Saturday, June 2, 2012

Funny polar bears

Laziest polar bear ever!

Straight from the Arctic to your screen, here's the laziest polar bear ever recorded.

Cute and funny polar bear handstand

Check out this funny polar bear doing a handstand and his hind paw sticking out of the water.

Visit for more Arctic videos and learn why we should protect this pristine environment and its inhabitants.

Friday, June 1, 2012

NOAA, National Safe Boating Council promote National Safe Boating Week

Boat flips at New Brighton Beach : let Darwin's theory continue


NOAA’s National Weather Service and the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) have partnered again to encourage recreational boaters to know their risks, learn the rules, and be prepared before taking the helm this summer during National Safe Boating Week: (May 19 to 25).

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were more than 4,000 boating accidents, including 758 deaths, in 2011. Seventy percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, 84 percent were reported as not wearing a life jacket.
Once in the water hypothermia can become a significant threat to survival even if wearing a life jacket.
To increase awareness about the dangers of hypothermia, the NSBC and NOAA have enlisted assistance from former college football player and boating tragedy survivor Nick Schuyler. Schuyler was the lone survivor of a boating accident while fishing off the Florida Gulf coast in February 2009. Interviews with Schuyler are available online and provide lifesaving information about hypothermia as well as the importance of being prepared.

 “Before going out on the water, check the marine weather forecast and then stay informed with a NOAA Weather Radio,” said Jack Hayes Ph.D., director, National Weather Service.
“We want boaters to be part of our Weather-Ready Nation. Weather can change very quickly on the water. The sudden emergence of dark clouds, increasing winds, torrential downpours and lightning can turn a relaxing time on the water into a dangerous situation.”

NOAA and the NSBC have launched a series of boating safety public service announcements to highlight important boating safety topics, including hypothermia; the importance of always wearing a life jacket; distress radio beacons; winds and waves, thunderstorm safety; understanding your marine forecast; and boating under the influence.

This Inflatable Life Jacket Educational vieo is an educational approach to educating boaters about inflatable life jackets.

The NSBC administers the North American Safe Boating Campaign “Wear It!” designed to educate boaters about the importance of life jacket wear while introducing them to the different styles that are available, including inflatable life jackets.
“Wear It!” is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
“Lives can be saved by improving the knowledge and skills of recreational boaters,” said Virgil Chambers, executive director, NSBC.
“Boaters can have fun and stay safe by wearing a life jacket, having the proper equipment onboard, knowing what the weather conditions will be, and abstaining from alcohol while boating.”
NOAA and the NSBC encourage recreational boaters to prepare before they go out on the water by following these guidelines:

  • Know your risk: Have an understanding of the body of water you want to boat in. Learn the rules of boating before taking the helm by taking a safe boating course. Check the marine weather forecast before going out on the water. The weather can change quickly, so plan for all types of weather hazards.
  • Be prepared: Make sure your vessel has the required equipment such as life jackets, a first aid kit, and distress signals. Develop an emergency plan with more than one way to get your boat out of trouble. Create a float plan and tell a friend of your whereabouts and when you plan to return. Obtain and pay attention to NOAA Weather Radio and understand marine watches, warnings and advisories.
  • Be an example: Share with your friends, family, co-workers, and your social media network safe boating tips, such as the importance of wearing a life jacket and taking a safe boating course. The information you share might just save their lives, too.
NOAA, through its National Weather Service, is dedicated to supplying the most up-to-date and accurate weather information throughout the U.S. coast, coastal and offshore waters, the Great Lakes, and the open oceans.
NOAA’s National Ocean Service provides the navigation services that protect lives, strengthen the maritime economy, and position America for the future.
Download NOAA’s free nautical charts BookletCharts today.
The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) is the foremost coalition for the advancement and promotion of safer boating through education, outreach, and training.
The NSBC accomplishes this mission by promoting outreach and research initiatives that support boating education and safety awareness; improving the professional development of boating safety educators through training; and developing and recognizing outstanding boating safety programs. More information about the NSBC and its programs, is available online.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.
Join NOAA on Facebook , Twitter and our other social media channels.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

France SHOM layer update in the Marine GeoGarage

291 charts from SHOM have been added in the Marine GeoGarage :

