3 To Know: Climate study, gas prices and record births

Marco Eagle
Undated photo shows Thwaites Glacier in Western Antarctica.  A major ice sheet in western Antarctica is melting, and its collapse is predicted to raise global sea level. Airborne radar measurements of the West Antarctic ice sheet allowed scientists to map the underlying bedrock of Thwaites Glacier.

1. Climate study: Thwaites Glacier mapping shows ice loss

Scientists in West Antarctica have captured a first-of-its-kind seafloor mapping near the world’s widest glacier – which is shrinking at a pace that could one day raise global sea levels up to 10 feet, according to the University of South Florida.

U.S., U.K. and Swedish researchers deployed underwater robots close to the seafloor of the Thwaites Glacier to retrieve data, said Alastair Graham, Ph.D., a geological oceanography associate professor at the University of South Florida. Graham led the study released Monday. – Alastair Graham/Staff

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2. Florida’s gas prices are down

Gas prices in Florida dropped 9 cents in the last week after declines in global fuel markets.

Gas on Monday was on average $3.52 a gallon in Florida, according to the weekly briefing by AAA - The Auto Club Group, but the trend could be short-lived.

Foreign oil producers Russia and OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) agreed Monday to reduce their output by 100,000 barrels a day in October.

That prompted U.S. oil prices to increase by two percent overnight. Gasoline is refined from crude oil making its market price a major factor of the cost passed on to motorists.

'Pump prices are falling after sharp drops in the oil and gasoline futures markets last week,' said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins in his weekly briefing. 'If sustained, this downturn could enable the state average gas price to eventually slip into the $3.30s. However, oil prices were gaining strength Monday night, after OPEC and its allies announced plans to cut production in effort to stabilize falling energy prices.' – Karl Etters/Staff

The Family Birth Suites team at Cape Coral Hospital celebrates the single-month record for births in August 2022.

3. Cape Coral Hospital shatters record for births in August: 'We were busting at the seams'

When it comes to the population boom taking place in Cape Coral these days, look no farther than Cape Coral Hospital as ground zero for new residents arriving to the city —at least in August.

The team of doctors, nurses and other specialists at the hospital's Family Birth Suites delivered 189 babies. It's the most babies born in one month at the hospital in its 34-year history.

"We were busting at the seams," said Nancy Travis, who has served as the Director of Women and Neonatal Services at Cape Coral Hospital for 22 years. "Every day it was full. We kept asking ourselves 'Where are these ladies coming from?' "

Included in the 189 were 104 boys, 85 girls and four sets of twins. Travis also said two people on her staff delivered their babies in August.

The previous "most births" record was set in July (137) and before that it was September of 2021 with 136. Travis said a normal month yields between 110-125 births.

Travis said it was an incredible feat and it couldn't have happened without the dedication and hard work of her team, who she referred to as family.

"They do incredible work," Travis said. "We have been celebrating this. During the month people would call in to ask 'How many are we up to now?' Everyone wanted to know, from the housekeeping staff to food service." – Mark H. Bickel/Staff

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