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Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Greenland Ice Sheet melting faster than expected

Scientists have measured a significant decrease in the mass of the Greenland ice cap, using data from satellites that measures movement in Earth's mass. A team led by Dr. Isabella Velicogna of the University of Colorado, Boulder, found that Greenland's ice sheet decreased by 162 (plus or minus 22) cubic kilometers a year between 2002 and 2005. This is higher than all previously published estimates, and it represents a change of about 0.4 millimeters (.016 inches) per year to global sea level rise.

The first direct, comprehensive mass survey of the entire Greenland ice sheet updates findings published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Data was collected from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite.

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Soaring temperatures set new Melbourne and Victorian record

Melbourne had its warmest ever month of December with an average temperature of 27.7 degrees. The previous record was 27.3 degrees set in 1873. On December 31 people in Melbourne sweltered with a record temperature for New Year's Eve of 42.9 degrees at 5.15pm (AEDT). The temperature eclipsed the previous record of 41.7 degrees for December 31 set in 1862.

About 50 cyclists braved clear skies and high temperatures for the monthly Critical Mass bicycle ride in Melbourne on Friday 30 December. Quite a number of the cyclists cooled themselves by riding through the fountain at Southbank outside Crown Casino. The ride ended at Mountain Goat Brewery in Richmond where some parched throats were satisfied by some famed Mountain Goat beer.