  • 278    Environs de Raguse (Dubrovnik) Gravosa (Gruz), Raguse (Dubrovnik), Breno (Zulski)  
  • 280    Golfe de Cattaro   
  • 1292    Carte du Golfe de Smyrne et de ses abords   
  • 1442    Du Cap Saint-Vincent au Cap Saint-André   
  • 1456    Carte de la partie septentrionale de l'Archipel (Grèce)   
  • 1461    Ile Capraja   
  • 1490    Entrée des Dardanelles, golfe d' Adramyti, îles de Mitylène, Tenedos, Lemnos et Strati   
  • 1619    Mouillages de Tarifa   
  • 1700    Baie de Tétouan   
  • 1701    Tanger et ses atterrages   
  • 1946    Nouvelle-Calédonie (3ème feuille) côte Ouest   
  • 2040    Du Grand Banc des Mosquitos à la Passe Windward   
  • 2089    Carte des Canaux d'Egripo, de Talante et d'Oréos, et de l'île de Négrepont   
  • 2114    Mer des Caraïbes Bassin Nord-Ouest  
  • 2122    De l'île d'Elbe à Naples   
  • 2463    Madère, Porto Santo, îles Désertes   
  • 2662    Canal d'Otrante   
  • 2799    Nouvelle-Calédonie (4ème feuille) Partie Nord  
  • 3023    De Djidjelli à Collo   
  • 3024    Du Cap Toukoush au Cap Rose   
  • 3029    Du Cap Sigli à Djidjelli   
  • 3030    D'Alger à Cherchell   
  • 3036    De Dellys au Cap Sigli   
  • 3043    D'Alger à Dellys   
  • 3061    Du Cap Bougaroni au Cap Axin   
  • 3202    De Cherchell à Ténès   
  • 3234    De la Pointe Kef el Assfer au Cap Ténès   
  • 3357    De la Pte Banda à la Riv. Coanza   
  • 3405    D'Alger à la frontière de Tunisie   
  • 3424    Du Cap Rose au Cap Nègre   
  • 3453    De la Pointe Rossello à la Pointe Scalambri   
  • 3462    Baie de Ba (Baie Le Bris)   
  • 3470    De Mazzara à Agrigento, île Pantellaria   
  • 3475    Baie de Ugué   
  • 3519    Delta du Tonkin   
  • 3534    Port de Trieste et Baie San Bartolomeo   
  • 3675    Carte générale de l'île de Sardaigne   
  • 3678    Côte de l'Algérie (1ère feuille), d'Alger à la frontière du Maroc   
  • 3684    De Trapani à Marsala et îles adjacentes   
  • 3731    Du Cap Cefalu à Mazzara   
  • 3757    De Taormina au Cap Cefalu (Ilipari Détroit de Messine)   
  • 3790    Sicile, du Cap Scalambri à l'entrée Sud du Détroit de Messine   
  • 3972    De l'île Paaba à l'île Pott   
  • 3975    Mer Adriatique Partie Nord  
  • 3976    Mer Adriatique Partie Sud  
  • 3978    Abords et entrée des Dardanelles   
  • 3992    D'Ancône à Ortona   
  • 4004    D'Ortona à Barletta   
  • 4005    De Barletta à Brindisi   
  • 4030    Entrée du Golfe de Tarente   
  • 4044    Golfe de Tarente   
  • 4071    De Crotone au Cap Spartivento   
  • 4113    Baie de Vohemar   
  • 4129    Du Cap Serrat au Cap Blanc   
  • 4174    De la Baie d'Antongil à Manakara   
  • 4177    Du Cap Saint-Vincent à Manakara   
  • 4191    De Ras-al-Fortas à Kelibia   
  • 4198    Du Ras Enghela au Cap Farina Baie et lac de Bizerte  
  • 4208    De Ksar Menara à Sousse   
  • 4212    Port Conte et rade d'Alghero   
  • 4219    Du Cap Roux au Cap Serrat (Tabarca et Cap Négro)   
  • 4221    De Kelibia à Ras Mamour   
  • 4222    Du Cap Kamart au Ras-al-Fortas (Golfe de Tunis)   
  • 4225    De Kurba à la Sebkha Djiriba (Golfe d'Hammamet)   
  • 4226    Du Ras Marsa au Ras Dimas (Golfe de Sousse et de Monastir)   
  • 4227    Du Ras Dimas au Ras Kapudia   
  • 4228    De Sfax à Mahares   
  • 4229    Golfe d'Asinara   
  • 4235    Du Ras Kapudia au Ras Ungha (Iles et bancs Kerkenah)   
  • 4236    Du Ras Kapudia à Sidi Makluf (partie Nord du canal de Kerkenah)   
