Saturday, January 4, 2020

Mountain Peaks and Glaciers in NZ Turn Brown

A photo taken on January 01, 2020 shows the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers in New Zealand, which have turned brown as a result of Australian bushfire smoke and ash

Australia’s fires are not only devastating the country – but even neighboring New Zealand can’t escape from its after effects. 

On Wednesday many parts of the South Island woke up to an orange haze and red sun, after smoke from the Victorian and New South Wales blazes drifted east on Tuesday night, smothering many parts of the island for most of the day. 

On Thursday, pictures taken from the Southern Alps showed the smoke haze carrying particles of dust had tinged snow-capped mountain peaks and glaciers a shade of caramel, with former prime minister Helen Clark expressing concern for the long-lasting environmental impacts on the mountains. 

Professor Andrew Mackintosh (left) who is head of the school of earth, atmosphere and environment at Monash University, and the former director of the Antarctic Research Centre went so far as saying the inferno in Australia could increase glacier melt this season by as much as 30% – although he stressed this was no more than an estimate. 

The impacts of the dust event would likely last no longer than a year, Mackintosh said, but if Australia continues to be impacted by extreme wildfires and droughts “it will be one of the factors that is accelerating the demise of glaciers in New Zealand overall”. 

The smoke-filled haze drifting over New Zealand is the fourth such event this summer, the Met Service said, and despite no official health warnings being issued, many with asthma said they were choosing to remain indoors during the unusual conditions. 

Liz Carlson (left), a travel writer and creator behind Young Adventuress wrote in her blog: “It’s pretty remarkable to see the impact of the fires from so far away. Our glaciers don’t need any more battles as they are already truly endangered; it puts the impact of climate change into even more stark reality we can’t ignore”. 

On Thursday, in an EPL match between Liverpool and Sheffield United, the former saw off the latter. Yes, Reds won yet again! 2020 started as 2019 ended. 

But take note that the two-goal margin of victory did not flatter the home side – it was a ho-hum game.

The first goal was a classic quick strike with a minimum of touches. Virgil van Dijk picked up Andy Robertson’s run down the left and Mohamed Salah was ready and waiting for the low cross to supply a crisp first-time finish in just four minutes. 

The second rightly belonged to Sadio Mané. It came in the sixty-fourth minute. He made a dogged break down the right, fed the Egyptian King in the middle and carried on running, so that the return pass found him in front of goal, where he was able to beat Blades’ goalkeeper at the second attempt. 

Another good result for Liverpool in the pocket. Furthermore, the triumph restored a 13-point lead at the top of the table with a game in hand. The Reds are on a roll! 

And eighteen matches remain in 2019/20!

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