Hill 60 Wollongong… a brief visit.

View south from Hill 60

Hill 60 is a heritage-listed Aboriginal site at Military Road, Port Kembla, Wollongong. It is also the location of the World War II installation the Illowra Battery. Illowra (Red Point, Ti-tree Hill or Hill 60) at Port Kembla is a site of immense cultural and spiritual significance to the Aboriginal people of the Illawarra region.

A squadron of pelicans high in the sky.
Footpath to the headland
Towards Rocky and Toothbrush Islands

Virtual Trip… Siberia

At around 13 million square kilometers (5.1 million square miles), Siberia takes up three-quarters of all Russian territory and almost ten percent of Earth’s land surface. England is 130,395 sq km (53,820 sq miles). However, when it comes to population density, Siberia is one of the least populated areas on Earth, with between 7 and 8 inhabitants per square miles.

Image by Olga Martynova, Pixabay

Siberia is associated with harshly cold temperatures, but the weather isn’t cold year-round. During Siberian winters, the temperature can reach lows of –70°C (–94°F). However, summers are warm across Siberia, with some parts of Western Siberia reaching highs of 35°C (95°F). This weather is due to the continental climate of the area, characterised by cold winters and warm summers.

Photo https://seasonsyear.com/


Large snowflakes are an ordinary occurrence in Siberia. In the Siberian city of Bratsk, snowflakes measuring 12 inches (30.5 cm) in diameter were recorded in 1971. Other parts of Siberia experience a type of snowfall called “diamond dust”: snow made of very thin, needle-shaped icicles.
Some Siberians can estimate the temperature based on the squeaking sound made when snow is stepped on. The sound, which is caused by snow particles squashing together and breaking, is more audible in lower temperatures.

Snowflake guide http://www.its.caltech.edu~atomic/snow crystals/class/class-old.htm

The People

The entire population of Siberia—about 33 million people—is equal to only three times the population of the Moscow metropolitan area (England about 56million). Most of the residents are Russians, followed by Ukrainians, Tatars, Germans, Jews, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Kazakhs and other nationalities from the former Soviet Union.

Siberian Tartars wikipedia

Early humans lived in Siberia as far back as 125,000 years ago. In 2010, archaeologists discovered a human bone belonging to a hybrid of a Denisovan and Neanderthal in the Altai mountains of Siberia. Siberian lands have long been home to indigenous groups, including the Nivkhi, the Evenki, and the Buryat.


Siberia Is Home to the Deepest Lake on Earth

Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world. It contains over 20% of the world’s fresh surface water. It is also the deepest lake in the world, with a depth of 5,387 feet (1,642 meters).
Mountains completely surround the lake, and more than 330 rivers feed water into it. Due to its size, it is often referred to as the Baikal Sea.
The entire lake freezes over each winter, with ice as thick as 6.5 feet (2 meters) in some places. In the summer, storms form waves that can reach 14.8 feet (4.5 meters) high.

Photo Pixabay

Over 70% of Russian Oil And Gas Comes From Siberia

The majority of Russian crude oil and natural gas comes from Western Siberia, where natural reserves spread over more than 2 million square kilometers. Russia is one of the world’s largest natural gas exporters because of its Siberian territories.

Siberia is Home to The World’s Longest Railway Line.

The Trans-Siberian Railway Network, which connects Moscow and Vladivostok, is 5,771 miles (9,288.2 kilometers) in length. The journey lasts 6 nights and 7 days, with 10-20 minute stops at each station. The railway is famous for the breathtaking views along the route, which crosses eight time zones and includes Lake Baikal, birch and pine forests, and the Ural mountains.
The midpoint of the railway line is a station called Tayshet (Тайшет), a town of 33,000 people. Tayshet is historically significant for being the center of administration for two major Gulag labor camps (Ozerlag and Angarstroy), as well as the starting point for the Baikal-Amur Mainline, a railway that runs parallel to the Trans-Siberian line.

Next stop….here’s a clue…

The original matryoshka set by Zvyozdochkin and Malyutin, 1892

Virtual Trip… Over the Top

Ice Caps

Polar ice caps are dome-shaped sheets of ice found near the North and South Poles. They form because high-latitude polar regions receive less heat from the Sun than other areas on Earth. The polar ice caps contain the majority of Earth’s supply of freshwater, scientists estimate that 70% of Earth’s freshwater supply remains in an ice sheet at the South Pole.

Global Warming

As average temperatures at the poles have risen in recent years due to changes in the environment. The polar ice caps have started to melt and break apart. NASA satellite photographs show that the polar ice caps are shrinking 9° every 10 years.

The changing environment at the poles affects native people, animals, and plants. Animals such as seals, polar bears, and whales may be forced to change their natural migration patterns and people who live in coastal villages may have to abandon their homes as sea levels rise. The effects of the melting polar ice caps may one day be felt well beyond the poles. As the polar ice caps shrink, sea levels begin to rise, creating serious problems for coastal areas around the globe. Fortunately, we can do our part to slow down and prevent the environmental changes causing the polar ice melt. Scientists blame the use of fossil fuels, such as oil, coal, and gasoline, for the production of gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and lead to higher average temperatures. Scientists call this phenomenon “global warming.”

What can we do to prevent global warming? Conserve energy! Some communities have begun to use renewable resources, such as solar energy (from the Sun) and wind power. Doing our part, though, can be as simple as turning off a light switch when you leave a room!

This image shows ice in the Beaufort Sea, which is just north of Alaska. (Credit: Elisabeth Calvert, Hidden Ocean 2005 Expedition: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration)

Unlike Antarctica, there’s no land at the North Pole. Instead it’s all ice that’s floating on top of the Arctic Ocean. Over the past four decades, scientists have seen a steep decline in both the amount and thickness of Arctic sea ice during the summer and winter months. There is no territorial claim to the North Pole but it is governed by the Arctic Council

Using a compass won’t necessarily take you due north if you’re traveling to the North Pole. That’s because there’s a difference between the geographic North Pole and the geomagnetic North Pole, which is what compasses and that handy GPS app on your phone use. Geomagnetic poles change over time, so what was geomagnetic north 10 years ago isn’t the same as it is now. In other words, trekking from Greenland to the North Pole isn’t the best idea if you’re relying solely on a compass.

The North Pole


And there’s more…