  • 4237    De Sidi Makluf à Sfax (Iles Kerkenah)   
  • 4239    De Maharès à la Skhirra (Golfe de Gabès)   
  • 4240    De la Skhirra à Gabès (Golfe de Gabès)   
  • 4241    Gabès (ancienne Tacape)   
  • 4242    De Gabès au Bordj Djilidj (Golfe de Gabès)   
  • 4244    Du Bordj Djilidj à Sidi Garus (partie Nord de l'île de Djerba)   
  • 4250    Du Cap Farina au Cap Carthage (Delta de Medjerda)   
  • 4256    Bouches de Cattaro (Kotor) et côtes environnantes   
  • 4314    De Bône à Tunis   
  • 4315    De Tunis à Sfax   
  • 4451    Du Cap Voailava au Cap Saint-Sébastien   
  • 4462    Du Cap Saint-Sébastien à la rivière Sahinana   
  • 4646    Du Cap Palinuro au Cap Vaticano   
  • 4715    Rade de Tuléar Baie de Saint-Augustin  
  • 4798    Golfe de Volo et ses abords   
  • 4845    Du Cap Mesurado à la Pointe Baffu   
  • 4850    Du Cap Sainte-Anne au Cap Mesurado   
  • 4852    De la rivière Antsena au Cap Tanjo (Baie de Bombetoka)   
  • 4970    Lac de Bizerte   
  • 5023    Iles au Sud de la Sicile   
  • 5128    Partie Sud de Nossi-Bé   
  • 5220    Ports de la côte Est d'Italie   
  • 5281    Port de Bizerte et goulet du lac   
  • 5346    Baie du Courrier et ses abords   
  • 5365    Du Guadalquivir au Cap Trafalgar   
  • 5414    Baie d'Halong   
  • 5417    Océan Atlantique Nord et mers boréales   
  • 5441    Plans à la côte Nord-Ouest d'Espagne Baie de Corcubion  
  • 5461    Iles Barren Atterrages de Maintirano  
  • 5462    Du Cap de Fedala au Cap de Mazagan   
  • 5480    Baie du Lévrier   
  • 5516    De la rivière Tsiribihina au Cap Kimby
  • 5563    Baie de Nhatrang   
  • 5571    Cambodge et Cochinchine Mékong  
  • 5617    Port d'Alger   
  • 5636    Du Nez de Jobourg à la Pointe de Nacqueville   
  • 5638    Baie d'Alger   
  • 5640    Port de Dellys   
  • 5641    Port de Bejaia (Bougie)   
  • 5669    Port d'Annaba (Bône)   
  • 5670    Abords de Bône   
  • 5678    Port d'Arzew   
  • 5697    Rade de Casablanca   
  • 5698    Ile de La Galite   
  • 5700    Port du Pirée et Baie de Phalère Port Héraclée  
  • 5749    Ports et mouillages aux îles de Kerguelen   
  • 5750    Ports et mouillages aux îles Kerguelen   
  • 5752    Rivière Saloum De Foundiougne à Kaolack Rivières Sine et Silif 
  • 5762    Abords d'Oran   
  • 5763    Ports d'Oran et de Mers-el-Kébir   
  • 5787    Abords de Skikda   
  • 5791    De Bizerte aux îles Cani   
  • 5793    Abords de Pola   
  • 5796    Du Cap Nord au Cap Tchéliouskine   
  • 5798    Yougoslavie   
  • 5820    Groupe Santorin   
  • 5834    Iles du Cap Vert   
  • 5851    Abords de Saint-Louis Mouillage de Saint-Louis  
  • 5864    Ports et mouillages sur la côte Nord du Maroc   
  • 5873    Port de Nemours   
  • 5876    Ile Rachgoun Embouchure de la Tafna  
  • 5878    Ilots dans l'archipel des Tuamotu   
  • 5915    Accès de Nouadhibou   
  • 5923    Abords d'Alexandrie   
  • 5929    Abords d'Arzew   
  • 5931    Du Rio Grande aux îles de Los   
  • 5940    De la Tafna au Cap Sigale   
  • 5941    Des îles de Los à l'île Sherbro   
  • 5948    D'Arzew au Cap Figalo   
  • 5951    Du Cap Ferrat à la Pointe Kef el Asfer   
  • 5955    Rade et port d'Agadir   
  • 5957    Du rio Cacheu aux îles de Los   
  • 5962    De Tuléar au Cap Sainte-Marie   
  • 5976    Du Cap Andavaka à Sainte-Luce   
  • 5978    Mer du Corail Iles et récifs épars  
  • 5980    Bras de la Fonderie   
  • 5983    Archipel des Comores   
  • 5993    Baie de Cansado Nouadhibou (Port-Étienne)  
