Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Archive for the ‘air pollution’ Category

Hazardous Air Warnings in Beijing as Landslide Kills Dozens in SW China

Posted by feww on January 12, 2013

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,155 Days Left 

[January 12, 2013] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,155 Days Left to the most Fateful Day in Human History
  • Symbolic countdown to the ‘worst day’ in human history began on May 15, 2011 ...

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Dangerous air pollution lingers in Beijing, as landslide kills 46 in SW China

Air quality indexes in Beijing were approaching 500 on Saturday, as monitoring stations in various parts of the Chinese capital warned the density of PM2.5 particulates had reached 700 micrograms per cubic meter.

An hour earlier, monitors at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing had recorded an off-the-chart air-quality reading of 728 and PM2.5 density of 845 micrograms per cubic meter, reports said.

  • The air quality is regarded as ‘safe’ when the index is at 50 or lower, but hazardous for indexes between 301 and 500, when outdoor physical activities should be avoided.
  • Beijing city government issued new rules last year under which all outdoor sports activities must cease and factories have to reduce production capacity when air-quality index exceeds 500.
  • “Several other cities, including Tianjin on the coast east of Beijing and southern China’s Wuhan city, also reported severe pollution over the last several days.” AP reported.
  • The authorities have blamed the the high concentration of air pollutants on dense fog and lack of wind.

Temple of Heaven in Beijing
Original caption: Visitors walk at the fog-enveloped Temple of Heaven in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 12, 2013. Heavy fog hit Beijing on Saturday. (Xinhua/Li Wen). More images…

Landslide in SW China’s Yunnan Province

The death toll from a landslide that buried a village in a mountainous region in southwest China’s Yunnan Province Friday climbed to 46, rescuers said.

  • “The landslide hit the Zhaojiagou area of Gaopo Village, Zhenxiong County around 8:20 a.m. Friday. Zhenxiong is some 550 km northeast of the provincial capital, Kunming.”
  • The victims included 27 adults and 19 children, according to the local authorities.

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in air poisoning, air pollution, air quality, China Air Pollution, china coal consumption, China GHG, China landslide, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, particle pollution, Particulate Air Pollution, particulate matter, particulates | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Death from ‘Antifreeze’ in the Sky?

Posted by feww on January 6, 2011

Dead jackdaws fall from the Swedish sky

Hundreds of dead jackdaws have fallen from the sky in the town of Falkoeping, Sweden, the local media reported.

Officials have cited a number of reasons for the deaths including “disease or poisoning.”


Animal Rescue chief Christer Olofsson holds a dead jackdaws in Falkoeping, Sweden. Photo Credit: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

The report comes fast on the heels of a another incident on New Year’s Eve  in the town of Beebe, Arkansas, where thousands of blackbirds fell from the sky.

U-S scientists said the blackbirds in Arkansas may have been affected by the celebratory fireworks.  However, there were no reports of fireworks or storms in Falkoeping prior to the deaths.


One of more than a record 5,000 blackbirds that fell in the town of Beebe, Arkansas on the New Year’s Eve. Photo Credit: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

“The U.S. Geological Service’s website lists about 90 mass deaths of birds and other wildlife from June through Dec. 12. Five list deaths of at least 1,000 birds and another 12 show at least 500 dead birds.” LA Times reported.

Baffled?

“Hole Punch Clouds?”

Now see image below. The NASA caption reads:

Looking up on a chilly December morning in 2009, residents of rural West Virginia (southwest of Charleston) would have seen a halo of light bursting through the thin bank of clouds that hung overhead. The light was streaming through hole-punch clouds and canals, most likely created by passing airplanes. This image, taken by the Landsat-5 satellite on December 11, 2009, shows the unique conditions in which such holes form.

Hole Punch Clouds over West Virginia


Download large image (4 MB, JPEG). Source: NASA-EO

‘Antifreeze’ in the Sky?

