China & Taiwan (two above) http://go.nasa.gov/2j3ozOP
Antarctic ice melt: Did Föhn Winds Just Melt 2 Miles of Antarctic Surface Ice in Just One Day?
Abnormal Antarctic Heat, Surface Melt, Giant Cracks in Ice Shelves — More Troubling Signs of a World Tipping Toward Climate Chaos
Robertscribbler, 23 January, 2017
Around its edge zone, and from glacier top to ice shelf bottom, Antarctica is melting. Above-freezing surface temperatures during the austral summer of 2016-2017 have resulted in the formation of numerous surface-melt ponds around the Antarctic perimeter. Large cracks grow through Antarctic ice shelves as warmer ocean currents melt the towering glaciers from below. The overall picture is of a critical frozen region undergoing rapid change due to the human-forced heating of our world — a warming that has brought Antarctica to a tipping point, for such fundamental alterations to Antarctic ice are now likely to bring about a quickening rate of sea-level rise the world over.
Surface Melt Visible From Satellite
During 2016-2017, Antarctic surface temperatures ranged between 0.5 and 1 degree Celsius above the already warmer-than-normal 1979 to 2000 average for most of Southern Hemisphere summer. While these departures for this enormous frozen continent may not sound like much at face value, they’ve translated into periods of local temperatures up to 20 C above average. As a result, measures around Antarctica along and near the coastal zone have risen above the freezing mark on numerous occasions. These periods of much-warmer-than-normal weather have in turn precipitated widespread episodes of surface melt. [map & images]
Sakhalin (Sepia enhanced above) http://go.nasa.gov/2kh4thl
Sakhalin (Russian: Сахалин, pronounced [səxɐˈlʲin]) is a large Russian island in the North Pacific Ocean, lying between 45°50′ and 54°24′ N. It is Russia’s largest island, and is administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast. Sakhalin, which is about one fifth the size of Japan, is just off the east coast of Russia, and just north of Japan.
The indigenous peoples of the island are the Ainu, Oroks and Nivkhs. Sakhalin was claimed by both Russia and Japan over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. These disputes sometimes involved military conflict and divisions of the island between the two powers. Russia has held all of the island since seizing the Japanese portion in the final days of World War II in 1945; Japan no longer claims any of Sakhalin, although it does still claim the nearby South Kuril Islands. Most Ainu on Sakhalin moved to Hokkaido when the Japanese were displaced from the island in 1949.
Sakhalin is a classic “primary sector of the economy” relying on oil and gas exports, coal mining, forestry, and fishing. Limited quantities of rye, wheat, oats, barley and vegetables are grown, although the growing season averages less than 100 days.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and economic liberalization, Sakhalin has experienced an oil boom with extensive petroleum exploration and mining by most large oil multinational corporations. The oil and natural gas reserves contain an estimated 14 billion barrels (2.2 km3) of oil and 2,700 km3 (96 trillion cubic feet) of gas and are being developed under production-sharing agreement contracts involving international oil companies like ExxonMobil and Shell.
In 1996, two large consortia signed contracts to explore for oil and gas off the northeast coast of the island, Sakhalin-I and Sakhalin-II. The two consortia were estimated to spend a combined US$21 billion on the two projects which almost doubled to $37 billion as of September 2006, triggering Russian governmental opposition. The cost will include an estimated US$1 billion to upgrade the island’s infrastructure: roads, bridges, waste management sites, airports, railways, communications systems, and ports. In addition, Sakhalin-III-through-VI are in various early stages of development.
The Sakhalin I project, managed by Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL), completed a production-sharing agreement (PSA) between the Sakhalin I consortium, the Russian Federation, and the Sakhalin government. Russia is in the process of building a 220 km (140 mi) pipeline across the Tatar Strait from Sakhalin Island to De-Kastri terminal on the Russian mainland. From De-Kastri, the resource will be loaded onto tankers for transport to East Asian markets, namely Japan, South Korea and China.
The second consortium, Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd (Sakhalin Energy), is managing the Sakhalin II project. It completed the first ever production-sharing agreement (PSA) with the Russian Federation. Sakhalin Energy will build two 800-km pipelines running from the northeast of the island to Prigorodnoye (Prigorodnoe) in Aniva Bay at the southern end. The consortium will also build, at Prigorodnoye, the first ever liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant to be built in Russia. The oil and gas are also bound for East Asian markets.
Sakhalin II has come under fire from environmental groups, namely Sakhalin Environment Watch, for dumping dredging material in Aniva Bay. The groups were also worried about the offshore pipelines interfering with the migration of whales off the island. The consortium has (as of January 2006) re-routed the pipeline to avoid the whale migration. After a doubling in the projected cost, the Russian government threatened to halt the project for environmental reasons. There have been suggestions that the Russian government is using the environmental issues as a pretext for obtaining a greater share of revenues from the project and/or forcing involvement by the state-controlled Gazprom. The cost overruns (at least partly due to Shell’s response to environmental concerns), are reducing the share of profits flowing to the Russian treasury.
In 2000, the oil and gas industry accounted for 57.5% of Sakhalin’s industrial output. By 2006, it is expected to account for 80% of the island’s industrial output. Sakhalin’s economy is growing rapidly thanks to its oil and gas industry. By 2005, the island had become the largest recipient of foreign investment in Russia, followed by Moscow. Unemployment in 2002 was only 2%.
Sea of Okhotsk & zaliv Shelekhova (three above) http://go.nasa.gov/2kgTVP2
Above Antarctica & far west of South America (three above) http://go.nasa.gov/2j3nGpP
Baja CA (above) Jan.24, 2017 http://go.nasa.gov/2j3hvSz
New Zealand http://go.nasa.gov/2j3xLCT
New Zealand, North Island / Jan. 25, 2017 http://go.nasa.gov/2j3p2Rd