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Beneath the Ice Last week swimmer Yekaterina Nekrasova swam 85 meters under Lake Baikal ice to set a world record. The ice above her was 25 centimeters thick and support crews cut a series of escape holes just in case. The average thickness is between 0.5 to 1.4 meters but the cutting was probably easier then in the past. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, ice thickness has decreased by an average of 12 centimeters on Lake Baikal since 1949, and the ice–free season has lengthened by nearly three weeks since 1869. The video is pretty amazing and Nekrasova makes the swim look easy despite the subzero temperatures. See also this week, stories about unprecedented January shipping through the Northern Sea Route and Bering Strait, and a beautiful celebration of natural ice by figure skaters Elizabet Tursynbayeva and Kseniya Pankratova’s on frozen lakes in Northern Kazakhstan. Mike Brubaker, Editor

The Moscow Times / The Moscow Times / January 11, 2021

See video of Yekaterina Nekrasova 40, swim an 85-meter distance beneath the ice of Lake Baikal. Nekrasova beat the current under-ice swim record of 70 meters set by South African Amber Fillary in Norway last year.

Read article on The Moscow Times



Qusmuryn, Qostanay, Kazakhstan
The Astana Times / January 15, 2021

See Kazakh figure skater Elizabet Tursynbayeva skating to “Znai (Know)” by Dimash Kudaibergen on the frozen lakes of Kazakhstan.

Read article on The Astana Times



Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada
Nunatsiaq News / Nunatsiaq News / January 19, 2021

The warm spell, which is expected to last into the last week of January, is the result of a low-pressure cyclonic system of warm air from the south.

Read article on Nunatsiaq News



Uelen, Chukotskiy Avtonomnyy Okrug, Russia
RB Smith / The Nome Nugget / January 16, 2021

Last week, a 908-foot Russian tanker carrying liquified natural gas passed south through the Russian side of the Bering Strait, with two more to follow.

Read article on The Nome Nugget



Vihti, Uusimaa, Finland
Yle Uutiset / January 17, 2021

Finland is emerging from a deep freeze, giving way to milder temperatures and more snow. On Saturday three people in Helsinki fell through the ice at two different locations within the same 15-minute period.

Read article on Yle Uutiset



Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
CBC / January 15, 2021

City of Whitehorse crews have been dealing with record amounts of snow on residential streets and roads. Thousands of truckloads of snow will be hauled away keeping a small army of city workers and contractors busy with plenty of overtime.

Read article on CBC



İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
DAILY SABAH / Daily Sabah / January 18, 2021

The precipitation, although lasting just a few days, was good news for dams supplying water to more than 15 million people in the city. Just a few weeks after a drought alert, dams have seen a rise in their water levels.

Read article on Daily Sabah



Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Simon Hunter / EL PAÍS / January 9, 2021

The unexpectedly heavy snowfall has blocked roads, left the emergency services unable to circulate and has caused dangerous situations due to falling branches.

Read article on EL PAÍS



Portree, Scotland, United Kingdom
BBC News / January 14, 2021

More than 50,000 juvenile fish were killed or escaped in the incident on Skye, says an industry body. The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) said predation attacks continued to have a significant impact on fish health and welfare.

Read article on BBC News



The Northern Climate Observer is published weekly by the Center for Climate and Health. We track news coverage from across the circumpolar north and provide readers with a curated roundup of climate change related events. Thank you for reading our newsletter and for paying attention to our changing world.

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