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In December 2004, a cargo ship lost power and ran aground in the Aleutian Islands near Dutch Harbor. Tragically, responders and crew were killed during the rescue attempt. The ship broke apart and discharged its cargo (over 60 million metric tons of soybeans) as well as fuel oil, diesel, and other contaminants. Then, of course, there was the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound that resulted in the discharge of roughly 11 million US gallons.
1 year, 2 months ago on A Rocky End to 2012 for Shell's Arctic Drillships
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) uses a 15% threshold to define ice-free areas. In other words, if a particular area (or "data cell," in NSIDC parlance) has an ice concentration greater than 15%, that area (or data cell) is considered ice covered. If it has less than that, it is considered ice free. Defining "ice-free Arctic" is less precise. It is not likely that every last bit of ice will disappear from the Arctic Ocean any time soon. Even at the end of the summer melt season, there will likely be some remnant ice in some locations. According to the NSIDC website, many climate scientists use the term "ice-free' Arctic as a shorthand way of saying that there will be very little reflective surface at the end of the summer melt season.
1 year, 3 months ago on Arctic Sea Ice is Melting Faster Than Predicted As Commercial Activity Increases