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Calif Snowpack Water Content Drops to 17%

Posted by feww on April 23, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENTS
WORSENING DROUGHT
CRITICALLY LOW SNOWPACK WATER CONTENT
WATER FAMINE
CROP DISASTERS
STATE OF EMERGENCY
.

30 Percent of California water comes from snowpack

Snowpack provides about a third of the water used by California’s cities and farms. As of April 23, 2014, the California statewide water content of snowpack stood at only 17% of normal for this date, and 15%  of April 1 average, according to the Department of Water Resource.

Drought causes water famine leading to crop disasters. It degrades water quality, and leads to surface and groundwater level declines, land subsidence, soil erosion, intense wildfires, humongous dust storms, and spread of disease.

Snow Water Equivalents

Statewide Summary
Provided by the California Cooperative Snow Surveys

Average snow water equivalent:  4.3″
Percent of April 1 average: 15%
Percent of normal for this date: 17%

 Drought Information

Water years 2012 and 2013 were dry statewide, especially in parts of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. Water year 2014 continues this trend.

California’s Water Year 2014 (October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014) has been one of the driest in decades and follows two consecutive dry years throughout the state. In most years, California receives about half of its precipitation in the months of December, January and February, with much of that precipitation falling as snow in the Sierras. Only a handful of large winter storms can make the difference between a wet year and a dry one.

In normal years, the snowpack stores water during the winter months and releases it through melting in the spring and summer to replenish rivers and reservoirs. However, relatively dry weather conditions this year have reduced the amount of snowpack in California’s mountains. Each of this season’s first four snow surveys – conducted in early January, late January, late February and early April – found a statewide snowpack water equivalent (WEQ) far below average for the dates of the surveys.  —Calif. DoWR

State of Emergency

Governor Brown proclaimed a State of Emergency on January 27  amid the worsening statewide drought.  He called the “really serious,” adding that 2014 could be California’s third consecutive dry year. “In many ways it’s a mega-drought.”

California State Resources

FIRE-EARTH 2009 Forecast: Desertification of California in the Near Future Is Almost a Certainty

[NOTE: The above forecast and most of the links posted below have previously been filtered/censored by Google, WordPress and others. Editor]

Related Links

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Second Sandstorm in 3 Weeks Hits NW China

Posted by feww on April 23, 2014

APOCALYPTIC SANDSTORMS
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 067
.

Sandstorms Plague NW China

A  second sandstorm to hit NW China in three weeks blew thousands of tons of sand into Gansu Province Wednesday afternoon, reducing visibility to less than 50 meters, according to weather officials.

On April 3, another  major sandstorm hit NW China, severely affecting parts of  Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

sandstorm  nw china 23apr14Sandstorm hits Dunhuang, northwest China’s Gansu Province, April 23, 2014. Parts of Gansu was hit by a sandstorm Wednesday afternoon, which reduced visibility to less than 50 meters, according to the provincial meteorological center. (Xinhua/Nie Jianjiang). More images…

Xinjiang Uygur sandstorm 3apr14
Photo taken on April 3, 2014 shows a sand-shrouded street in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.  (Xinhua/Wang Fei). More images…

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Chernobyl Ecological Disaster 28 Years On

Posted by feww on April 23, 2014

CHERNOBYL LEGACY TO LINGER LONG AFTER MOST HUMANS HAVE GONE
CHERNOBYL FALLOUT COVERED THE ENTIRE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE
.

Chernobyl: Another Year After 

The explosion at Chernobyl nuclear power plant 28 years ago has so far claimed at least a million lives, affecting about 2,500km² of land, and leaving vast tracts ecologically sterile. The core meltdown, which occurred on Saturday, April 26, 1986 at reactor No. 4 of the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station, as it was then called, left entire regions in three countries—Ukraine, Russia and Belarus—unlivable.

What Happened to Wildlife?

Researchers found that there were “areas with an abundance of 100 animals per square meter. And then there are areas with less than one specimen per square meter on average; the same goes for all groups of species.”

The researchers also found that animals living near the Chernobyl reactor were subject to more incidences of deformities, including discoloration and stunted limbs, than normal.

“We wanted to ask the question: Are there more or fewer animals in the contaminated areas? Clearly there were fewer,” said Moller, one of the researchers who has worked on Chernobyl since 1991.

Effects of Chernobyl radioactive contamination on decomposition of plant material

A new study has found that the microbial communities, which are responsible for natural cycle of decay of organic materials,  have been significantly reduced in radioactively contaminated zones near Chernobyl.

The following is Abstract from  the report E-pubulished on March 4,  2014.

Highly reduced mass loss rates and increased litter layer in radioactively contaminated areas

The effects of radioactive contamination from Chernobyl on decomposition of plant material still remain unknown. We predicted that decomposition rate would be reduced in the most contaminated sites due to an absence or reduced densities of soil invertebrates. If microorganisms were the main agents responsible for decomposition, exclusion of large soil invertebrates should not affect decomposition. In September 2007 we deposited 572 bags with uncontaminated dry leaf litter from four species of trees in the leaf litter layer at 20 forest sites around Chernobyl that varied in background radiation by more than a factor 2,600. Approximately one quarter of these bags were made of a fine mesh that prevented access to litter by soil invertebrates. These bags were retrieved in June 2008, dried and weighed to estimate litter mass loss. Litter mass loss was 40 % lower in the most contaminated sites relative to sites with a normal background radiation level for Ukraine. Similar reductions in litter mass loss were estimated for individual litter bags, litter bags at different sites, and differences between litter bags at pairs of neighboring sites differing in level of radioactive contamination. Litter mass loss was slightly greater in the presence of large soil invertebrates than in their absence. The thickness of the forest floor increased with the level of radiation and decreased with proportional loss of mass from all litter bags. These findings suggest that radioactive contamination has reduced the rate of litter mass loss, increased accumulation of litter, and affected growth conditions for plants.

Oecologia. 2014 May;175(1):429-37. doi: 10.1007/s00442-014-2908-8. Epub 2014 Mar. Authors: Mousseau TA(1), Milinevsky G, Kenney-Hunt J, Møller AP. PMID: 24590204 [PubMed - in process]

z-chernobyl-meltdown
Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power plant underwent a core meltdown [center] in 1986 with disastrous consequences. The radionuclide levels still exceed the normal background in 60 Ukrainian towns and villages. This image was taken by authorities in the former Soviet Union.

 




Birth defects and cancer were the norm for many years following the Chernobyl disaster.  By the time  residents of Pripyat, a town located near the plant, were ordered to evacuate, about two days after the Chernobyl core meltdown had occurred, many had already been exposed to varying doses of radiation poisoning.

1 Million Killed in Chernobyl Disaster

“A report by Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko which appeared in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science showed that by 2004, there were 985,000 additional deaths worldwide caused by the nuclear disaster, including 212,000 of them within Western Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.”

Remembering Chernobyl Victims


The sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is seen behind a building decorated with a graffiti in the abandoned city of Prypiat April 4, 2011. Belarus, Ukraine and Russia will mark the 25th anniversary of the nuclear reactor explosion in Chernobyl, the place where the world’s worst civil nuclear accident took place, on April 26. Engineers are still struggling to regain control of damaged reactors at the Fuskushima plant after last month’s earthquake and tsunami, in the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986, with the government urging the operator of the plant to act faster to stop radiation spreading. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich. Image may be subject to copyright. Reuters images …

Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere

Consequences of the Catastrophe. Authors  Alexey Yablokov (Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow), Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko ( Institute of Radiation Safety, Minsk, Belarus) studies about 5,000 reports and scientific  papers mostly published in Slavic languages and compiled their finding in the  book “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” which was published last year on the 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl reactor core meltdown.