  • 6011    Des îles Zafarines à la Tafna   
  • 6014    De la terre Peary au Scoresby Sound et de Trondheim au Cap Nord   
  • 6015    Des passages du Nord-Ouest à la Mer du Groenland   
  • 6062    Ports de la Goulette et de Tunis   
  • 6063    Rade de Tuléar   
  • 6077    Baie de Bombétoke Rade de Majunga  
  • 6078    Baie de Bombétoke Mouillages  
  • 6081    Mouillages de Fénérive et de Foulpointe   
  • 6083    Du Cap Juby au Cap Blanc   
  • 6103    Rade de Safi   
  • 6111    Abords de Casablanca   
  • 6113    Du Cap Blanc au Cap Vert   
  • 6119    Rade de Mazagan   
  • 6120    Abords de Mazagan   
  • 6135    Cours de la Casamance Du banc de Ouangaran à la Pointe Samis  
  • 6137    Cours de la Casamance De l'embouchure à Ziguinchor  
  • 6143    De Temara au Cap de Fédala   
  • 6147    Cours du Saloum De l'embouchure à Foundiougne  
  • 6148    Embouchure du Rio Nunez   
  • 6150    Mouillage et Passes de Tamatave   
  • 6154    De Nosy Fanala à l'île Sainte-Marie Baie d'Antongil  
  • 6155    Abords de l'île Sainte-Marie   
  • 6156    De l'île Sainte-Marie à Tamatave   
  • 6169    Abords de Safi   
  • 6170    Du Cap de Mazagan au Cap Cantin   
  • 6174    De Joal à Bathurst   
  • 6176    Maupihaa (Maupélia)   
  • 6178    Du Cap Ghir à Agadir   
  • 6183    Baie de Corisco Rivières Mondah et Muny  
  • 6204    Rade d'Essaouira (Mogador)   
  • 6206    Du Cap Hadid au Cap Sim   
  • 6214    Grande Canarie   
  • 6226    Du Cap Cantin au Cap Sim   
  • 6227    Du Cap Sim à l'Oued Massa   
  • 6228    Accès au Rio Nunez   
  • 6237    Ile Mayotte   
  • 6238    Iles Anjouan et Mohéli   
  • 6239    Grande Comore   
  • 6269    De Meregh à Merca   
  • 6270    De Merca à Chisimaio   
  • 6286    Mouillage de Tabou   
  • 6288    Rio Nunez Abords de Port Kamsar  
  • 6290    Abords de Sihanoukville (Kompong Som)   
  • 6293    Port de Kinsale Port Oyster  
  • 6297    Embouchure de la Casamance   
  • 6306    Mouillages de Mananara et d'Antanambe   
  • 6315    Canal de Sainte-Marie, partie Sud   
  • 6318    Abords Nord de Tamatave   
  • 6319    Abords Sud de Tamatave   
  • 6321    Grand-Bereby   
  • 6325    Baie de la Skhirra ou des Sur-Kenis   
  • 6326    Iles Seba   
  • 6341    Anse de Mazarron Ports de Aguilas et El Hornillo  
  • 6342    Cours du Guadalquivir De l'embouchure à Séville  
  • 6345    Abords Nord de Morombe   
  • 6353    Du delta de la Tsiribihina à Nosy Andriamitaroka   
  • 6369    Estuaire du Gabon   
  • 6372    Du Cap Estérias à la Pointe Ekoueta   
  • 6375    Port de Pasajes   
  • 6376    Du Cap Gracias à Dios au Cap de la Aguja   
  • 6381    Ports de la côte Nord d'Espagne   
  • 6383    Ports de la côte Nord d'Espagne   
  • 6384    Port de Civitavecchia   
  • 6421    Archipel des Tuamotu Iles Arutua, Apataki, Kaukura, Niau  
  • 6453    Fleuve Congo De l'embouchure à Quissanga  
  • 6461    Iles Gambier   
  • 6462    Iles Gambier, partie Sud   
  • 6464    Iles Mangareva, Rikitea, Totegegie   
  • 6497    Ile de la Possession, île de l'Est   
  • 6498    Iles Crozet   
  • 6517    Du Cap Guardafui à Mogadiscio   
  • 6527    Port de Tamatave   
  • 6569    Mer d'Alboran Feuille Nord  
  • 6570    Mer d'Alboran, feuille Sud   
  • 6596    De Grand-Béréby à Sassandra   
  • 6606    Canal de Sicile   
  • 6611    Entrée de la Méditerranée Côte d'Espagne de Huelva au Cap de Palos et côte d'Afrique de Mehdia au Cap Ferrat  
