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Australia: Thirsty Koala Stops Cyclist to Take a Drink Amid Heatwave
A video posted on Instagram by cyclist Anna Heusler shows the desperate marsupial climbing onto the frame of a bicycle to get a better sip.
The cyclists, who were riding towards Adelaide in 40°C (104°F) heat, spotted the koala as they came around a bend on the road. "Naturally, we stopped because we were going to help relocate him off the road," Heusler told Australia's 7 News, as reported in the New Zealand Herald.
A desperate koala suffering through the soaring temperatures in South Australia approached a group of cyclists to drink from a water bottle.https://t.co/jV9mM4xn9y— nzherald (@nzherald) December 28, 2019
"I stopped on my bike and he walked right up to me, quite quickly for a koala, and as I was giving him a drink from all our water bottles, he actually climbed up onto my bike.
"None of us have ever seen anything like it."
Koalas Suffering in Heat Wave
The pictures are heartwarming, but the incident also shows the dangers posed to the animals' existence by the current fire situation in the country. At least 2,000 koalas died in devastating and widespread bushfires across South Australia and the east coast of the continent, a parliamentary inquiry heard earlier in December.
The animals died either in bushfires or from starvation and dehydration afterwards, North East Forest Alliance president and ecologist Dailan Pugh told the inquiry.
Director of the Total Environment Centre Jeff Angel warned that the risk to koalas' survival was at emergency level due to the bushfires, which have caused loss of habitat for the marsupials. "We urge the government to do more, and quickly," Angel told News Ltd on Saturday.
The assessment of the situation facing Australia's koalas comes as its government drew criticism for a badly timed tourism campaign costing Aus$15 million ($10.5 million, €9.4 million). The campaign depicts scenes of cuddly koalas and blue skies — in stark contrast to current media images of Australia's inferno-like conditions.
Reposted with permission from DW.
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By Alex Kirby
The temperature of the Arctic matters to the entire world: it helps to keep the global climate fairly cool. Scientists now say that by 2035 there could be an end to Arctic sea ice.
Melt Ponds Crucial<p>"The prospect of loss of sea ice by 2035 should really be focusing all our minds on achieving a low-carbon world as soon as humanly feasible."</p><p><a href="http://www.reading.ac.uk/search/search-staff-details.aspx?id=10813" target="_blank">Dr. David Schroeder from the University of Reading</a>, UK, who co-led the implementation of the melt pond scheme in the climate model, says, "This shows just how important sea ice processes like melt ponds are in the Arctic, and why it is crucial that they are incorporated into climate models."</p><p>The extent of the areas <a href="https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/seaice/characteristics/formation.html" target="_blank">sea ice</a> covers varies between summer and winter. If more solar energy is absorbed at the surface, and temperatures rise further, a cycle of warming and melting occurs during summer months.</p><p>When the ice forms, the ocean water beneath becomes saltier and denser than the surrounding ocean. Saltier water sinks and moves along the ocean bottom towards the equator, while warm water from mid-depths to the surface travels from the equator towards the poles.</p><p>Scientists refer to this process as the ocean's global "conveyor-belt." Changes to the volume of sea ice can disrupt normal ocean circulation, with consequences for global climate. </p>
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