The Garret Tree
Sunday, January 14, 2007
  Living in a science fiction world

Sometimes last week, I wondered if I was living in a science fiction novel or movie. I've been reading science fiction since I was a kid. Only it wasn't the great adventure into space, it could be the opening scene of a disaster story.

On December 28, 2006, the Canadian media, including the CBC reported a discovery by Laurie Weirs of the Canadian Ice Service. She had found, by looking at NASA satellite images, that the Ayles ice shelf had collapsed on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island back in August 2005.
(official report on the collapse).

Weirs' discovery was confirmed by Luke Copland at the University of Ottawa Laboratory for Cyrospheric Research. You wll find his special website on the event here.

The story was picked up media around the world.

My colleagues at CBC's Quirks and Quarks also reported on the even on January 6, 2007. You can find and listen to an MP3 of the broadcast by clicking the link.

Once I got back to work after the New Year, I spoke to both Weirs and Copeland. At, we decided to build a photo gallery that would track the collapse. The first images used in the study were from the NASA/MODIS real time images from the Terra and Aqua satellites and uncorrected for the curvature of the earth.

So I called my contacts at the Goodard Space Flight Center, where the MODIS project has its headquarters and requested images corrected for the curvature of the Earth for use in the photo gallery. MODIS reported the ice shelf collapse on January 9. 2007.

The images were used in the CBC photo gallery which tracks ice shelf collapse minute by minute.
The CBC's Kelly Crowe also did a follow up report for the National. (Real Video, runs 5:24).

So no wonder there were those science ficton movie thoughts in the back of mind, getting those satellite images from NASA of yet another indication of global climate change. Is it the opening scene of what is to come.....?

Labels: , , , , , ,

Links to this post

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home
I write in a renovated garret in my house in a part of Toronto, Canada, called "The Pocket." The blog is named for a tree can be seen outside the window of my garret.

My Photo
Name: Robin Rowland
Location: Toronto, Canada

I'm a Toronto-based writer, photographer, web producer, television producer, journalist and teacher. I'm author of five books, the latest A River Kwai Story: The Sonkrai Tribunal. The Garret tree is my blog on the writing life including my progress on my next book (which will be announced here some time in the coming months) My second blog, the Wampo, Nieke and Sonkrai follows the slow progress of my freelanced model railway based on my research on the Burma Thailand Railway (which is why it isn't updated that often) The Creative Guide to Research, based on my book published in 2000 is basically an archive of news, information and hints for both the online and the shoe-leather" researcher. (Google has taken over everything but there are still good hints there)

New blogs as of Sept. 2009
Robin's Weir
Tao of News

November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / November 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / August 2009 /

    follow me on Twitter

    A River Kwai Story
    A River Kwai Story
    The Sonkrai Tribunal