# Fun diversion – How long until Antarctic ice touches South America?

Eric Worrall writes:

Based on the current rate of Antarctic ice growth, how long until an ice bridge forms between South America and Antarctica?

Lets start with a simplification – if you squint hard Antarctica is a circle. Antarctica, according to Wikipedia, is 14 million square miles. Sea ice this year covered 20 million square miles. So what is the radius of a 34 million square mile circle?

area = PI x radius ^ 2

so

(34,000,000 / PI) ^ 0.5 = 3289 miles

So the radius of our “circular” Antarctica is approximately 3289 miles.

According to Wikipedia, the distance between Antarctica and South America is 500 miles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_Passage So we need to calculate, what is the perfectly circular volume of sea ice required to increase the radius by another 500 miles?

Using our area calculation,

Area = PI x radius ^ 2

Area = PI * (3289 + 500)…

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# Study or Train Abroad in EU -It strengthens key skills highly valued by employers study finds

Young people who study or train abroad not only gain knowledge in specific disciplines, but also strengthen key transversal skills which are highly valued by employers. A new study on the impact of the European Union’s Erasmus student exchange programme shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market. They are half as likely to experience long-term unemployment compared with those who have not studied or trained abroad and, five years after graduation, their unemployment rate is 23% lower. The study, compiled by independent experts, is the largest of its kind and received feedback from nearly 80 000 respondents including students and businesses.

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# US – More than 20% laid off the past five years are still unemployed study finds

More than 20% of Americans laid off the past five years are still unemployed and one in four who found work is in a temporary job, according to a survey out Monday.

The report underscores that despite a sharp drop in long-term unemployment recently, many people out of work at least six months are still struggling to recoup their former wages and lifestyles. Those idled for years face an even tougher road back to employment.

“While the worst effects of the Great Recession are over for most Americans, the brutal realities of diminished living standards endure for the 3 million American workers who remain jobless years after they were laid off,” says Carl Van Horn, director of the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

The center conducted the survey of 1,153 Americans, about 300 of them long-term unemployed, from July 24 to Aug. 3.

The ranks of the…

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# Claim: Arctic sea ice helps remove CO2 from the atmosphere

From the University of Southern Denmark. This is a bit of a surprise, and may well be true, but I’m not too keen on the first couple of paragraphs. Summer sea ice extent has most surely reduced, winter sea ice the last couple of years has been near normal.

Climate change is a fact, and most of the warming is caused by human activity. The Arctic is now so warm that the extent of sea ice has decreased by about 30 pct. in summer and in winter, sea ice is getting thinner. New research has shown that sea ice removes CO2 from the atmosphere. If Arctic sea ice is reduced, we may therefore be facing an increase of atmospheric concentration of CO2, researchers warn.

Due to global warming, larger and larger areas of sea ice melt in the summer and when sea ice  freezes over in the winter it…

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# Study: Fracked shale gas impacts have positive and negative benefits, but there’s no reason not to make it part of the energy mix

From The University of Manchester: Fracking’s environmental impacts scrutinised

Greenhouse gas emissions from the production and use of shale gas would be comparable to conventional natural gas, but the controversial energy source actually faired better than renewables on some environmental impacts, according to new research.

The UK holds enough shale gas to supply its entire gas demand for 470 years, promising to solve the country’s energy crisis and end its reliance on fossil-fuel imports from unstable markets. But for many, including climate scientists and environmental groups, shale gas exploitation is viewed as environmentally dangerous and would result in the UK reneging on its greenhouse gas reduction obligations under the Climate Change Act.

University of Manchester scientists have now conducted one of the most thorough examinations of the likely environmental impacts of shale gas exploitation in the UK in a bid to inform the debate. Their research has just been published…

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