,000 feet).

Full article: http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/07/14/polar.statio...
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 08:00 AM
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1. Why is the sea to the north of Russia the "western Arctic"?
I realise that it's a bit arbitrary to attach 'western' or 'eastern' to any part of the Arctic, but if you were going to, you'd think it'd be the same convention as "western hemisphere" or "north west passage". :shrug:
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 08:52 AM
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2. Because 0 longitude is nearer to the east than it is to the west.
For the part of the arctic in the article, at least. Most of the Russian arctic would be eastern, but Russia is a big honking country. What is it, 14 time zones?
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. "0 longitude is nearer to the east than it is to the west" - is that a Zen koan or something?
0 longitude being the dividing line between east and west.

The area they're talking about is east of Moscow, but west of the majority of Russia, at about 60 degrees East longitude - I suppose from the solely Russian point of view, it's in the western part of the Russian bit of the Arctic Ocean. No, Russia isn't 14 time zones - it's 11, and only the very easternmost tip sneaks into the western hemisphere.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. LOL -
Yeah - that was poorly phrased.

0 longitude is nearer, going east from the station, than going west from the station. That puts it in the western hemisphere. That's what I meant to say.

And apparently I was wrong, besides.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 08:54 AM
Response to Original message
3. That was the opening scene in 'Day After Tomorrow' - only they
had it at an Antarctic research station, where the ice broke up unexpectedly.

I knew I had a good reason to hang onto my arctic parka when I moved from the upper midwest to NC.
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