The Ross Sea has lost 50% of its summer ice cover
The Ross Sea is a large bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica. Like much of the frozen continent, it had been gaining ice at the start of the 21st century. This was due to various factors including changes in wind speed, precipitation, salinity, ocean currents, air and water temperatures.
In subsequent decades, however, a rapid reduction of ice cover began to occur during the summer months as temperatures in the region soared, with corresponding changes in wind patterns and ocean currents. By 2043, half of the summer ice cover has been lost and is continuing to decline, now on track to decrease 56% by 2050 and 78% by 2100.**
The Ross Sea is critically important in regulating the production of Antarctica's sea ice overall. The decline now being witnessed therefore has long-term implications for the continent as a whole. This comes at a time when commercial interests are beginning to eye the potential for resource extraction, as the Antarctic Treaty is due for review in 2048.*
Marine life in this productive and once unspoiled ecosystem is also being negatively impacted. A number of important species are dependent on the ice during their life cycles, including crystal krill and Antarctic silverfish. Krill are a major food source for the Ross Sea's top predators – minke whales, crabeater seals, Adélie and Emperor penguins (the latter may go extinct by 2100, if trends continue).
Slovenia closes down its only nuclear power plant
The Krško Nuclear Power Plant is located in Krško, Slovenia. It was built between 1975-1983 as a joint venture by Slovenia and Croatia, which were at the time both part of Yugoslavia. With 730 megawatts of generation capacity, it provided more than one-quarter of Slovenia's and 15 percent of Croatia's power.
In 2008, a coolant leak was reported, triggering fears of a Chernobyl-style disaster and prompting an EU-wide alert. However, this turned out to be a false alarm. The incident resulted in a relatively large amount of media attention for what was a minor malfunction.
The planned retirement date for the plant was 14th January 2023. The decommissioning plan that was ratified by the Slovenian and Croatian parliaments scheduled the start of disassembly shortly after that, and the taking apart of the plant would last until 2036. An extension for 20 years – extending the plant lifetime to 14th January 2043 – was subsequently made to the Slovenian regulatory body (URSJV).*