The caption concludes

The surrounding cloud bank is made up of altocumulus clouds, sitting at an altitude of 2,000 to 7,000 meters (6,600 – 23,000 feet), where temperatures ranged between minus five and minus twenty degrees Celsius, according to radiosonde data taken nearby. Despite the chill, this image reveals that the clouds were made of water, not ice. [Emphasis added by FIRE-EARTH]

Full caption and reference available HERE.

Physics 101: Water freezes when cooled below 0°C (273.15K, 32°F) at standard atmospheric pressure, unless mixed with antifreeze.

See also

Second State Experiences Mass Bird Kill

Posted in Aflockalypse, air poisoning, air pollution, birds mass kill, mass deaths | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Houston: A Nightmare of Lights

Posted by feww on March 22, 2010

Metropolitan Energy Black Hole

Light Pollution in ‘The Energy Capital of the World’

Five of Texas’s coal-fired power plants that pollutes Houston’s sky at night are among the nation’s Top 10 emitters of mercury.

Houston, Texas at Night. The image [acquired January 10, 2010] depicts the roughly 100 kilometer (60 mile) east-west extent of the Houston metropolitan area. Houston proper is at image center, indicated by a “bull’s-eye” of elliptical white to orange-lighted beltways and brightly lit white freeways radiating outwards from the central downtown area. Suburban and primarily residential urban land uses are indicated by both reddish-brown and gray-green lighted regions that reflect a higher proportion of tree cover and lower light density. Petroleum refineries along the Houston Ship Channel are identified by densely lit areas of golden yellow light. Rural and undeveloped land rings the metropolitan area, and Galveston Bay to the southeast (image lower right) provides access to the Gulf of Mexico. Both types of non-urban surface appear dark in the image. Image and caption [sniped for brevity] by NASA.

Some facts about Houston

  • Size: Houston CMSA covers about 2,331,000 hectares (9,000 square miles)
  • Houston CMSA: The Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) consists of the eight counties of Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller.
  • Average Elevation: 13m (43 feet)
  • Population: 2.5 million (Houston is the fourth most populous city in the US, trailing only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and is the largest in Texas and the southern U.S.)
  • Houston Metro Population: 5.8 million (Pop Ranking: 6th largest US)
  • The three-airport system saw over 51 million passengers in 2006, including over seven million international travelers.
  • Houstonians eat out more than residents of any other city,  with  11,000 restaurants and eateries.
  • The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. It is the tenth largest port in the world.
  • More than 5,000 energy related firms are based in Houston.
  • Energy, aeronautics, and technology industries in Houston make it second only to New York City as a base for Fortune 500 headquarters.
  • Comparing Houston’s economy to a national economy, only 21 countries other than the United States have a GDP exceeding Houston’s regional output (2007).

Texas Coal-Fired Power Plants


Location Map:  Texas Coal-Fired Power Plants. Source: The Western Region Ash Group

Visible Pollution

  • Houston has a serious air quality problem. Since 1999, the Texas city has exchanged titles with Los Angeles as having the most polluted air in the United States defined by the number of days each city violates federal smog standards.
  • Five coal-fired Texas power plants which help keep the lights glaring at night are among the nation’s Top 10 emitters of mercury (Texas is also home to the largest concentration dirtiest coal-fired plants in the nation boasting 7 out of the worst 50).

Houston, we really do have a problem!

Related Links:

Posted in air pollution, coal-fired Texas power plants, Houston at Night, Top 10 emitters of mercury | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SoCal Fires Update October 15

Posted by feww on October 15, 2008

California: Playing with fire!

“Once again, we are facing the perfect storm of high winds, low humidity and high heat,” said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Wildfires have consumed 26,000 acres and 64 structures [and many mobile homes] from Los Angeles to the Mexican border in the last few days, Schwarzenegger said.


[This bag and my son is all I ever needed!] - Maria Ramirez runs through a police closure to get her son from their home as the Marek fire threatens houses in Lake View Terrace. October 13, 2008. Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times. Image may be subject to copyright.

  • Marek fire was more than 50% contained.
  • Sesnon fire, doubled in size overnight to about 10,000 acres, is still burning in a southwesterly direction.
  • Villaraigosa signed a local emergency declaration to receive state and federal disaster assistance.


The Sky Terrace Mobile Lodge in the northeast San Fernando Valley suffered significant damage to residences and structure from the Marek fire. October 13, 2008. Photo: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.
Image may be subject to copyright.

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Posted in air pollution, mandatory evacuation, Marek Fire, state of emergency, Villaraigosa | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Out of the sinking pan, into the fire!

Posted by feww on August 13, 2008

Global Warming Tolls the Death Knell for Tuvalu

Massive tides, high winds and rising sea levels are causing erosion to the four reef islands and five true atolls that comprise the tiny country of Tuvalu.


Map of Tuvalu

Formerly known as the Ellice Islands, the low-lying Polynesian islands are located in the Pacific Ocean midway between Hawaii and Australia. The nine-island cluster contains 600 sq km of ocean, but only a total of 25 sq km of land.


Tuvaluans reaching end of the road. (AP Yonhap). Image may be subject to copyright!

“The residents of Tepuka Savilivili, an island 10 kilometers away from Funafuti, also sense the crisis. One day in 1997, an uninhabited island simply vanished. The residents explained that gale winds blew and covered the island during the night. The next day, the coconut trees had vanished.” Wrote Nam Jong-yeong.

Drinking water is mixing with salty ocean water; the coconut trees are vanishing; during high tides seawater covers most parts of the islands.

Thousands of Tuvaluans have already left the shrinking islands, most of them arriving in what they believe to be a safe destination: New Zealand.

Their new home, however, could breakup and sink in the south-western Pacific Ocean as a result of massive earthquakes. It’s rather like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire!

Related Links:

Posted in air pollution, Climate Change, energy, environment, food, health, new zealand, Tourism, Travel, Water pollution | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Are You Allowed to Live Free of Toxic Pollution?

Posted by feww on July 25, 2008

The Right to Live Free of Toxic Pollution Must Be Made A Fundamental Human Right!

Of nearly 90,000 chemical compounds in use, the majority of which have never been tested for health effects, only a fraction are registered and of those only a handful have been banned by EPA in the last thirty years. Meanwhile, about 2,000 new chemicals are introduced each year.

See Main Entry: The Right to Live Free of Toxic Pollution

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Posted in air pollution, BMW, environment, food, germany, health, Munich, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Blind Monks of the Environment

Posted by feww on July 1, 2008

Original Entry: The Exponential Growth Economy Elephant in the Corner!

Posted in agirculture, air pollution, Climate Change, energy, food, Global Warming, health, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What’s a Hydrokong?

Posted by feww on June 27, 2008

A Shrinking World Series

Is it a mega-tropical storm system, or an extra-tropical cyclone (ETC), i.e., a non-tropical, large-scale low pressure storm system like a Nor’easter?

“Hydrokong” is a colossal atmospheric phenomenon. It’s an extreme precipitation event which is enhanced by circulation changes that increase and concentrate the distribution of water vapor.


Hydrokong! The Storm System as it appeared over the central United States June 12, 2008 04:15 UTC. The still image is an aviation color enhancement of a satellite image.

Globally, as total precipitation increases, the duration or frequency of precipitation events decreases. However, warmer temperatures and regional variation can significantly affect those offsetting behaviors. For example, reduced total precipitation in one region, the Western United States, can significantly increase the intensity of precipitation in another region, the Midwest. Hydrokongs essentially create two extreme events, droughts in one region and flooding caused by mega-intense precipitation in another. As the global temperatures rise, more hydrokongs should be expected.


Another Hydrokong in the making? A new System as it appeared over the central United States June 27, 2008 04:15 UTC. The still image is an aviation color enhancement of a satellite image.