“For the past 23 years, it has been clear that there is a danger greater than nuclear weapons concealed within nuclear power. Emissions from this one reactor exceeded a hundred-fold the radioactive contamination of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” They wrote.

“No citizen of any country can be assured that he or she can be protected from radioactive contamination. One nuclear reactor can pollute half the globe,” the authors said. “Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere.”

According to the book, a total of about 830,000 people, referred to as the “liquidators,” were responsible for various emergency works at the Chernobyl site including fire extinguishing, decontamination and cleanup.

The authors say between 112,000 and 125,000 of the  liquidators had died by 2005.  The authors also estimate that between 1986 and 2004 some 985,000 people died as a result of Chernobyl fallout {2011 estimates are well over a million deaths.]

“Official discussions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated United Nations’ agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl Forum reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments.” The authors said last year.

 


Birth defects and cancer were the norm for many years following the Chernobyl disaster.  By the time  residents of Pripyat, a town located near the plant, were ordered to evacuate, about two days after the Chernobyl core meltdown had occurred, many had already been exposed to varying doses of radiation poisoning.

Chernobyl and Other Nuclear Stats

  • More than 95% of the radioactive material (180 metric tons with a radioactivity of about 18 million curies) still remains inside the Chernobyl reactor.
  • The  core meltdown at Chernobyl was said to have released radiation estimated at 50 million curies. Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations said in 1995 that the meltdown had released about 140 million curies. [Researchers Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko say the radiation released from Chernobyl may have been up to 10 billion curies. In comparison, the Hiroshima bomb released about 3 million curies.]
  • Immediately after the accident, 237 people suffered from acute radiation sickness, and 31 died within the first 90 days of the disaster.
  • About 135,000 people were evacuated from the area surrounding the plant, including 50,000 from the town of Pripyat.
  • The Academy’s  estimate for the number of casualties  are more than 90,000 deaths and more than a quarter of a million cancer cases.
  • The Ukrainian National Commission for Radiation Protection calculates the number of radiation casualties at half a million  deaths so far.
  • In their book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, published by the New York Academy of Sciences  on the 24th anniversary of the reactor core meltdown, researchers Yablokov, Nesterenko and Nesterenko maintain that about one million people have died from exposure to radiation released by the Chernobyl reactor [as of 2010 .]
  • “In the former Soviet Union at least 9 million people have been effected by the accident; 2.5 million in Belarus; 3.5 million in Ukraine; and 3 million in Russia. In total over 160 000 Km2 are contaminated in the three republics.” source
  • As of April 1, 2011, some 437 nuclear reactors were operating in 31 countries ( total capacity of 376 gigawatts) each of which is potentially as lethal as Chernobyl, if not worse. [The above figure may have changed due to the nuclear reactor shutdowns in Japan.]
  • An estimated 56 countries operate more than 250 research reactors.
  • At least 220 nuclear reactors power military ships and submarines.

Fukushima NPP

Fukushima NPP is said to contain about 4,277 tons of nuclear fuel, about 24 times as much as Chernobyl (~ 180 tons).

“The Fukushima Dai-ichi site has a considerable number of fuel rods on hand, according to information provided Thursday by Toyko Electric Power Co., which owns the atomic complex: There are 3,400 tons of fuel in seven spent fuel pools within the six-reactor plant, including one joint pool storing very old fuel from units 3 and 4. There are 877 tons in five of the reactor cores. Officials have said that the fuel in Unit 4′s reactor vessel was transferred to its spent fuel pool when the unit was temporarily shut in November.” AP reported.

On April 12, Japanese authorities raised the measure of severity of the Fukushima NPP disaster to the maximum level of 7 on INES. (See below for details.)

The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES)

The INES, a logarithmic scale, which was introduced in 1990 by the IAEA to enable prompt communication, classifies the intensity of nuclear incidents as follows:

7 – Major Accident [Chernobyl disaster, criticality accident, April 1986]

6 – Serious Accident [e.g., Kyshtym incident, Mayak, former Soviet Union, steam explosion released up to 80 tons of highly radioactive material into the atmosphere, September 1957. ]

5 – Accident With Wider Consequences [e.g., Three Mile Island accident  Pen State, U.S., partial meltdown release radioactive gases  into the environment, March 1979.]

4 – Accident With Local Consequences [e.g., Sellafield, UK, at least 5 incidents reported between 1955 to 1979]

3 – Serious Incident [e.g., Vandellos NPP, Spain, fire destroyed control systems; the reactor was shut down, July1989]

2 – Incident [e.g., Forsmark NPP, Sweden, a backup generator failed, July 2006]

1 – Anomaly [e.g., TNPC, France, 1,600 gallons of water containing 75 kilograms (170 lb) of uranium leaked into the environment,  July 2008]

0 – Deviation (No Safety Significance) — [e.g., Atucha, Argentina - Reactor shutdown caused by tritium increase in reactor encasement, December 2006.]

What is a lethal dose of radiation from a single Exposure?

Studies of the 1945 atomic bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki show that 100 percent of victims whose bodies were exposed to 600,000 millirems (6,000 mSv) died from radiation. About 50 percent of victims who received  450,000 millirems (4,500 mSv) of radiation also died.

(Note: Rem is a unit of ionizing radiation equal to the amount that produces the same damage to humans as one roentgen of high-voltage x-rays.  Source: MIT)

1 rem = 10 mSv  (1 Sv = 100 rem)

Background Radiation in millirems per year (mrem/yr)

  • Average background radiation (US):  300
  • Higher altitudes (e.g, Denver): 400

“Safe Levels” of Radiation (U.S.)

Limits above natural background radiation levels (average 300 millirems per year) and medical radiation:

  • Occupation Limit: Maximum of 5,000  (the limit for a worker using radiation)
  • Average Natural Background: 300

[Note: Lifetime cumulative exposure should be limited to a person's age multiplied by 1,000 millirems, e.g., a 70-year-old person, 70,000 millirems.]

Adults

  • Max single dose for an adult: 3,000
  • Annual total dose: 5,000

Under 18

  • Max single dose for a person aged under 18 years: 300 millirems (whole body equivalent)
  • Annual total exposure: 500

Fetal Exposure

  • Maximum limit for fetal exposure during gestation period:  50 millirems per month above background levels

Medical

  • Single Chest X-ray (the whole body equivalent): 2 millirem

Air Travel

  • Coast-to-coast US round trip flight: 12 millirems

*Note:  Radiation dose of about 2,000 millisieverts (200,000 millirems) cause serious illness.

Half-life of some radioactive elements

[NOTE: Half-life is the time taken for a radioactive substance to decay by half.]

  • Cesium-134 ~ 2  years
  • Cesium-137 ~ 30 years
  • Iodine-131 ~ 8 days
  • Plutonium-239 ~ 24,200 years
  • Ruthenium-103 ~ 39 days [Ruthenium is a fission product of uranium-235.]
  • Ruthenium-106 ~ 374 days
  • Strontium-90 ~ 28.85 years  [Strontium-90 is a product of nuclear fission and is found in large amounts in spent nuclear fuel and in radioactive waste from nuclear reactors.]
  • Uranium-234 ~  246,000 years
  • Uranium-235 ~ 703.8  million years
  • Uranium-238  ~ 4.468 billion years

Related Links

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29 U.S. States Report Deadly PED

Posted by feww on April 22, 2014

EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 011
.

PED could seriously threaten U.S. pork production

The highly contagious disease called porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) has killed about 5 million U.S. hogs since it was first diagnosed in May 2013 and seriously threatens pork production across the country.

In March, environmental groups urged Gov. McCrory to declare a state of emergency in North Carolina due to a rapidly-spreading viral outbreak that had affected about a third of the state’s 3,000 major hog farms.

About 6,000 separate cases of the virus have been reported in 29 states across the nation. The U.S. has about 68,300 hog farms, according to USDA.

Virus Strain PC21A is a  highly contagious coronavirus that causes porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED). It was first reported in the United States in May 2013 in Iowa.  The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) has since spread rapidly throughout the U.S., according to reports filed with CDC.

Iowa is the top hog producer state in the U.S., followed by North Carolina.

13-1685-F1
Electron micrograph of a US porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) particle detected in a field fecal sample collected during a 2013 outbreak of PED on a farm in Ohio, USA; the fecal sample from which PEDV strain PC21A in this study was detected was from a pig on the same farm during the same outbreak. The sample was negatively stained with 3% phosphotungstic acid. Scale bar = 50 nm. Source: CDC – “Pathology of US Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Strain PC21A in Gnotobiotic Pigs”

The most seriously at risk populations are piglets less than 10 days old.

The virus, thriving in cold, wet weather, kills newborn piglets on infected farms until the herd develops immunity after a few weeks, and is affecting about 100 new farms each week. PED causes severe dehydration and loss of appetite and has a nearly 100 percent mortality rate.

Water Quality

“The water-quality watchdogs say they are particularly worried that hog farmers are burying massive numbers of dead animals where they will contaminate groundwater. Also, they say that in some cases dead hogs are left for days, piled in overflowing ‘dead boxes.’ They say the blood and other liquids from those are seeping into groundwater and streams, and that animals feeding on the dead hogs are spreading the virus,” said the report.

The environmentalists have urged the authorities to collect and disseminate more information concerning

  • Numbers of dead hogs
  • Method and of disposal and burial sites of infected carcases
  • Magnitude and extent of threat posed by the epidemic

“Basically we just feel like this is a serious enough problem that the government should be stepping in and getting involved and having direct contact with the facilities that are disposing of these dead hogs,” said Gray Jernigan, a North Carolina-based staff attorney for the Waterkeeper Alliance.

“Since the outbreak began, we’ve certainly seen more hogs sent for disposal and gotten reports of mass burials, and it’s getting to the point where it’s fairly alarming.”

More of this report is posted HERE.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED)

New Variant of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, United States, 2014 (CDC)

Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) was first reported in the United Kingdom in 1971. The disease was characterized by severe enteritis, vomiting, watery diarrhea, dehydration, and a high mortality rate among swine. Subsequently, the causative agent of PED was identified as porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), which belongs to the family Coronaviridae and contains an enveloped, single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome.

PEDV has been reported in many other countries, including Germany, France, Switzerland, Hungary, Italy, China, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam  and was first identified in the United States in May 2013.

By the end of January of 2014, the outbreak had occurred in 23 US states, where 2,692 confirmed cases (www.aasv.org/news/story.php?id = 6989) caused severe economic losses. Recent studies have shown that all PEDV strains in the United States are clustered together in 1 clade within the subgenogroup 2a and are closely related to a strain from China, AH2012 .

In the state of Ohio, the first PED case was identified in June of 2013; since then, thousands of cases have been confirmed by the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. [...]

Value of Trade in Swine and Swine Products
In 2011, the United States exported 1.75 billion metric tons of pork and related products worth $5.32 billion (The American Meat Institute, 2013).  Japan and Mexico are the two leading importers of U.S. pork products by value, said USDA.

PED in Japan

The deadly virus has already infected about 250,000 pigs in Japan, killing at least 50,000 of them, as of April 20,2014.

The disease was confirmed in Okinawa last October and has since spread to hundreds of pig farms in 21 prefectures throughout Japan.

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Cancer Top Killer in China

Posted by feww on April 21, 2014

SURGING CANCER CRISIS
.

Estimated 3.5 million new cancer cases kill 2.5 million Chinese each year

About 3.5 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed annually, leading to at least 2.5 million deaths from the disease, said the deputy director of the National Cancer Registration Center, Xinhua reported.

“Although Chinese people’s livelihood has improved, cancer incidence and mortality have also been on the rise,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, cancer has taken just a few decades to become the top killer in China.

“In 1964, cancer ranked the fourth-biggest cause of death, while from 1970 to 1989, it ranked second, and data from 2007 showed that it had become the top killer for Chinese,” said a former senior  official at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cancer in Beijing

Meanwhile, cancer was identified as the No.1 cause of death in Beijing for the seventh consecutive year (2007 to 2013), in a report released by the municipal commission of health and family planning this week, Xinhua said.

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How Your World Continued Shrinking

Posted by feww on April 18, 2014

ENVIRONMENTAL HOLOCAUST
EXISTENTIAL THREAT
HEAVY METAL POLLUTION IN SOIL
CADMIUM, NICKEL, ARSENIC …
POLLUTED SOIL, SMOG, CONTAMINATED WATER
.

Trinity of Death: Contaminated Soil, Smog and Polluted Water

Fifth of the farming land in China is contaminated, according to a joint report issued by the country’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Land and Resources.

The report, based on  surveys  conducted between April 2005 and December 2013, found 16.1 percent of the land including 19.4 percent of the farmland in the Chinese mainland contaminated with heavy metals.

Nearly 83 percent of the polluted land is contaminated with cadmium, nickel and arsenic.

[Note: Based on the data available, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies cadmium, nickel and arsenic and their compounds as "carcinogenic to humans."]

“The general condition of the land is ‘not optimistic’ as the quality of farming land is worrying and deserted industrial and mining land suffers serious pollution,” said Xinhua citing the report.

The levels of cadmium contamination rose by 50 percent in southwestern and coastal regions and 10 to 40 percent in other parts of China between 1986 and 1990, said the report.

Dabaoshan Mine
File photo shows low-lying land near the Dabaoshan Mine heavily polluted with waste metals. Soil pollution has severely worsened in Guangdong province, home to more than 3,000 mines, since 2008, according to the Guangdong Institute of Eco-environment and Soil Sciences. A survey conducted by the institute found that  40 percent of the soil throughout the province were tainted with heavy metals. [Source: China Daily]

Dangerous levels of cadmium were detected in rice produced in central China’s Hunan Province, the country’s top rice-growing region, which caused a public outcry last year.

“Heavy metal pollution alone has resulted in the loss of 10 million tonnes of grain and the contamination of another 12 million tonnes annually, incurring 20 billion yuan (3.17 billion U.S. dollars) in direct economic losses each year,” said the report citing official estimates.

“The main pollution source is human industrial and agricultural activities,” the report said. Collection, storage, transfer and disposal of dangerous waste are currently unregulated.

“Compared with air and water pollution, soil pollution is more difficult to control and remedy, taking a much longer time and needing more resources,” a researcher at Chinese Academy of Sciences told Xinhua.

The report cites the Dabaoshan coal mine in Shaoguan City in Guangdong, as an example.  Since the 1970s, untreated coal residue and wastewater from the mine  has contaminated the soil in the surrounding region up to 44 times above the national limit.

“Known to produce some 6,000 tons of copper and 850,000 tons of iron ore annually, the mine has produced a growing amount of sludge and wastewater that has contaminated some 585 hectares along the lower sections of the Hengshui River running atop the mountain,” said China Daily.