  • 6624    INT 104 De Lisbonne (Lisboa) à Freetown  
  • 6643    Iles et récifs du canal de Mozambique   
  • 6644    Ports et mouillages d'Angola   
  • 6666    De l'estuaire du Gabon à l'estuaire du Congo   
  • 6679    Cours de l'Odet De Bénodet à Quimper  
  • 6686    Nouvelle-Calédonie (partie Sud-Est) Iles Loyauté  
  • 6688    Iles de la Société, de Manuae à Tahiti   
  • 6689    Iles Tuamotu (partie Ouest), de Tahiti à Rangiroa et Makemo   
  • 6690    Iles Tuamotu (partie centrale) de Makemo à Tatakoto   
  • 6691    Iles Tuamotu (partie Est) de Hao à Fangataufa   
  • 6692    Des îles Tuamotu aux îles Gambier   
  • 6741    Iles Kerguelen   
  • 6771    De l'Ecosse (Scotland) à l'Islande (Island)   
  • 6878    Golfe de Suez De Râs Ghârib au port de Suez  
  • 6908    Détroits de Jubal et de Tīrān   
  • 6978    Golfe d'Aqaba   
  • 7013    Baie de Suez (Bahr al Qulzum)   
  • 7014    INT 304 Des îles Baléares à la Corse et à la Sardaigne  
  • 7020    Ports du Golfe de Gênes (Genova)   
  • 7062    Ports du Golfe de Guinée   
  • 7068    INT 1802 De la presqu'île de Quiberon aux Sables-d'Olonne  
  • 7071    Port de Mits'iwa (Massawa)   
  • 7099    Mer Rouge Partie Sud De l'archipel Sawākin aux îles Hanīsh 
  • 7111    Approches de Hodeida (al Ḩudaydah)
  • 7112    Mer Rouge - Partie centrale - De Abū el Kizân à l'archipel Sawākin
  • 7114    Ibiza et Formentera   
  • 7115    Mallorca Partie Ouest De Punta Beca à Punta Salinas 
  • 7116    Mallorca Partie Est De Punta Salinas à Cabo de Formentor 
  • 7117    Menorca Ports et mouillages de Menorca  
  • 7118    Abords de Palma De Isla Dragonera à Cabo Blanco  
  • 7119    Ports et mouillages de Mallorca et Cabrera   
  • 7165    Ile Maurice   
  • 7169    Ports de Chypre   
  • 7171    Approches des îles Saint-Paul et Amsterdam   
  • 7185    INT 1085 De Cabo Roxo à Monrovia  
  • 7188    INT 2088 De Lagos à Gamba  
  • 7204    De Marseille à l'île d'Elbe (Isola d'Elba) et aux Bouches de Bonifacio   
  • 7213    Maupiti   
  • 7245    Ports et mouillages en Mer de Marmara   
  • 7246    Polynésie française   
  • 7253    Golfe de Corinthe (Korinthiakós Kólpos) - Golfe de Pátras (Patraïkós Kólpos)
  • 7254    Golfe d'Athènes (Saronikós Kólpos)
  • 7255    INT 3606 De El Lādhiqiyeh à Soûr
  • 7256    INT 3608 De Soûr à Al Arish
  • 7260    De Apataki à Fakarava   
  • 7262    De Makemo à Marutea Nord   
  • 7263    Iles Cyclades (Kikládhes Nísoi) - Partie Ouest
  • 7264    Iles Cyclades (Kikládhes Nisoi) - Partie Est
  • 7268    Nouvelle-Calédonie Iles Loyauté  
  • 7284    De Argolikós Kólpos à Níos Póros
  • 7295    Ports et mouillages entre Cabo de la Nao et Cabo de Palos   
  • 7298    Ports et mouillages entre la frontière franco-espagnole et Tarragona   
  • 7342    De Nísos Sými à Kaş - Nísos Ródos
  • 7346    Iles du Roi Georges. Takaroa et Takapoto   
  • 7353    Ua-Pou et Ua-Huka   
  • 7368    INT 653 De l'Ile Malden aux Iles de la Société  
  • 7370    INT 655 De Mururoa à Ducie Island  
  • 7375    De la Passe de Poya à la Passe de Koné   
  • 7377    Ports du Larivot et de Cayenne   
  • 7453    Makemo   
  • 7455    Archipel des Tuamotu Passes et Mouillages  
  • 7458    Aratika   
  • 7507    Du Golfe du Lion aux Bouches de Bonifacio   
  • 7518    INT 7118 De Al Ḩudaydah à Al Mukhā
  • 7594    INT 9016 De la Pointe Ebba au Cap de la Découverte  
  • 7758    Îles Belep -Îles Pott et Art -Îles Daos du Nord