An aviation color enhancement of a floater [updated periodically] satellite image GEOS Eastern U.S. Imagery, NOAA SSD. For full size image right-click on the image and select “View Image.”

In the words of Brian Pierce, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, describing the aftermath of flooding last week: “We are seeing a historic hydrological event taking place with unprecedented river levels occurring.”

Are Extreme Precipitation Events Earth’s Natural Defense Mechanisms?

Related Links:

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Posted in air pollution, Climate Change, Drought, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Arthur Starts the Hurricane Season

Posted by feww on June 1, 2008

Arthur Forms Punctually Near Belize City, Mexico

Tropical storm Arthur, Atlantic’s first named storm for 2008, lashed Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula with strong winds of about 40 mph (65 kph), dumping heavy rains on Saturday.


Infrared image GOES Floater (updated every hour or so). NOAA – National Hurricane Center

As if with clockwork precision, Arthur was formed just hours before the official June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season about 75 miles (125 km) northwest of Belize City, Mexico.

Alma, the tropical storm formed in the Pacific, fizzled out on Friday after sloshing Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, killing three people.

This graphic shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (purple). The orange circle indicates the current position of the center of the tropical cyclone. The black line and dots show the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast track of the center at the times indicated. The dot indicating the forecast center location will be black if the cyclone is forecast to be tropical and will be white with a black outline if the cyclone is forecast to be extratropical. If only an L is displayed, then the system is forecast to be a remnant low. The letter inside the dot indicates the NHC’s forecast intensity for that time. (Graph and caption NOAA)

Related Information:

Related Links:

Posted in air pollution, americas, Climate Change, climate refugees, CO2, CO2e, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, More Disasters, politics, Travel, Warming | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Seeking Toxic Asylum

Posted by feww on May 29, 2008

submitted by a reader

Partenope: Naples Garbage Opera

Protagonists:

  • Queen Partenope: Played by the entire population of Naples and Campania [and the estimated 1.2 million tons of rotting garbage]
  • Prince Armindo of Rhodes: played by Il Duce [the leader] of Italy Silvio Berlusconi and his gang.
  • Prince Arsace of Corinth: The garbage incinerators in Germany, Switzerland and elsewhere
  • Prince Emilio of Cumae [who is at war with Naples and with Queen Partenope] : Played by the Camorra mafia

Full List of Actors:

  • Il Duce [the leader] of Italy Silvio Berlusconi
  • Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo
  • Camorra mafia
  • Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, head of the influential Italian Bishops Conference
  • The corrupt regional governor, Antonio Bassolino, and 27 others under house arrest.
  • City’s chief officer and special commissioner Alessandro Pansa (one of the 27)
  • Rosanna Laraia, head of waste management in Italy’s Ministry for the Environment
  • Billions of missing, misappropriated, or unaccounted for euros [ € billions ]
  • Environmental campaigner Francesco Pascale
  • Sergio Sedia and his wife Giulia
  • President Giorgio Napolitano
  • Just over 1 million Neapolitans (and a further 5 million people living in Campania region and the province of Naples.)
  • Hundreds of police officers in riot gears
  • Probably as many as 10 million “super-charged” rats and 100 million cockroaches living in the garbage piles throughout the city of Naples

Composer:

  • Germany’s George Frideric Handel

Act I – Seeking Toxic Asylum

In Act I of the famous Naples Garbage Opera, Partenope, Sergio Sedia and his wife Giulia request “toxic asylum” in Switzerland.

Sergio and his wife Giulia live in the “Triangle of Death” near Naples where the mafia has illegally dumped tons of toxic waste. British medical journal, The Lancet, reported in 2004 on “considerably higher cancer and deformity rates” in the area compared with other parts of the Campania region near Naples.


[Other than rats and cockroaches, what sort of vermin would transform its place of habitat to this?] A woman wearing a filtered mask walks past piles of trash thrown into a street intersection in protest in Naples May 16, 2008. REUTERS/Ciro Messere/Agnfoto. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

“The (Italian) government has not protected my right to health, and in this area people are dying of cancers caused by tonnes of chemical and toxic waste illegally dumped here for more than 20 years,” said Sergio.

Camorra mafia has been secretly dumping thousands of tonnes of industrial waste since the 1980s in what is “the heart of some of Italy’s best farm land,” environmental groups said.

“This area is nearly entirely agricultural, there are no factories, but has mortality rates for cancers linked to pollution higher than the national average. Here one doesn’t die of a heart attack or an accident, but from tumors,” said Sedia, 34, who works in the finance industry.


Silvio Berlusconi Prime Minister of Italy (President of the Council of Ministers of Italy). Born 29 September 1936, he is an entrepreneur, media proprietor and Head of the

“What I eat and breathe every day makes me afraid because of the products — the asbestos, the lead, the dioxins that are there in the air, the soil, the ground water,” he told AFP.

Fearing also for the health of their unborn child, said Sedia, “we decided to demand protection abroad and our choice fell on Switzerland.”

“We want to save ourselves, and only another country can help us, because if waste is one enemy, the Italian state is another in continuing to deny there is a problem in this area.”

“The Italian authorities are trying to act as if the problem of contamination doesn’t exist,” he said.

“I am not very confident when I see the authorities test mozzarella (over dioxin poisoning) because it is a valuable product, but doesn’t conduct tests on us citizens because we don’t have any commercial value.”

Earlier this year samples of mozzarella cheese, made from buffalo milk, were found to have highlevels of the toxic compound dioxin. As a result, buffalo farms in the Campania region were quarantined.

Japan, Singapore and South Korea banned the import of Italian mozzarella, earlier this year. (Source)

continued …

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    Posted in air pollution, corruption, energy, environment, food, health, incinerators, money, politics, soil pollution, Water pollution | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Chaitén Volcano Still Active

    Posted by feww on May 14, 2008

    *** Breaking News: May 19, 2008 Philippines Taal Volcano Could Erupt Anytime!

    Update #2 Chaitén Volcano -

    Chile President: Ash-Covered Towns Could Be Permanent Ghost Towns

    A segment of the pyroclastic tower ejected from the Chaitén volcano has fallen on the surroundings areas amid the eruptive activities that began 8 days ago.

    Chilean President Michelle Bachelet warned that towns surrounding Chaitén Volcano could become permanently uninhabitable. Bachelet’s remarks follows a report by National Geologic and Mining Service (SERNAGEOMIN) which forecast probability the volcano’s collapse at more than 50 percent.

    The increased build-up of pyroclastic material in the magma dome made it prone to collapse, SERNAGEOMIN said. An implosion could result in the “complete destruction of everything within a 15 kilometer radius around the peak, an area which encompasses Chaitén, Santa Barbara, and several rural farming villages.”

    According to vulcanologist Luis Lara Chaitén volcano could implode releasing a streams of red-hot pyroclastic material which would destroy everything in its path. (Source)


    What goes up must come down! Ash from eruption settles on the surrounding area
    Photo by Victor Gonzalez, Partido Humanista
    . Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice.


    “Right now, everything is grey,” said Futaleufu Mayor. “We’ve got a huge layer of ash that a passing rain has turned into cement-hard” (Photo: AP) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice.


    Chaiten and other towns in the area are covered in ash (Photo courtesy of Victor González, Partido Humanista) Source: Patagonia Times. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice.


    Pyroclastic ash spewed two miles into the air (Source Dailymail UK). Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice.


    A dead cow lies covered by ashes from the Chaiten volcano at a road leading to Argentina near Chaiten, Chile. (Photo and caption FoxNews!) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice.

