Monthly Archives: March 2012

Very high radiation, little water in Fukushima reactor

The data collected Tuesday showed the damage from the disaster was so severe, the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant, a process expected to last decades.

The other two reactors that had meltdowns could be in even worse shape. The No. 2 reactor is the only one officials have been able to closely examine so far.

Tuesday’s examination with an industrial endoscope detected radiation levels up to 10 times the fatal dose inside the chamber. Plant officials previously said more than half of the melted fuel has breached the core and dropped to the floor of the primary containment vessel, some of it splashing against the wall or the floor.

 

For interesting article click here.

38,052 pounds new materials needed for each US citizen each year.

To see the chart, its fascinating, click here.

Global ‘water threat’ by 2030 – official report

Nations will cut off rivers to prevent their enemies having access to water downstream, terrorists will blow up dams, and states that cannot provide water for their citizens will collapse. This is the future – as painted by a top US security report.

­The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the organization that oversees US intelligence agencies such as the CIA and FBI, was commissioned by President Barack Obama to examine the impact of water scarcity worldwide on US security.

And while the prospect of “water wars” has been touted for decades, it may start to become reality within a decade. The ODNI predicts that by 2040 water demand will outstrip current supply by 40 per cent.

For full and disturbing report click here.

 

Coal and the industrialisation of the Great Barrier Reef

Australia is on the verge of an unprecedented coal boom. The epicentre of this expansion is the yet to be developed Galilee Basin in Central Queensland. Galilee is the proposed site for a series of mega mines that will cause Australia’s coal exports to more than double within a decade. The creation of mega mines in Central Queensland, the accompanying export infrastructure and increases in shipping traffic, as well as the burning of the coal they produce, place an incredible burden on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Full report Boom_goes_the_Reef_Report

The Shadow Government

Through a network of unbalanced, almost-invisible committees, the government gets what it wants.

“From any single perspective”, Bertrand Russell said, “power always seems to be elsewhere”(1). This article is about one of those elsewheres. It is about the network of unelected committees, boards and commissions, operating below the public radar, through which governments pursue the aims which weren’t disclosed in their manifestos. The people they appoint are an index to the interests they serve. To list them is to expose the gulf between what a government claims to be and what it is.

It would be misleading to suggest that the process I’m about to discuss is new. Blair and Brown began the abuses that the coalition government is refining: purging countervailing voices from public bodies and stuffing them with the representatives of business(2).

But Cameron and his ministers are extending this project to serve what seems to me to be their core aims. These are to marketise and covertly privatise what remains of public provision and to create a welfare state for corporations and the ultra-rich, whose income will be sustained by public contracts and captive markets for essential services.

Forthe full Monbiot article in theGuardian click here.

Rising Sea Level Threat to Coastal US

About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by global warming, according to new research.

If the pace of the rise accelerates as much as expected, researchers found, coastal flooding at levels that were once exceedingly rare could become an every-few-years occurrence by the middle of this century.

By far the most vulnerable state is Florida, the new analysis found, with roughly half of the nation’s at-risk population living near the coast on the porous, low-lying limestone shelf that constitutes much of that state. But Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey are also particularly vulnerable, researchers found, and virtually the entire American coastline is at some degree of risk.

full article click here.

Australian carbon price overwhelmed by drop in sea ice

Despite peak global temperatures in 2005 and 2010, unprecedented in the instrumental
record, a recent sharp plunge in volume of the Arctic Sea ice and a spate of extreme
weather events, coal mining, coal exports and carbon emissions continue to grow,
overwhelming any mitigation attempted by schemes such as the Australian carbon
price.

With graphs and information report by Andrew Glickson click here

“State of the Climate – 2012″ continues the same inexorable process

Australian CSIRO report on State of the Climate 2012 provides an updated summary of long-term climate trends. Each decade has been warmer than the previous decade since the 1950s. Global-average surface temperatures were the warmest on record in 2010 (slightly higher than 2005 and 1998). 2011 was the world’s 11th warmest year and the warmest year on record during a La Niña event. The world’s 13 warmest years on record have all occurred in the past 15 years.

There has been a general trend towards increased spring and summer monsoonal rainfall across Australia’s north during recent decades, and decreased late autumn and winter rainfall across southern Australia. The summary shows that the very strong La Niña event in 2010 followed by another in 2011 brought the highest two-year Australian-average rainfall total on record.
 
State of the Climate 2012 highlights the increase in global sea level and around Australia. Since 1993 sea-surface temperatures around Australia have increased faster than the global average. The concentrations of long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new high in 2011. Annual growth in global fossil-fuel CO2 emissions between 2009 and 2010 was 5.9 per cent, reversing a small decline of 1.2 per cent recorded between 2008 and 2009 during the global financial crisis.

For the full report click here.

Thickest Parts of Arctic Ice Cap Melting Faster

A new NASA study revealed that the oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is disappearing at a faster rate than the younger and thinner ice at the edges of the Arctic Ocean’s floating ice cap…. It is diminishing at a rate of -15.1 percent per decade.

Read Science Daily report here, with maps.