so 661 charts from SHOM are displayed in the Marine GeoGarage

CryoSat goes to sea

Gravity field over the Pacific Ocean’s Emperor Seamounts based on CryoSat, ERS and Geosat satellite altimeter measurements of ocean-surface height.
At this scale, the gravity field of the ocean reflects seafloor topography, called bathymetry.
The improved radar measurements from CryoSat will be used to improve bathymetry. The measurements will be used in the next generation of the seafloor maps in Google Earth.
Credits: Scripps Institution of Oceanography/NOAA

From ESA

CryoSat was launched in 2010 to measure sea-ice thickness in the Arctic, but data from the Earth-observing satellite have also been exploited for other studies.
High-resolution mapping of the topography of the ocean floor is now being added to the ice mission’s repertoire.

The main objective of the polar-orbiting CryoSat is to measure the thickness of polar sea ice and monitor changes in the ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica.
But the satellite’s radar altimeter is not only able to detect tiny variations in the height of the ice but it can also measure sea level.

The topography of the ocean surface mimics the rises and dips of the ocean floor due to the gravitational pull.

An Earth-orbiting radar cannot see the ocean floor, but it can measure ocean-surface height variations induced by the topography of the ocean floor.
The gravitational pull of the seafloor produces minor variations in ocean surface height.
Seafloor mapping by ships is much more accurate than radar altimeter mapping, but to date only 10% of the seafloor has been charted this way.
A complete mapping of the deep oceans using ships would take 200 ships navigating Earth, 24 hours a day, for an entire year at a cost of billions of dollars.
Mapping using satellite radars can cover a larger area in a shorter amount of time.
When interesting features are discovered in satellite measurements, they can later be surveyed in fine detail by ships.
Credits: Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Areas of greater mass, such as underwater mountains, have a stronger pull, attracting more water and producing a minor increase in ocean-surface height.

Therefore, instruments that measure sea-surface height incidentally map the ocean floor in previously uncharted areas.

There have been several recent global gravity missions, such as ESA’s GOCE satellite, that provide extraordinarily accurate measurements of gravity at the spatial resolution of hundreds of kilometres.

CryoSat determines variations in the thickness of floating sea-ice so that seasonal and interannual variations can be detected.
The satellite also surveys the surface of continental ice sheets to detect small elevation changes.
Information on precise variations in ice thickness will further our understanding of the relationship between ice and climate change.
Credits: ESA /AOES Medialab

But CryoSat’s radar altimeter can sense the gravity field at the ocean surface, so that seafloor characteristics at scales of 5–10 km are revealed.
This is the first altimeter in 15 years to map the global marine gravity field at such a high spatial resolution.

Recent studies at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, USA, found that the range precision of CryoSat is at least 1.4 times better than the US's Geosat or ESA's ERS-1.

They estimate that this improved range precision combined with three or more years of ocean mapping will result in global seafloor topography – bathymetry – that is 2–4 times more accurate than measurements currently available.

“We know more about the surfaces of Venus and Mars than we do about the bathymetry of deep oceans,” said David Sandwell from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in the US.
“This new mapping from CryoSat will revolutionise our understanding of ocean floor tectonics and reveal, perhaps, 10 000 previously uncharted undersea volcanoes.”

Most satellite radar altimeters such as the one on the joint CNES/NASA/Eumetsat/NOAA Jason-2 follow repeated ground-tracks every 10 days to monitor the changes in ocean topography associated with ocean currents and tides.

CryoSat’s 369-day repeat cycle provides a dense mapping of the global ocean surface at a track spacing of over 4 km.
Three to four years of data from CryoSat can be averaged to reduce the ‘noise’ due to currents and tides and better chart the permanent topography related to marine gravity.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

US and Canada charts layers display problem

This morning some electrical incident occurred on our servers : one of our main servers crash in our datacentre.

This outage only affects the display of the US NOAA and Canada CHS layers on our website and on the 'Marine US' iPhone/iPad app.

We're very sorry for any inconvenience caused.

It will take about one week to fully restore the service for displaying these two North American layers again.

The last fisherman : who's got their hands on all our fish?

An overhaul of the law that governs fishing in Europe only happens every 10 years, so we need to make sure that this time, it works.
We want a Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) that supports sustainable fishing, ends discards and puts the health of our seas first.