    Related Links:

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    Posted in agirculture, air pollution, air soil and water pollutions, environment, food, health, new zealand, Tourism, Travel, uninhabitable, unliveable, war agaist nature | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

    The Shrinking Window of Opportunity

    Posted by feww on April 19, 2008

    Two Questions for Don Quixote

    1. General George, do you fight Global Warming, or prevent it?
    2. How do you fight global warming?


    World’s Top 33 Emitters of CO2


    The top 20 emitters are responsible for about 80 percent of CO2 pollution. (Source: Wikipedia)


    The Shrinking Window of Opportunity (Inset photo REUTERS/Jim Young). Image may be subject to copyright.

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    Posted in air pollution, coal, environment, greenhouse gasses, oil, rising seas | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Project Vulcan

    Posted by feww on April 18, 2008

    Vulcan’s list of top U.S. polluters by county (million tons of CO2 per year)

    [Note; most of the data presented by Vulcan is about 6 years old.]

    1. Harris, Houston, Texas, 18.625
    2. Los Angeles, L.A., Ca., 18.595
    3. Cook, Chicago, Ill., 13.209
    4. Cuyahoga, Cleveland, Ohio, 11.144 [Hope T.S., the dishonest attorney, chokes!]
    5. Wayne, Detroit, Mich. , 8.270
    6. San Juan, Farmington, N.M., 8.245
    7. Santa Clara, San Jose, Ca., 7.995
    8. Jefferson, Birmingham, Ala., 7.951
    9. Wilcox, Camden, Ala., 7.615
    10. East Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, La., 7.322
    11. Titus, Mt. Pleasant (!), Texas, 7.244
    12. Carbon, Jim Thorpe, Pa., 6.534
    13. Porter, Valparaiso, Ind., 6.331
    14. Jefferson, Steubenville, Ohio, 6.278
    15. Indiana, Indiana, Pa., 6.224
    16. Middlesex, Boston metro area, Mass., 6.198
    17. Bexar, San Antonio, Texas, 6.141
    18. Hillsborough, Tampa, Fla., 6.037
    19. Suffolk, New York metro area, N.Y., 6.030
    20. Clark, Las Vegas, Nev., 5.955

    CO2 maps zoom in on greenhouse gas sources


    New analysis by Purdue researchers of greenhouse gases shows that the emissions are greater in the southeastern United States than was previously thought. In this image, the amount of red represents the increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from previous estimates, and the blue represents a reduction in atmospheric CO2. Purdue assistant professor Kevin Gurney says the difference appears greatest in winter months when there are more emissions and less vertical air movement. (Purdue University image/Kevin Gurney)

    About Project Vulcan

    The Vulcan Project is a NASA/DOE funded effort under the North American Carbon Program (NACP)to quantify North American fossil fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at space and time scales much finer than has been achieved in the past. The purpose is to aid in quantification of the North American carbon budget, to support inverse estimation of carbon sources and sinks, and to support the demands posed by the launch of the Orbital Carbon Observatory (OCO)scheduled for 2008/2009. The detail and scope of the Vulcan CO2 inventory has also made it a valuable tool for policymakers, demographers and social scientists.

    Related Links:

    Posted in air pollution, environment, government, Kathleen Sebelius, NACP, OCO, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    EPA Sued Over GHG Pollution

    Posted by feww on April 3, 2008

    The states of Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday for failing to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks. The lawsuit came one year after the Supreme Court ruled that the agency had the power to do so.

    Main Entry: 18 States Sue EPA Over GHG Pollution
    Original Report: 18 states sue EPA over greenhouse gas pollution

    Posted in air pollution, air travel, Al Gore, cars, EPA, GHG, government, health, lawsuit, pollution, trucks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    China Under Siege

    Posted by feww on April 2, 2008

    Our thanks to Lisa G. for the links!

    Lethal Pollution, Grinding Poverty, DSS, Encroaching Deserts, Sinking Cities

    Poverty

    “We eat somehow, but it’s never enough,” Li said. “At least we’re not starving.”