At least 250 cancer-related deaths associated with soil pollution were recorded in Shangbai village, located downstream of the Dabaoshan mine, between 1987 and 2009.

In 1990, a farmland area of 0.06 hectares near Dabaoshan Mine could yield about 350 kilograms of rice, but by 2010 it could only grow less than 100kg due to heavy soil pollution, said Li Deng’e, a despondent 74-year-old villager, who sprays ever-increasing amounts of pesticides on her land to slow down the daily erosion, reported China Daily.

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Mass Evacuation Ordered after UBINAS Eruption

Posted by feww on April 18, 2014

VOLCANIC HAZARD
STATE OF EMERGENCY
MASS EVACUATIONS
.

Ubinas Volcano spews 3.2km-high plumes of toxic ash

Some 4,000 residents and more than 40,000 animals are being evacuated to a “safety zone” about  20km from Peru’s most active volcano.

Villagers are concerned for the health of their livestock, a major source of income. “In the district of Ubinas alone, there are an estimated 40,000 llamas and alpacas.” A significant percentage of these animals could be seriously affected by the silica ash, which  contaminates their grazing areas after each significant eruption, local sources have said.

The silica ash from the  eruption damages crops, polluting water sources, and threatening villagers and their livestock.

“The Ollanta Humala’s administration declared a state of emergency in nearby provinces, which will provide financial assistance for those affected by eruption of the Ubinas volcano, in southern Peru’s Arequipa region,” reported Andina news agency.

A major eruption in 2006 forced mass evacuations and killed livestock that consumed ash-contaminated fodder, said the report.

ubinas
Ubinas Volcano erupted multiple times in September 2013 after three years of dormancy. Image credit: ANDINA

The massive 5,670-meter volcano is located about 70 kilometers from the city of Arequipa (metro pop: ~ 1,260,000), and 1,250km south of the capital Lima, close to the country’s Pacific coast, about  230 km east of the Peru-Chile trench and about 150 km above the Benioff-Wadati plane, where the Nazca plate is subducting under the continental part of the South American Plate.

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Fracking Methane Emissions Hugely Underestimated by EPA: Study

Posted by feww on April 17, 2014

ENVIRONMENTAL HOLOCAUST
CRIMES AGAINST NATURE
.

Methane emissions 1,000 higher than EPA estimates

Using an airborne laboratory for atmospheric research, researchers identified and quantified large sources of methane emissions over southwestern Pennsylvania in June 2012. They discovered that emissions rates were up to 1,000 times higher than those estimated by the EPA during the same time period.

“We identified a significant regional flux of methane over a large area of shale gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania in the Marcellus formation and further identified several pads with high methane emissions,” said the study others. “These shale gas pads were identified as in the drilling process, a preproduction stage not previously associated with high methane emissions.”

The original sampling area (OSA) encompasses all of Green County, PA, most of Washington County, PA, and parts of Fayette County, PA, Marshall County, WV, and Ohio County, WV, for a total area of 2,844 km², the authors reported.

The authors identified 57,673 wells (see gray dots in below diagram) across the counties of interest.

“It is particularly noteworthy that large emissions were measured for wells in the drilling phase, in some cases 100 to 1,000 times greater than the inventory estimates,” said one of the report authors. “This indicates that there are processes occurring—e.g. emissions from coal seams during the drilling process—that are not captured in the inventory development process. This is another example pointing to the idea that a large fraction of the total emissions is coming from a small fraction of shale gas production components that are in an anomalous condition.”

The comparative impact of methane on climate change is more than 20 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period, according to EPA.

Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development

Dana R. Caulton, doi: 10.1073/pnas.131654611

Significance

We identified a significant regional flux of methane over a large area of shale gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania in the Marcellus formation and further identified several pads with high methane emissions. These shale gas pads were identified as in the drilling process, a preproduction stage not previously associated with high methane emissions. This work emphasizes the need for top-down identification and component level and event driven measurements of methane leaks to properly inventory the combined methane emissions of natural gas extraction and combustion to better define the impacts of our nation’s increasing reliance on natural gas to meet our energy needs.

ch4 ppm
Regional enhancement of methane at ∼240 m above ground level (AGL) on the morning of June 21. The dashed orange box represents the original sampling area (OSA), and the gray dots show well locations. Credit: Caulton et al. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/short/1316546111

Abstract

The identification and quantification of methane emissions from natural gas production has become increasingly important owing to the increase in the natural gas component of the energy sector. An instrumented aircraft platform was used to identify large sources of methane and quantify emission rates in southwestern PA in June 2012. A large regional flux, 2.0–14 g CH4 s−1 km−2, was quantified for a ∼2,800-km2 area, which did not differ statistically from a bottom-up inventory, 2.3–4.6 g CH4 s−1 km−2. Large emissions averaging 34 g CH4/s per well were observed from seven well pads determined to be in the drilling phase, 2 to 3 orders of magnitude greater than US Environmental Protection Agency estimates for this operational phase. The emissions from these well pads, representing ∼1% of the total number of wells, account for 4–30% of the observed regional flux. More work is needed to determine all of the sources of methane emissions from natural gas production, to ascertain why these emissions occur and to evaluate their climate and atmospheric chemistry impacts.

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1.1 Tons of Radioactive Water Leaks from Fukushima

Posted by feww on April 16, 2014

NOTE: Many of the links posted below have previously been blocked or buried by Google, WordPress and others.

SNAFU IN JAPAN
CRIMINAL INCOMPETENCE AT FUKUSHIMA
“COSMIC-LEVEL” RADIATION LEAKS
ENVIRONMENTAL HOLOCAUST

CRIMES AGAINST NATURE
.

Massive leak occurs in a treatment system at Fukushima nuclear plant: TEPCO

The criminally negligent operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has admitted that yet another major setback has plagued a key system used to decontaminate highly-radioactive water.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) says about 1,100 liters of radioactive water overflowed into a barrier inside the ALPS building.

The water was used to wash contaminated equipment and overflowed from  a storage facility on Wednesday.

Comedy of Deadly Errors

The workers discovered the leak while cleaning a tank used for filtering radioactive substances from water. The tank is on one of the 3 separate stages  of the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, local media reported TEPCO as saying.

The operator says the water contains more than 3.8 million becquerels of beta ray emitting materials including strontium and 6,700 becquerels of cesium 137.

On Tuesday, TEPCO reported that 203 tons of highly contaminated radioactive water had been pumped into a basement area at the Fukushima between April 10-13.

The building is neither a storage area nor a processing facility. The pumps  had diverted the contaminated water to the wrong building, the  company said.

TEPCO says it found four pumps operating at the location that were not even meant to be used.

[The deadly water may have been pumped intentionally by operators, sources suggest. Editor]

The water contained radioactive cesium decaying at a rate of 37 million becquerels per liter.

Highly contaminated water leaked from a storage tank in FUKUSHIMA
Highly contaminated water leaked from yet another  storage tank at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan.  Handout photo released by TEPCO on February 20.

On October 18, 2013 FIRE-EARTH said [but was censored by Google, WordPress and others]:

  • Fukushima Potentially More Disastrous Than Hiroshima

On November 7, 2013 FIRE-EARTH said [but was censored by Google, WordPress and others]:

  • Scale of potential catastrophe at Fukushima could dwarf a limited nuclear war.

On January 13, 2014 FIRE-EARTH said [but was censored by Google, WordPress and others]:

THE TEPCO REPORT, QUOTED BY JAPAN’S ASAHI SHIMBUN, MAY BE SERIOUSLY FLAWED.

ACCORDING TO http://new.atmc.jp/ THE RADIATION LEVEL AT OR NEAR FUKUSHIMA PLANT IS ≥ 40 MICROSIEVERT PER HOUR (OR ~ 350 mSv/yr)

NOTES:

1. Radiation dose of about 2,000 millisieverts (200,000 millirems) cause serious illness.

2. Average background radiation in the US is about 3 mS/yr. [Ironically, the average background radiation in many parts of Japan is about 1mS/yr, or a third of that in the U.S.]

3. The average annual radiation dose per person in the U.S. is currently 620 millirem (6.2 mSv), according to EPA. “Half of our average dose comes from natural background sources: cosmic radiation from space, naturally occurring radioactive minerals in the ground and in your body, and from the radioactive gases radon and thoron, which are created when other naturally occurring elements undergo radioactive decay. Another 48 percent of our dose comes from medical diagnostics and treatments.”

100 tons of highly radioactive water leaking here, 200 tons leaking there, and soon we’ll be talking big contamination!!! 

Related Links

For earlier links search:

  • Radiation Levels at Fukushima Hugely Underestimated: TEPCO February 8, 2014
  • Look for the Cracks!  January 21, 2014
  • “Radioactive River” Flowing at Fukushima No. 3 Reactor January 20, 2014
  • Fukushima Radiation Level 8 Times* Govt Standard: TEPCO January 13, 2014
  • Record Radiation Detected at Fukushima [AGAIN] December 22, 2013
  • Japan Renews Nuke Ambitions Despite Fukushima, Common Sense December 14, 2013
  • Record Outdoor Radiation Level Detected at Nuked Fukushima Plant December 9, 2013
  • TEPCO Continues to Contaminate the World October 3, 2013
  • 80 Percent Chance of Major Catastrophe at Fukushima NPP November 7, 2013
  • Crimes Against Nature: Water Overflows from 12 Fukushima Barriers October 21, 2013
  • Fukushima Potentially More Disastrous Than Hiroshima October 18, 2013
  • Fukushima Fatal Farce Turns Deadlier September 1, 2013

 

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Ohio Finally Links Fracking to Earthquakes

Posted by feww on April 12, 2014

ENVIRONMENTAL HOLOCAUST
FRACKING-RELATED SEISMIC HAZARD
HEIGHTENED SEISMICITY IN OKLAHOMA
.

Earthquakes Continue to Rattle Oklahomans

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has finally conceded that the hydraulic fracturing process (fracking), which involves injecting sand, water and chemicals at high pressure deep underground to help release oil and gas, may have produced earthquakes in Poland Township in March.

“Regarding the seismic events in Poland Township, ODNR geologists believe the sand and water injected into the well during the hydraulic fracturing process may have increased pressure on an unknown microfault in the area,” said ODNR in a statement release on Friday.

At least 161 earthquakes measuring magnitude 2.5 or greater, occurring  in and near the state, have rattled Oklahomans in the past 30 days.

OK quakes to April 12
Updated: 2014-04-12 07:59:47 UTC. 30 Days, Magnitude 2.5+ (161 earthquakes in map area). Source; USGS/EHP.

Magnitude 4.2+ Since March 30

At least 7 quakes measuring 4.0 or greater have struck Oklahoma in the past three weeks including 4 shocks measuring 4.2 or greater occurring since Mach 30.

  • M4.2 about 6km SSW of Langston, Oklahoma 2014-04-07 at 16:03:03 UTC at a  depth of 5.2 km
  • M4.2 about 6km SSW of Langston, Oklahoma 2014-04-06 at 14:58:54 UTC at a  depth of5.1 km
  • M4.3 about 20km N of Crescent, Oklahoma 2014-03-30 at 08:42:36 UTC at a  depth of 5.0 km
  • M4.3 about 21km N of Crescent, Oklahoma 2014-03-30 at 06:51:56 UTC at a  depth of 5.0 km

In Another Shallow Quake Strikes Oklahoma posted on April 6, 2014 the blog said: FIRE-EARTH Models show Oklahoma seismicity WILL continue intensifying

That post and all other FIRE-EARTH blog entries concerning disasters or ‘impending’ disasters in the U.S. continue to be heavily censored, blocked or buried by Google, WordPress and others.

FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast

For the next FIRE-EARTH Earthquake Forecast see April 12 Bulletin, which would be released later today – members only.

Related Links

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Deadly Bat Disease Found in Michigan, Wisconsin

Posted by feww on April 11, 2014

DEADLY BAT DISEASE
UNPRECEDENTED BAT MORTALITY
WNS SPREADS IN THE U.S.
.

White-nose syndrome (WNS) has now spread across 23 U.S. states

White-nose syndrome (WNS) had killed an estimated 6.7 million bats by January 2012.

“White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a devastating disease of hibernating bats that has caused the most precipitous decline of North American wildlife in recorded history. It is caused by the fungus Psuedogymnoascus destructans, and is rapidly spreading through cave bat populations across the country causing unprecedented mortality.”

WNS has affected at least 11 cave-hibernating bats, including four endangered species and subspecies of insect-eating bats in the eastern and southern U.S., causing population declines of up to 100 percent, wild life officials said.

LittleBrownBats - WNR
A cluster of little brown bats (Myotis lucifigus). Little brown bats often form clusters of up to hundreds of bats in order to maintain constant temperatures while hibernating. Source: Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources.

“In February 2006, some 40 miles west of Albany, New York, a caver photographed hibernating bats with an unusual white substance on their muzzles. He noticed several dead bats. The following winter, bats behaving erratically, bats with white noses and a few hundred dead bats in several caves came to the attention of New York biologists, who documented white-nose syndrome (WNS) in January 2007. Named after the distinctive white growth that appears on the nose and wings of affected bats, WNS reached Wisconsin in spring 2014.”

Human Health and Economy

Bats play a vital role in the ecosystems by eating insects and pests that can damage crops, forests and transfer diseases like West Nile Virus. Several of the upper Midwest’s largest bat hibernation sites, estimated to host about half a million bats, are found in Wisconsin.

“[WNS] has significant environmental, economic and public health implications. Insectivorous bats consume large numbers of agricultural pests, which cost farmers and foresters billions of dollars yearly. Bats play an important role in sustaining many unique and fragile cave ecosystems. For example, bats are the primary source of nutrients in many cave systems, and many cave-obligate species depend on such input for survival. Thus, the loss or significant reduction of bat populations from caves could have cascading affects that impact the status of many other cave species.”

WNS is mainly spread from bat to bat, but the spores can also be transported by humans from fungus contaminated sites to healthy bat colonies.


Little brown bats in a hibernation cave in New York show fungal growth on their muzzles. Bats have been dissappearing at alarming rates due to white-nose syndrome, which scientists now know is caused by a specific fungus. (Photo Credit: Nancy Heaslip, New York Department of Environmental Conservation)

WNS Spread Map

 

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To All of You We Didn’t Meet…

Posted by feww on April 9, 2014

COLLAPSE LOOMS
700 DAYS LEFT
MASS DIEOFFS BEGIN
GOOD-BYE & GOOD RIDDANCE

We’re always here, waiting for you to show up!

It’s now a near certainty that homo sapiens sapiens [homo ignarus vulgus exitiabilis] won’t get their act together in 700 days!

SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 700 Days Left

FIRE-EARTH Climate Models show climate change forcings and feedbacks switching global weather patterns onto “primordial tracks.”

