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Posts tagged Cook Strait

Climate Change and Alaska’s Bodies of Water, USA – May 29th, 2013

64.2N 149.4W

May 29th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day

USA – May 28th, 2013

Several bodies of water along the coast of Alaska, USA, can be viewed here: Cook Strait, brownish grey with sediments (right), Bristol Bay (below, center) and Norton Sound, partially ice covered (upper left).

Global warming is currently impacting Alaska and will continue to impact it a number of ways. These impacts include melting polar ice, the retreat of glaciers, increasing storm intensity, wildfires, coastal flooding, droughts, crop failures, loss of habitat and threatened plant and animal species.

According to scientists, Arctic sea ice extent in 2012 was the lowest since satellite records began in 1979; it was 16 percent lower than the previous low in 2007 and more than half of what it was in 1979. Less ice means more open water – which means greater absorption of solar energy – which leads to increased warming in the ocean, and in turn accelerates more ice loss.

This has led to a wide range of impacts in Alaska, including: melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and flooding of coastal communities; thawing permafrost, increased storm severity, and related infrastructure damage to roads, utility infrastructure, pipelines and buildings; loss of the subsistence way of life as animal habitat and migration patterns shift and as hunting and fishing become more dangerous with changing sea and river ice; forest fires and insect infestations increasing in frequency and intensity (click here for more information).

Taranaki Bights, Tasman Bay and Nearby Volcanoes, New Zealand

39.2S 174.0E

December 12th, 2011 Category: Lakes, Sediments, Volcanoes

New Zealand - November 25th, 2011

The South Taranaki Bight (middle of image) is the name given to the large bay which extends south and east from the south coast of Taranaki in New Zealand’s North Island. The North Taranaki Bight begins to the north of Cape Egmont (upper part of image).

Sediments can be seen lining the shores of both bights, and the active stratovolcano Mount Taranaki/Egmont can be seen on Cape Egmont. Further inland, Lake Taupo can be seen, with the active stratovolcano Mount Ruapehu to the south of it. The volcano is surrounded by a semi-circle of clouds, but is easily identified by its white, snow-capped peak.

Visible to the south, in the lower part of the image, is Tasman Bay, a large V-shaped bay at the north end of New Zealand’s South Island. Located in the centre of the island’s northern coast, it stretches along 120 km of coastline and is 70 km across at its widest point. It is an arm of the Tasman Sea, lying on the western approach to Cook Strait.

At Tasman Bay’s western extremity, the land around the bay is rough and densely forested. To the east, the land is also steep, with the westernmost points of sea-drowned valleys of the Marlborough Sounds. The land between these two extremes is more gently rolling, and also includes the coastal plains around the mouth of the Waimea River at the bay’s southernmost point.

High Vegetation Index Near Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

41.8S 173.5E

November 5th, 2011 Category: Vegetation Index

New Zealand - November 4th, 2011

This FAPAR image shows the vegetation index of New Zealand’s North Island (above) and South Island (below). The two islands are separated by the Cook Strait, which is 22 km (14 mi) wide at its narrowest point.

The vegetation index throughout the image is generally good (green) to high (rusty red), particularly on the North Island and eastern coast of the South Island, near the Banks Peninsula. A few areas of low photosynthetic activity (yellow) can be observed in the higher altitudes of the Southern Alps.

Sediments in Cook Strait, New Zealand

41.3S 174.3E

September 27th, 2011 Category: Sediments

New Zealand - September 2nd, 2011

Sediments can be seen by the coasts of New Zealand’s North and South Islands, partially in the Cook Strait, which separates the two. It connects the Tasman Sea on the west with the South Pacific Ocean on the east.

To the south the coast runs runs 30 km along Cloudy Bay and past the islands and entrances to the Marlborough Sounds. To the north the coast runs 40 km along Palliser Bay, crosses the entrance to Wellington harbour, past some Wellington suburbs and continues another 15 km to Makara beach.

A Look at Both Sides of the Southern Alps, New Zealand

43.6S 170.6E

March 24th, 2011 Category: Mountains, Sediments

New Zealand - March 22nd, 2011

The Southern Alps run down the middle of New Zealand’s South Island, providing a sort of “backbone”. In this image, snow and clouds are present on the eastern side of the ridge, while the western side is clear.

Along the west coast, several rivers can be seen spilling sediments into the  Tasman Sea. Sediments are also present along the northern coastline, pouring into the Cook Strait. In the full image, sediments and/or algae can be seen giving a bright blue color to several glacial lakes in the Mackenzie Basin, at the eastern foot of the Alps.