    “In this region of southern Henan Province, in village after village, people are too poor to heat their homes in the winter and many lack basic comforts like running water.” Report

    Air Pollution

    • China is World No. 1 CO2 Polluter; the US follows closely. Report
    • Chinese Air Pollution Deadliest in World, Report Says.
    • Pollution kills 750,000 in China every year. Report
    • According to the World bank statistics, China has 16 of the 20 most polluted cities on earth!
    • Beijing pollution risky for endurance athletes. Report


    Eastern China Pollution. Beijing has completely disappeared under the haze. Image Credit: SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE [Visualization Date: 1999-11-20. Sensor: OrbView-2/SeaWiFS]


    “An opaque layer of polluted air covers much of southeastern China, obscuring parts of the landscape. Increasing use of heating fuels like wood and coal contributes to this haze. The image, captured on January 2, 2000, is from the NASA Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS). (Courtesy SeaWiFs Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE)”

    Encroaching Deserts

    The Gobi Desert: China’s Green Walls Losing the Battle Against Encroaching Deserts


    Outside of Shanshan, Xinjiang China. Photo Credit: pmorgan via flickr

    Pollution

    Pollution in China Photo Gallery (11 pictures)


    “Wuhan, Hebei province: A man collects dead fish in Donghu lake, where officials say an estimated 30,000kg of fish have been killed by a combination of pollution and hot weather
    Photograph: Wuhan/AP” Image may be subject to copyright.
    See Feww Fair Use Notice!

    DSS [Dust and Sand Storm]


    A severe DSS (dust and sandstorm) originating from China blanketed South Korea. A road in Yeouido, Seoul is obscured by sand and dust on March 21, 2002. [Photo Credit: english.chosun.com] Image may be subject to copyright. See Feww Fair Use Notice!

    Sinking Cities

    Desertification

    The catch is that China has become not just the world’s manufacturer but its despoiler, on a scale as monumental as its economic expansion. A fourth of the country is now desert. More than three-fourths of its forests have disappeared. Each year, uncontrollable underground fires, sometimes triggered by lightning or mining accidents, consume 200 million tons of coal, contributing massively to global warming. A miasma of lead, mercury, sulfur dioxide, and other elements of coal-burning and car exhaust hovers over most Chinese cities. An excerpt from: China’s pollution nightmare is now everyone’s pollution nightmare

    Water Pollution


    Harbin, China. NASA image by Robert Simmon, based on Landsat-7 data provided by the UMD Global Land Cover Facility. Below excerpts from NASA Earth Observatory :

    The Songhua River flows north out of the Changbai Mountains, cutting across the Manchurian Plain of northern China. As China’s northernmost river system, the Songhua is an important artery in transporting agricultural products grown on the plain. On its northward course, the river wends its way past Harbin, the capital of China’s Heilongjiang Province, where it provides another lifeline. As much as 80 percent of the city’s public water supply comes directly from the river. That supply was cut off after an explosion at a petrochemical plant dumped 100 tons of benzene and other harmful chemicals into the river on November 13, 2005. As the chemical slick reached the city, officials turned off water supplies to prevent illness until the chemicals passed.

    This Landsat image, taken on September 21, 2001, shows Harbin’s relationship with the Songhua. The city extends south and east from the banks of the river. A few smaller communities line the opposite bank of the river, connected by a maze of tan dirt roads. The city itself appears to be densely populated with a few small green squares of park or open land.

    China: Facts and Trends

    First Development, Then Environment

    “China’s rapid growth has affected everything from world energy supplies to grain prices and is now threatening the health of its citizens. The environmental degradation that continues to coexist with economic growth has caused unsustainable rates of deforestation, high levels of air pollution, and low levels of water quality and quantity. This paper addresses the current environmental situation and focuses on the struggle for clean water.” Excerpt from Environmental and Water Scarcity Issues in China

    Lin Fen: The Dirtiest City In the World


    Image Courtesy of Tim Wang @ Tim Wang’s eLearning Blog

    Posted in air pollution, China, Climate Change, DSS, Encroaching Deserts, energy, environment, Grinding Poverty, health, Lethal Pollution, politics, sinking cities, Travel, Water pollution | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

     
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