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Helicopter Rescue For All Passengers Aboard Antarctic Research Ship 168

The BBC reports (with video) that all aboard the ice-trapped MV Akademik Shokalskiy have been rescued by helicopter, after more than one icebreaker attempt to reach the vessel directly proved too challenging. Also at the New York Times, which reports "The twin-rotored helicopter, based on a Chinese icebreaker, the Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, flew several sorties across miles of packed ice to pluck scientists, tourists and journalists from a makeshift landing zone next to the marooned MV Akademik Shokalskiy research vessel."

Solar Dynamo Still Anemic, Magnetism and UV Lax 156

radioweather writes "While we are well along into solar cycle 24, there remains a significant gap between the predictions of where we should be, and where we actually are in the progression of the cycle. Recently, the sun went spotless again, and the solar Ap geomagnetic index, an indicator of the solar magneto, hit zero. It is something you really don't expect to see this far along into the cycle. In other solar news, scientists monitoring the SORCE solar satellite have found that solar ultraviolet emissions have dropped significantly in the past few years. The Solar Irradiance Monitor on the satellite 'suggests that ultraviolet irradiance fell far more than expected between 2004 and 2007 — by ten times as much as the total irradiance did — while irradiance in certain visible and infrared wavelengths surprisingly increased, even as solar activity wound down overall.'"

4chan Declares War On Snow Screenshot-sm 201

With all the recent hacktivism in the news, Anonymous has decided to take on a new and powerful enemy: snow. On Sunday the group announced that it will "do everything in its power to shut snow down by attacking the Weather Channel and North Face websites, boycotting outerwear, and voting for the sun as Time’s 2010 Person Of The Year." I'm sure there are a lot of people in Minneapolis right now that would wish them luck.

Chilean Earthquake Shortened Earth's Day 374

ailnlv writes "Days on Earth just got shorter. The recent earthquake in Chile shifted the planet's axis by about 8 cm and shortened days by 1.26 microseconds 'The changes can be modeled, though they're difficult to detect physically given their small size. ... Some changes may be more obvious, and islands may have shifted. ... Santa Maria Island off the coast near Concepcion, Chile’s second-largest city, may have been raised 2 meters (6 feet) as a result of the latest quake ...'"

Antarctic Ice Is Growing, Not Melting Away, At Davis Station 633

schwit1 writes "A report from The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research says that Antarctic ice is growing, not melting away. Ice core drilling in the fast ice off Australia's Davis Station in East Antarctica by the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-Operative Research Centre shows that last year, the ice had a maximum thickness of 1.89m, its densest in 10 years. The average thickness of the ice at Davis since the 1950s is 1.67m. A paper to be published soon by the British Antarctic Survey in the journal Geophysical Research Letters is expected to confirm that over the past 30 years, the area of sea ice around the continent has expanded."

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval