NASA scientists expressed surprise and alarm on Tuesday in announcing the discovery of a widespread thaw in Greenland unprecedented in recorded history. An estimated 97 percent of Greenland’s ice sheet has undergone thawing, jumping from 40 percent in only a five-day period in July. Typically, about half of the ice sheet sees melting, but the proportion has doubled this year due to a dome of warm air that moved over Greenland. The ice melt is unmatched in the 30 years that satellites have been monitoring Greenland, and ice core data indicates that such a thaw has not taken place since 1889. "This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: was this real or was it due to a data error?" Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena said in a press release. Scientists expect such events roughly every 150 years. If such melting repeats next summer, scientists say they’ll then be able to link it to global warming.
Hayden Kennedy, Kyle Dempster, and Urban Novak have made the first ascent of the east face of K7, enduring an open bivouac on their way to the top of the 22,753-foot peak in Pakistan's Charakusa Valley. The American-Slovenian team took three days to get to the top of the peak, enduring deep snow and climbing difficult mixed terrain en route. Kennedy and Dempster attempted the east face in 2011, but encountered difficulties and ended up making the first ascent of nearby Hassan Peak instead. Novak was a member of a Slovenian expedition that made the third ascent of K7 via its northwest face last summer, though he wasn't part of the summit team.
Via Rock and Ice
Greek triple-jumper Voula Papachristou has been banned from the 2012 Olympics three days after posting a racist joke on Twitter. On Sunday, Papachristou tweeted, “With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!” Today, the Hellenic Olympic Committee announced that Papachristou would not be competing in the London, saying her comment was “contrary to the values and ideals of the Olympic movement.” Papachristou has expressed support for the extreme right-wing Golden Dawn party in the past. “I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered,” the 23-year-old said in a statement, “since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights.” She is currently 17th in the world triple-jump rankings.
Via The Guardian
World Anti-Doping Agency President John Fahey announced Tuesday that over 100 aspiring Olympic athletes were banned from London as the result of positive doping tests in the six months prior to the start of the Games. More than 70,000 tests had been conducted in the run-up to London. "Doping athletes should know that their chances of avoiding detection are the smallest they have ever been," Fahey said. The announcement was quickly followed by the news that nine track and field athletes were suspended for doping, including three who were identified through retests of samples from last year's world championships. London officials will analyze around 6,250 samples this summer, more than at any previous Olympic Games.