From TheGuardian

Greenpeace has spent a lot of time lately on wharves, docks, piers and beaches.
The story we're hearing is the same the coast long; the UK's low-impact, small-scale fishing industry is on its last legs.

These fishermen, most of whom are part of the inshore under-10-metre fleet, tend to land high quality fish, using methods that do little or no damage to the local environment.
But they aren't rewarded.
Quite the contrary: despite comprising 77% of the active UK fleet, they have access to only 4% of the country's quota.

So who's got their hands on all our fish? (It's worth remembering they are our indeed our fish; they're a public asset, a common resource).
No one really knows who holds UK quota, but what we do know is that the answer mostly involves those with the most economic clout and ability to throw their weight around.
In a gradual process bordering on privatisation by stealth, the resource of the many has fallen into the hands of a few.

As the long-time Hastings fisherman John Griffin puts it: "It's definitely the 'greener' side of the industry that's suffering.
We're as morally correct as we can be, we don't hide anything and we try to be as green as possible; we're doing our best but we're the ones being pushed out."

Which brings us to an unprecedented alliance between UK fishermen and Greenpeace.
Today we're launching a campaign called Be a Fisherman's Friend, to save the UK's struggling inshore fleet, and thereby protect our fish.
It's a common myth that Greenpeace is anti- fishing; we just want fishing rights to be given to those who fish in the right way.

Most people are aware the system's broken.
In fact railing against the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is a British political ritual, conducted in language as familiar as the Lord's Prayer or the football results.

So well-worn is this tale that it's rare for anyone to even question its basic veracity, or to ask why, if it's so broken, successive fishing ministers have done so little to fix it? Yet if we cannot find an answer to this question, we will continue to be hamstrung by a policy that's trashing our oceans and failing our fishermen.

A reform of the CFP, currently underway in Brussels, provides a once-in-a decade opportunity to alter things so that the system rewards those fishing sustainably.

But let's go back. How did we get to the point where EU fisheries policy allows a tiny number of high-impact operators to dominate how we manage our oceans and fish stocks, despite their fishing methods being so destructive?

"Efficiencies" in fishing have been progressing at the rate of around 3% a year for decades. Ever-more powerful boats go further and faster, with ruthless and indiscriminate fishing methods, hunting down fish in hundreds of miles of ocean using sophisticated sonar systems.

The inevitable result is that fish stocks decline: 72 % of European fish stocks are now depleted.
If we continue to fish as we are, 91% of European fish stocks will be at unsustainable levels within the next decade.

In response to the problem of "over-capacity" [read: too many factory-style boats catching too many fish], boats have had to be forcibly removed from the industry.
And because the more "efficient" boats and skippers make the most money, they're often the ones who remain in the game while others are forced to leave.
Fishing rights, money and influence have become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a relatively few individuals and businesses, who in turn act as a powerful and entrenched lobby for the kind of industrial scale fishing practices that maximise profit at the expense of local employment and the local environment.

In the UK, this process has been exacerbated by successive governments' chronic mismanagement of the national quota allocation, which is what's left the inshore fleet with access to only 4% of quota.

The UK government has also allowed those who control the lion's share of the quota to treat it as a tradable commodity.
Unused quota is leased out at exorbitant prices, maximising profits for the quota "owner" at the expense of ordinary fishermen in coastal towns up and down the country.
We're on our way to fishing rights being traded like subprime mortgages.

Evidence shows that those who fish selectively and with least environmental impact offer the greatest benefits to the economy.
One recent analysis estimated that for every tonne of cod landed, trawlers delivered negative economic value ranging from -£116 for the smallest trawlers to almost -£2,000 for the largest. Gillnets (a lower impact fishing method) in contrast generated a net +£865 of value.
Yet between 2006 – 2008, trawlers landed almost 6,000 tonnes of cod, while gillnets landed less than 3% of this – just 163 tonnes.

The CFP reform is an opportunity to sort out the mess.
It is now up to the government to pursue reforms at home and in Brussels, which will capture the economic benefits of sustainable fishing. Giving priority access to those who use selective, low-impact methods and provide the highest levels of local employment should become the guiding principle of fisheries management.

This won't be easy. Vested interests will continue to claim that "batting for Britain" is simply about grabbing a greater share of the EU pie, rather than securing a truly radical reform of EU and UK fisheries management.
For the sake of our fishermen, our fish stocks and the health of our coasts and seas, this government and the fisheries minister, Richard Benyon, must take a different view.

From WP : the end of fish, in one chart

Links :

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The most beautiful boat race in the world ?