FIRE-EARTH Population Models show mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could begin as early as 2016.

Who’s killing life on Earth?

The psychopathic Homo Ignarus Vulgus Exitiabilis (HIVE). You are! Most of the humanoids are. The HIVE genus (the ignorant, destructive mobs comprising mainly of psychopathic men and women who, like Freud, “attack against nature and subjecting her to human will”) are killing life on Earth in a desperate attempt to protect their intravenous connections to the destructive energy-intensive system they feed on.

Critical Planetary Overload

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Collapse in Progress

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California Statewide Snowpack Water Content Drops to 32%

Posted by feww on April 3, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENTS
WORSENING DROUGHT
V. LOW SNOWPACK WATER CONTENT
WATER FAMINE
CROP DISASTERS
STATE OF EMERGENCY
.

Snowpack provides third of California water

Snowpack provides about a third of the water used by California’s cities and farms. As of April 1, 2014, the California statewide water content of snowpack stood at only 32% of the average historical April 1  amount.  The date is crucial because this is when the snowpack is at its peak and begins to melt into streams and reservoirs, said USGS

Drought causes water famine leading to crop disasters. It degrades water quality, and leads to surface and groundwater level declines, land subsidence, soil erosion, intense wildfires, humongous dust storms, and spread of disease.

Trinity-Lake-drought-04Feb2014
Trinity Lake is a major California reservoir with water storage capacity of 2,448,000 acre-feet. It is located about 60 miles northwest of Redding.  Photo by: Tim Reed, USGS California Water Science Center Supervisory Hydrologist; taken February 4, 2014.

State of Emergency

Governor Brown proclaimed a State of Emergency on January 27  amid the worsening statewide drought.  He called the “really serious,” adding that 2014 could be California’s third consecutive dry year. “In many ways it’s a mega-drought.”

California State Resources

FIRE-EARTH 2009 Forecast: Desertification of California in the Near Future Is Almost a Certainty

[NOTE: The above forecast and most of the links posted below have previously been filtered/censored by Google, WordPress and others. Editor ]

Drought Information – Water Resources – State of California

Water years 2012 and 2013 were dry statewide, especially in parts of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. Water year 2014, which began on October 1st, continues this trend. Precipitation in some areas of the state is tracking at about the driest year of record.

Related Links

 

 

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Name One Other Species …

Posted by feww on April 3, 2014

TOXIC AIR POLLUTION
CRIMES AGAINST NATURE
.

No other species makes their habitat unlivable!

Extremely high levels of air pollution are spreading across parts of England.

The pollution is a cocktail of emissions from the UK and Europe, rich in toxic pollutants, including high concentration of the atmospheric particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ozone, mixed with dust from the Sahara—the proverbial icing.

The elderly, those with respiratory problems, asthma, lung or heart disease, have been warned against venturing outside, said a report.

The latest episode follows the legal proceedings launched against the UK by the European Commission in February for failing to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air after 15 consecutive years of warning, said the report.

The head of Asthma UK organization has warned that about 70 percent of asthma sufferers who find air pollution makes their condition worse “will be at an increased risk of an attack.” Even healthy people could experience symptoms including sore throat, eye irritation, nasal discomfort, burning lungs and dry cough.

smog 150312_barbican-to-parliament-- clean air london
UK capital London cloaked in smog. Image source:
Clean Air in London.

Air pollution the world’s worst environmental hazard: WHO

“[About] 1 in 8 of total global deaths [occurs] as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Based on its environmental models, FIRE-EARTH science team believes the figure released by WHO is grossly underestimated.

Outdoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease:

  • 40% – ischaemic heart disease;
  • 40% – stroke;
  • 11% – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
  • 6% – lung cancer; and
  • 3% – acute lower respiratory infections in children.

Indoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease:

  • 34% – stroke;
  • 26% – ischaemic heart disease;
  • 22% – COPD;
  • 12% – acute lower respiratory infections in children; and
  • 6% – lung cancer.

Related Links

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Japan Whaling ‘Not Scientific’ —ICJ

Posted by feww on March 31, 2014

Whaling in the Antarctic ‘Illegal’
.

ICJ Orders Japan to Halt Whaling

The Hague. International Court of Justice (ICJ) has finally ruled that Japan’s Antarctic whaling program is not for scientific purposes.

Japan had claimed that the 1,000 or so whales harpooned by its whalers each year are for “scientific research.”

In May 2010, Australia filed a case with the ICJ arguing that Japan’s whaling program is nothing but commercial whaling in disguise.

The Presiding Judge Peter Tomka said the court had decided, by 12 votes to four, “that Japan shall revoke any extant authorization, permit or license granted in relation to JARPA II [Japan's whaling program in the Antarctic] and refrain from granting any further permits in pursuance of that program,” ordering a temporary halt to the whaling.

The court’s decision “is final, without appeal and binding on the Parties.”


Whale meat exported by Iceland and Norway  for sale in Japan. Photo: via BBC. Image may be subject to copyright.

ICJ Statement: The Court finds that Japan’s whaling program in the Antarctic (JARPAII) is not in accordance with three provisions of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague

(1) finds, unanimously, that it has jurisdiction to entertain the Application filed by Australia on 31 May 2010;

(2) finds, by twelve votes to four, that the special permits granted by Japan in connection with JARPA II do not fall within the provisions of Article VIII, paragraph 1, of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling;

(3) finds, by twelve votes to four, that Japan, by granting special permits to kill, take and treat fin, humpback and Antarctic minke whales in pursuance of JARPA II, has not acted in conformity with its obligations under paragraph 10(e) of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling;

(4) finds, by twelve votes to four, that Japan has not acted in conformity with its obligations under paragraph 10(d) of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling in relation to the killing, taking and treating of fin whales in pursuance of JARPA II;

(5) finds, by twelve votes to four, that Japan has not acted in conformity with its obligations under paragraph 7(b) of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling in relation to the killing, taking and treating of fin whales in the “Southern Ocean Sanctuary” in pursuance of JARPA II;

(6) finds, by thirteen votes to three, that Japan has complied with its obligations under paragraph 30 of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling with regard to JARPA II;

(7) decides, by twelve votes to four, that Japan shall revoke any extant authorization, permit or licence granted in relation to JARPA II, and refrain from granting any further permits in pursuance of that program

The Court therefore concludes that Japan has violated:

(i) the moratorium on commercial whaling in each of the years during which it has set catch limits above zero for minke whales, fin whales and humpback whales under JARPAII;

(ii) the factory ship moratorium in each of the seasons during which fin whales were taken, killed and treated under JARPA II; and (iii)the prohibition of commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary in each of the seasons during which fin whales have been taken under JARPA II.

fishermen-slaughter-a-10m-long-bottlenose-whale-at-the-wada-port-in-minami-boso-city-chiba-prefecture-east-of-tokyo-afp
Fishermen slaughter a 10m-long bottlenose whale at the Wada port in Minami-Boso city, Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

Related Links

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Red Alert as Hazardous Smog Fills N China’s Shenyang

Posted by feww on March 27, 2014

ENVIRONMENTAL HOLOCAUST
DEADLY AIR POLLUTION
.

Heavy smog and fog shroud huge swathes of China

deadly smog in shenyang
Heavy smog and fog shrouded huge swathes of China prompting the authorities to issue a red alert in Shenyang the capital of northeast China’s Liaoning Province, March 27, 2014. Photo: Xinhua/Jiang Bing

Beijing AQI

Meantime, Beijing AQI reached a high of 477 on Thursday and was hovering above 350 level, as of posting.

