A giant iceberg that detached from Antarctica in 2017 released the equivalent of 61 million Olympic-sized swimming pools of fresh water as it melted, according to research published Thursday, raising questions over the impact on the marine ecosystem.
The monstrous iceberg was twice the size of Luxembourg when it separated from the Larsen ice shelf, which has warmed faster than any other part of Earth's southernmost continent.
At 5,719 square kilometres (2,200 square miles) it was the biggest iceberg on Earth when it formed and the sixth-largest on record, according to the British Antarctic Survey.
For two years, the trillion-tonne giant known as A-68, drifted close to home in the cold waters of the Weddell Sea before traveling northwards and menacing the British island of South Georgia, some 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) from its starting point.
The iceberg, by then known as A-68a after a piece snapped off, came dangerously close to the island in late 2020, raising fears that it would become stuck on the seabed, block ocean currents and obstruct the passage of thousands of penguins and seals.
But the new study found that while it did briefly graze the seabed, the iceberg melted quickly once in the warmer region around South Georgia and had already lost a significant amount of its bulk by the time it reached shallower waters.
Researchers who tracked its journey via satellites calculated that from late 2020 until it melted away in 2021, A-68 released an estimated total of 152 billion tonnes of nutrient-rich fresh water into the sea.
That is equivalent to 20 times the water in Scotland's Loch Ness, or 61 million Olympic-sized swimming pools, said the BAS in a press release, adding it was "a disturbance that could have a profound impact on the island's marine habitat".
"This is a huge amount of melt water," said Anne Braakmann-Folgmann, a researcher at the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM), who led the research published in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment.
"The next thing we want to learn is whether it had a positive or negative impact on the ecosystem" around South Georgia, she said.
© 2022 AFP
Watergate lawyer Nick Ackerman spoke with CNN Thursday after a late-night decision from the Supreme Court and said that former President Donald Trump is finally starting to face consequences for his actions. He even went on to suggest that if the evidence proves Trump intentionally tried to stop Congress then the former president could be on the hook for up to 20 years in prison.
"If you took it from Donald Trump's standpoint, he truly believes the three people he appointed to the Supreme Court have to be loyal to him. That they owe him," said Ackerman. "He looks at it as a quid pro quo type of arrangement he's used to in business. The fact of the matter is these Supreme Court justices stick to the rule of law and in this particular case what they did is they relied on the 1974 decision of U.S. v. Nixon where Nixon tried to do the same thing and conceal his office tapes from the prosecutors based on executive privilege. What the court did was essentially adopt the same decision that was given in Nixon. I mean, this was history repeating itself."
He went on to say that during President Richard Nixon's era, there was a concern that he'd appointed several Supreme Court justices too. That too was an 8-0 decision.
"Because the Court of Appeals concluded that President Trump's claims would have failed even if he were the incumbent, his status as a former President necessarily made no difference to the court's decision," the Court said.
This excerpt of the decision essentially leaves Trump "nowhere," said Ackerman.
"There's no executive privilege they can assert here," he explained. "Because executive privilege as the Court said in the Nixon case, you can't use it for conversations in furtherance of criminal activity. With Nixon, it was in furtherance of the conspiracy to obstruct the Watergate chase. Here it's relating to basically an insurrection that was perpetrated on the Congress. And there's no way under any circumstance that any court is ever going to say that those conversations are legitimate, executive privilege-covered conversations. The exec privilege relates to legitimate government business that the president is engaged in, most notably military actions, national security, and the like, engaged in, most notably, military actions, national security, and the like. This is certainly why they're saying it doesn't make any difference whether Trump is a sitting president or not. These conversations are not covered by executive privilege."
He continued, explaining that the key piece of the case is that Trump acted with a corrupt motive and all of the courts are going to say that privilege doesn't exist in those cases. These documents will now show the intent of his words on Jan. 6. In the second impeachment trial, the prosecutors didn't have access to documents or people who could prove Trump was intentionally attempting to cause violence.
"This really is going to answer the question, can they make a criminal case on Donald Trump for obstructing Congress, which is an extremely serious federal felony carrying imprisonment of 20 years.
See the video below:
Watergate lawyer says it's nice to see Trump might not be above the law after all www.youtube.com
Fulton County district attorney turns up the heat on Trump as she seeks to assemble a special grand jury for 2020 probe
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is seeking a special grand jury in her investigation of former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn Georgia's 2020 presidential election.
"In a Thursday letter to Christopher S. Brasher, chief judge of Fulton County’s Superior Court, Willis said the move was needed because a “significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation absent a subpoena requiring their testimony," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday. "She cited comments Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger made during an October 2021 interview with NBC News’ Chuck Todd."
The probe is centered around Trump's Jan. 2 phone call to Raffensperger, when he urged the elections chief to "find" enough votes to overcome Biden's victory.
"So-called special purpose grand juries are rarely used in Georgia but could be a valuable tool for Willis as she takes the extraordinary step of investigating the conduct of a president while he was in office," the newspaper reported. "Special grand juries, which typically have 16 to 23 members, can’t issue indictments. But they can subpoena witnesses, compel the production of documents, inspect and enter into certain offices for the purposes of the investigation."
Read the full report.
Full Phone Call: Trump Pressures Georgia Secretary of State To Recount Election Votes | NBC News www.youtube.com