 Billowing sails: Some of the 99 boats taking part in the Al Gaddal dhow race from the island of Sir Bu Nair, near the Iranian coast to Dubai

From DailyMail

Skimming the surface of the sea, brilliant white sails billowing in the wind, they are a timeless image of elegance.
But the 99 dhows taking part in this year’s Al Gaffal race are not simply a stunning site on a beautiful day.

 Mission: The race was begun to encourage the long tradition of dhow building, which had slowly been dying out

They are also keeping alive an ancient tradition of shipbuilding which stretches back to Greek and Roman times.

Elegant: The dhows are some of the most easily recognisable boats operating in the Emirates - or anywhere else in the world

The ships – recognisable by their triangular lateen sails – were once used on the trade routes across the Indian Ocean.

Finish line: The race ended off the coast of Dubai. The distinctive Burj hotel - can be seen in the background of this picture

They are now a less common site.
But the Al Gaffal allows thousands of spectators, positioned on the Dubai shore, to see them in all their glory.
In its 22nd year, the race at Sir Bu Nair Island, near the coast of Iran, and finishes just off the emirate state’s International Marine Club.

 Mists of time: There are records of this boat type being made in Greek and Roman times but it is unclear when the first dhow was built

It began at 6.30am and by midday, many of the 60ft boats were crossing the finishing line.
Organisers chose Sir Bu Nair as the starting point as it is where pearl divers – who were the early staple of the Dubai economy – stopped to rest on their way home from months at sea.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A skurfer moves surfing into the future

AKA a skim board surfer, Brad Domke is a talented creature.
There’s nothing like inventing a new way to ride waves so that you can be the best in the world at it.

From SurferToday

The future is always today.
Surfing has been pushing the limits of technology and physical performance.
Aerials have touched the skies and the street and mountain extreme sports have been inspiring surfers in their new skills.

Progressive surfing is everything that leads surfing forward.
From time to time, we get new footage showing us impossible is nothing.
Surfers were designed to defy gravity and the laws of physics.

Skurfing is a concept that has been rising in the wave riding world.
There's no official meaning for the newest son of surfing.
It's perfectly visible that skurfing is mix of surfing, skateboarding, skimboarding (or skimming), bodyboarding and even snowboarding.

Bradley Domke is known for mastering the art of skimboarding and for trying new tricks and moves with outstanding creativity.
He has been named the most progressive skimboarder on the planet.

In "Brad Domke Umleashed" he guides us through what may be considered a few possible roads for the future of surfing.
No leashes, no preconceptions.

The present of surfing is talking about getting more and more fins in a surfboard.
Brad Domke does exactly the opposite.
A simple thin wave board and talent is enough and when skimboarders teach surfers, then we know we are on the right track.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Goodwin project

Aamion Goodwin, his wife Daize Shayne Goodwin, and their two young kids have begun an around-the-world adventure, which they plan to document on their website.

A young family leaves their home on Kauai.
It is time to return to the itinerant path from which all things in their uncommon lives come; beginning and ending on a remote dot in the Pacific.
They nomadically trace continents to places where waves meet their edges, envoys of aloha.
It is what they will learn, what they bring others, what they will pass on to their children in the hyper-expanded classroom, the lab of direct being; a legacy passed from a father to his family.

Aamion was bare handing prawns from a clear creek in Namuamua Village, Fiji, before he could talk. His vagabond dad made home not in one place, but amid a seasonal passage to outposts in New Zealand, Kauai, and Fiji. He is as much a son of nowhere as he is comfortable everywhere.
Work and play are blurred for him, and done hard especially now that he and wife Daize have added a second child, True, to the brood.

Daize attracts people wherever she goes, for something more than her sunny magnetism.
Whether noseriding over piercing reef or navigating a varied upbringing she got through unscathed.
As a teen she was the face of Roxy, an icon in the rise of women’s surfing, and longboarding world champion twice.
Through her resourceful creativity Daize has manifested a blessed life.
Trolling the Hanalei farmer’s market for tasty mangoes so her kids don't crave candy, she’s a happy, purposeful mother who knows the earth provides.

Aamion is proof that the ocean does too, whether riding big barrels to the podium in the Volcom Pipeline Pro on Oahu’s North Shore, or landing a monster dog tooth tuna with spear while no one is watching.
He intuits the less you say, the more people listen, and their son Given, 3, learns this first hand.
The unassuming words from Given’s gravelly throat offer clues to his atypical worldview.
The Goodwins drop into the bigger waves in life with clear eyes, setting up for the high line.