AQI levels of 300 or greater are categorized as “hazardous” and require mandatory health warnings because everyone may experience very serious health effects.

Related Links

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Give US a *^%$# Break!

Posted by feww on March 25, 2014

MARINE POLLUTION
OIL SPILL

.

Oil leaks into Lake Michigan from BP refinery

BP says “an unknown amount” of oil has leaked from its Indiana Whiting refinery into Lake Michigan.

BP said the leak, which resulted in the discharge of crude oil from the refinery’s cooling system, was discovered Monday afternoon.

More than a half of the lake is covered in ice, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Save the Dunes environmental group has expressed great concern about the impact of the spill on the environment, drinking water, recreational, fishing and shipping industries, said Nicole Barker, the group’s executive director.

“This BP spill, while seemingly contained and currently under control exemplifies some of the concerns Save the Dunes has with transporting and refining oil near Lake Michigan,”said Barker.

“We are glad to see that the crews effectively responded to the spill and it is fortunate that winds were blowing in a way that pushed the oil toward the shoreline,” she said. “However, irreversible damage can be caused by spills into our waterways and it is our greatest hope that the oil was contained before causing great harm to the Lake Michigan ecosystem.”

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7 Million People Killed by Air Pollution in 2012

Posted by feww on March 25, 2014

ENVIRONMENTAL HOLOCAUST
DEADLY AIR POLLUTION
.

Air pollution the world’s worst environmental hazard: WHO

Based on its environmental models, FIRE-EARTH team believes the estimate by World Health Organization (WHO) is grossly underestimated.

“[About] 1 in 8 of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk,” said WHO.

The latest data reveal a more robust link between air pollution and cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and ischaemic heart disease, “in addition to air pollution’s role in the development of respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases,” as well as between air pollution and cancer, said WHO.

Unsustainable Policies

“Excessive air pollution is often a by-product of unsustainable policies in sectors such as transport, energy, waste management and industry,” said a WHO public health expert.

“In most cases, healthier strategies will also be more economical in the long term due to healthcare cost savings as well as climate gains.”

Outdoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease:

  • 40% – ischaemic heart disease;
  • 40% – stroke;
  • 11% – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
  • 6% – lung cancer; and
  • 3% – acute lower respiratory infections in children.

Indoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease:

  • 34% – stroke;
  • 26% – ischaemic heart disease;
  • 22% – COPD;
  • 12% – acute lower respiratory infections in children; and
  • 6% – lung cancer.

Related Links

Posted in environment, Environmental Catastrophe, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global health catastrophe, health | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Houston Shipping Routes Remain Closed Due to Oil Spill

Posted by feww on March 24, 2014

MARINE POLLUTION
MAJOR OIL SPILL

.

The Houston Ship Channel remained closed on Sunday after a collision between an oil barge and a cargo ship, spilling about 640,000 liters (4,000 barrels) of heavy fuel oil.

The channel allows ships to sail from the Gulf Coast to inland terminals, accounting for up to 15 percent of crude delivery to the U.S. refineries.

US Coast Guard photo showing oil spill in Houston Ship Channel
Major oil spill  in the Houston Ship Channel March 22, 2014. Source: U.S. Coast Guard handout/via Reuters.

“A local official said the channel was expected to be shut well into Monday. The official asked not to be identified as the information had not yet been made public,” Reuters reported.

By late Sunday, nearly 90 ships were waiting either to depart or to enter the port of Houston and/or Texas City, said the report.

Among the ships affected by the channel closure was the cruise ship Carnival Magic.

Houston Related Links

Posted in 2014 disaster diary, 2014 Disaster Forecast, environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Global Disasters 2014, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Major Oil Pipeline Leaks in Ohio Nature Preserve

Posted by feww on March 19, 2014

TOXIC POLLUTION
CRIMES AGAINST NATURE
.

Ohio’s Oak Glen Nature Preserve smothered in crude oil after leak in Sunoco pipeline

Up to 40,000 liters of crude oil leaked into the Oak Glen Nature Preserve about 400 meters from the Great Miami River, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency estimates.

oak glen nature preserve on teusday -s
Stream of crude oil leaked from Sunoco pipeline runs across Oak Glen Nature Preserve in Ohio. Source: EPA.

“The leak, which occurred on a line operated by Mid-Valley Pipeline Co, a division of Sunoco, was discovered at 8:20 p.m. EDT on Monday (0020 GMT Tuesday). The company shut the line, which helped reduce the pressure of the leaking oil, an EPA spokeswoman said, but it was unclear if oil was still spewing from the pipe.” Reuters reported.

“The extent of impact to the resource is currently unknown,” according to a statement issued by the Great Parks of Hamilton County, which oversees the Oak Glen preserve. “The EPA is assessing the situation to determine appropriate action.”

Sunoco Logistics Asset Map
Sunoco Logistics Asset Map. Source: Sunco website

The 1650-km pipeline runs from Longview, Texas (about 125 miles east of Dallas), to Samaria, Michigan about 12 miles north of Toledo, delivering crude oil to refineries, mostly in the U.S. Midwest, said the report.

Previous leaks

“A system-wide inspection of the 1,119-mile-long pipeline in 2009 resulted in the company paying a $48,700 fine in 2012 for failing to address corrosion problems in the pipeline at the Oregon refinery for three years.” CinCinnati.com said.

  • October 2008: Burlington, KY. About  500,000 liters of crude oil leaked.
  • January 2005: Carrollton, KY.  At least 1 million liters of oil leaked into the Kentucky River.

According to  Great Parks’ website the 364-acre Preserve comprises “rugged hills with a rich diversity of native trees, shrubs and wildflowers.”

Posted in 2014 disaster diary, 2014 Disaster Forecast, 2014 global disasters, environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

EU Capitals Rivaling Beijing Air Pollution

Posted by feww on March 16, 2014

ENVIRONMENTAL HOLOCAUST
TOXIC AIR POLLUTION
.

In case the toxic air pollution didn’t kill you…

You don’t have to be a Martian to realize not only homo erectus remain non-extinct, they go around masquerading as intelligent species…

Take the toxic air pollution, for example, which is plaguing all major cities in the world.

France restricts driving in Paris to reduce hazardous smog

The French are introducing alternative driving days in the City of Lights in an attempt to reduce hazardous levels of air pollution.

Starting Monday, drivers can only use their vehicles in Paris and surrounding areas every other day.

The government decided to curb driving after air pollution remained at hazardous levels for five consecutive days in the metropolitan Paris [population: ~ 13 million.]

The PM pollution was so severe on Friday, the authorities waved public transport fees for three days to encourage people to leave their cars at home.

The PM10 figures for Paris topped 180 micro-grams per cubic meter (μgm–³), while Brussels recorded 160, Amsterdam 110, Berlin 85 and London exceeded 80.

Smog is expected to worsen on Monday, reports said.

Beijing AQI

The Beijing AQI on Sunday was between 200 and 255, or “unhealthy” to “very unhealthy.”

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

U.S. Drought Change

Posted by feww on March 13, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENTS
DROUGHT
CROP DISASTERS
.

Severe, Extreme and Exceptional Drought Levels Marginally Spread across Contiguous U.S.

Severe, Extreme and Exceptional Drought levels (D2 – D4) covered 21.71 percent of contiguous U.S. this week, an increase  of about 0.15 percent (0.13 percent of the U.S.) compared with last week, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Abnormally Dry conditions and Moderate Drought receded by about 1.38 percent in the contiguous U.S. (0.74 percent in the U.S.), compared with last week.

