Archive for Royal Navy
www.telegraph.co.uk 8th November 2010
33 whales have been found beached off Rutland Island near Burtonport in County Donegal, Ireland on Saturday. The pod had been spotted in late October off the Inner Hebrides and were in danger of grounding themselves due to bad weather, said Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group. Also in the region at that time was the Royal Navy and several campaigners have voiced their concerns that military sonars may have caused the whales to beach themselves. However, a Royal Navy spokesperson has claimed that the nearest navy vessel to South Uist, where the whales were spotted in October, was 50 miles away and at that distance, would have no effect on the mammals navigational abilities. Navies around the world have previously insisted that their sonars do not affect marine creatures but in America, a judge ordered the US Navy not to use mid-frequency sonar between 2007 and 2009 for fear of damaging marine life. The beaching off Rutland Island is one of the largest in recent history. In the 1960s, around 60 whales died by beaching off the west coast of Kerry. In 2001, 35-40 more suffocated in the same area. The most recent event is currently being investigated by a team from Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology.
www.bbc.co.uk 13th October 2010
A new project is seeking to use logbooks from World War One era navy vessels to chart how climate has changed in the last century. Current weather data is mainly based on information from land-based monitoring stations which have been systematically recording for the past 150 years. However, the record is far from complete, particularly prior to 1920 and at sea, says Dr Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the UK Met Office. This new project, called OldWeather.org, aims to use weather data from ships logbooks to try and fill in some of these gaps, effectively turning the 280 odd WW1 vessels into mobile weather stations. Volunteers are encouraged to transcribe information from old logbooks posted online, including HMS Caroline which survived the Battle of Jutland and can still be seen moored at Belfast. The more transcription a volunteer does, the higher he/she rises up the rank system of that ship. According to Dr. Scott: “Historical weather data is vital because it allows us to test our models of the Earth’s climate: if we can correctly account for what the weather was doing in the past, then we can have more confidence in our predictions of the future.”