The following map shows the weekly change in drought levels (classes) across the U.S.

us drough monitor class change
U.S. Drought Monitor Class Change. Source: The National Drought Mitigation Center

Crop Disasters

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared crop disasters for 15 additional counties in Texas and New Mexico, due to the worsening drought.

Related Links: 2014 Agriculture Disaster Declarations

Related Links

Posted in Climate Change, environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Who’s Next?

Posted by feww on March 11, 2014

THE NEXT NUCLEAR DISASTER COULD OCCUR ANYWHERE, ANYTIME
.

Probability of a Nuclear Disaster by Country

The following probability figures  calculated by FIRE-EARTH on April 8, 2011 still hold!

  • Japan (880)³
  • United States (865)
  • France (855)
  • Taiwan (850)
  • Belgium, China, Finland, India,  South Korea, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Russia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Armenia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania,  Hungary, Bulgaria, Spain,  Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico,  South Africa, Canada (810)
  • Germany, Sweden, Netherlands (800)
  • Switzerland  (750)

JPNUKE facilities en
Japan’s Nuclear Facilities. Copyright © Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA, Japan). All Rights Reserved.

Global Map of Nuclear Power Plants

world npp as of august 2005

Notes:

  1. The list represents a snapshot of events at the time of calculating the probabilities. Any forecast posted  here is subject to numerous variable factors.
  2. Figures in the bracket represent the probability of an incident occurring out of 1,000; the forecast duration is valid for the next 50  months.
  3. Probability includes a significant worsening of Fukushima nuclear disaster, and future quakes forecast for Japan.
  4. A nuclear incident is defined as a level 5 (Accident With Wider Consequences), or worse, on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). See below.
  5. Safety issues considered in compiling these lists include the age, number of units and capacity of nuclear reactors in each country/state, previous incidents, probability of damage from human-enhanced natural disasters, e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, wildfires, flooding…]
  6. The  Blog’s knowledge concerning the extent to which the factors described in (3) might worsen during the forecast period greatly influences the forecast. (Last UPDATED: June 26, 2011)

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
The Internet Mafia has previously censored Public Health Emergency, global health warnings and any and ALL information posted on this blog concerning nuclear disasters, nuclear energy and the global nuclear mafia. The cabal have specifically blocked or buried blog entries on Fukushima Daiichi NPP.

What is a lethal dose of radiation from a single Exposure?

Studies of the 1945 atomic bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki show that 100 percent of victims whose bodies were exposed to 600,000 millirems (6,000 mSv) died from radiation. About 50 percent of victims who received  450,000 millirems (4,500 mSv) of radiation also died.

(Note: Rem is a unit of ionizing radiation equal to the amount that produces the same damage to humans as one roentgen of high-voltage x-rays.  Source: MIT)

1 rem = 10 mSv or 10,000 µSv  (1 Sv = 100 rem)

Background Radiation in microsieverts per year (µSv/yr)

  • Average background radiation (US):  3,000
  • Higher altitudes (e.g, Denver): 4,000

“Safe Levels” of Radiation (U.S.)

Limits above natural background radiation levels (average 3,000 microsieverts per year) and medical radiation:

  • Occupation Limit: Maximum of 50,000 µSv (the limit for a worker using radiation)
  • Average Natural Background: 3,000 µSv

[Note: Lifetime cumulative exposure should be limited to a person's age multiplied by 10 millirems, e.g., a 70-year-old person, 70,000 millirems.]

Adults

  • Max single dose for an adult: 30,000µSv
  • Annual total dose: 50,000µSv

Under 18

  • Max single dose for a person aged under 18 years: 3,000µSv (whole body equivalent)
  • Annual total exposure: 5,000µSv

Fetal Exposure

  • Maximum limit for fetal exposure during gestation period:  500 µSv per month above background levels

Medical

  • Single Chest X-ray (the whole body equivalent): 20µSv

Air Travel

  • Coast-to-coast US round trip flight: 120µSv

*Note:  Radiation dose of about 2,000 millisieverts (200,000 millirems) cause serious illness.

Half-life of some radioactive elements

[NOTE: Half-life is the time taken for a radioactive substance to decay by half.]

  • Cesium-134 ~ 2  years
  • Cesium-137 ~ 30 years
  • Iodine-131 ~ 8 days
  • Plutonium-239 ~ 24,200 years
  • Ruthenium-103 ~ 39 days [Ruthenium is a fission product of uranium-235.]
  • Ruthenium-106 ~ 374 days
  • Strontium-90 ~ 28.85 years  [Strontium-90 is a product of nuclear fission and is found in large amounts in spent nuclear fuel and in radioactive waste from nuclear reactors.]
  • Uranium-234 ~  246,000 years
  • Uranium-235 ~ 703.8  million years
  • Uranium-238  ~ 4.468 billion years

Related Links (Latest)

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

‘Until the Wells Run Dry’

Posted by feww on March 10, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATE
EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS

DROUGHT
WATER FAMINE

CROP DISASTERS
STATE OF EMERGENCY

.

Lake of the Woods could turn into a ghost town

Lake of the Woods, a small town north of Los Angeles, is running dry amid California drought and the residents are worried about the future.

The following video was  prepared by the New York Times

State of Emergency

Governor Brown proclaimed a State of Emergency on January 27  amid the worsening statewide drought.  He called the “really serious,” adding that 2014 could be California’s third consecutive dry year. “In many ways it’s a mega-drought.”

California State Resources

FIRE-EARTH 2009 Forecast: Desertification of California in the Near Future Is Almost a Certainty

[NOTE: The above forecast and most of the links posted below have previously been filtered by Google, WordPress and others. Editor ]

Drought Information – Water Resources – State of California

Water years 2012 and 2013 were dry statewide, especially in parts of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. Water year 2014, which began on October 1st, continues this trend. Precipitation in some areas of the state is tracking at about the driest year of record.

Related Links

Posted in Climate Change, environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Chinese Cities Unfit for Living

Posted by feww on March 8, 2014

ENVIRONMENTAL HOLOCAUST
TOXIC AIR POLLUTION
.

Nearly all Chinese cities monitored for pollution in 2013 failed to meet environmental standards: Senior official

About 96 Chinese cities monitored for pollution in 2013 failed to meet environmental standards, said Wu Xiaoqing, China’s vice-minister of environmental protection.

Of the 74 cities monitored by Beijing, 71 had various degrees of problems, said Wu at a news conference on Saturday, Reuters reported.

The only three cities that met the standard were the flood-prone city of Haikou in the island province of Hainan, Llasa, the capital of quake-prone Tibet, and the coastal resort city of Zhoushan.

China’s pollution problems can only be solved through fundamental changes to the way the country develops its economy, said Wu.

“When we were chasing GDP growth, we were also paying the price of pollution, and this price is heavy, is massive.”

“China will cut outdated steel production capacity by a total of 27 million tonnes this year, slash cement production by 42 million tonnes and also shut down 50,000 small coal-fired furnaces across the country, according to the government work report delivered by Premier Li on Wednesday,” said Xinhua.

Beijing AQI

Meanwhile, the Beijing AQI for PM2.5 hit 255 (Very Unhealthy) on Saturday, before falling slightly to 249, as of posting. [Temp: 4°C; range  -3°C to 12°C]

Related Links

For earlier posts on Beijing AQI, search blog content.

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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