Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for April 3rd, 2011

Earth’s Defense Mechanism: The Volcanic Arsenal

Posted by feww on April 3, 2011

Revisiting Super Volcanoes: Aira Caldera

Sakura-Jima Volcano, Kyushu, Japan

Other sises available at
PIA01777: Space Radar Image of Sakura-Jima Volcano, Japan

Original Caption Released with Image: The active volcano Sakura-Jima on the island of Kyushu, Japan is shown in the center of this radar image. The volcano occupies the peninsula in the center of Kagoshima Bay, which was formed by the explosion and collapse of an ancient predecessor of today’s volcano. The volcano has been in near continuous eruption since 1955. Its explosions of ash and gas are closely monitored by local authorities due to the proximity of the city of Kagoshima across a narrow strait from the volcano’s center, shown below and to the left of the central peninsula in this image. City residents have grown accustomed to clearing ash deposits from sidewalks, cars and buildings following Sakura-jima’s eruptions. The volcano is one of 15 identified by scientists as potentially hazardous to local populations, as part of the international “Decade Volcano” program.

The image was acquired by the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) onboard the space shuttle Endeavour on October 9, 1994. SIR-C/X-SAR, a joint mission of the German, Italian and the United States space agencies, is part of NASA’s Mission to Planet Earth. The image is centered at 31.6 degrees North latitude and 130.6 degrees East longitude. North is toward the upper left. The area shown measures 37.5 kilometers by 46.5 kilometers (23.3 miles by 28.8 miles). The colors in the image are assigned to different frequencies and polarizations of the radar as follows: red is L-band vertically transmitted, vertically received; green is the average of L-band vertically transmitted, vertically received and C-band vertically transmitted, vertically received; blue is C-band vertically transmitted, vertically received.

Continued …

There’s no such thing as an extinct volcano; some volcanoes sleep a little longer!

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Fukushima Radiation Leak NOT Fixed

Posted by feww on April 3, 2011

Japan Nuclear Disaster Update – April 3

Radioactive contaminated water still leaking into the ocean at a rate of about 2 liters per second: TEPCO

More than7 tons  of radioactive water is leaking into the ocean every hour, Tokyo Electric Company said, NHK reported.

A 20-cm crack at the bottom of a concrete duct near Reactor 2 at Fukushima NPP is releasing more than 7 tons or radioactive water into the ocean. Photo released by TEPCO.

An inlet to the damaged maintenance duct near Reactor 2.
Photo released by TEPCO.

Cement mix poured to block crack in the duct
Photo released by TEPCO.

Summary of Latest Developments:

  • Contaminated water in the duct is emitting more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour (100,000  millirems per hour)* of radiation into the surrounding environment.
  • Seawater samples taken 330 m south of the plants on March 31 contained both radioactive iodine-131 at 4,385 times and cesium-137 at 527 times above the legal limits. Cesium-137 has a half life of 30 years and persists much longer than iodine (half-life = 8 days, see also list below).
  • Workers made an unsuccessful attempt to plug the crack using concrete.
  • A second attempt made earlier today to fix the crack using a mixture of a chemical polymer, sawdust and shredded newspaper also failed.
  • TEPCO is preparing for a third attempt to plug the leak, using an absorbent gel which expands to contain water and is usually included in baby diapers and litter trays for pets.
  • About  164,000 people are currently living in shelters
  • At least 70,000 people have been evacuated from a 20 km exclusion zone of Fukushima NPP.
  • Up to  140,000 people live inside the next 10 km zone, who have been urged to leave or stay indoors.
  • “The impact of the nuclear crisis is expected to go on for a long time,”  Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said earlier today.

*Note:  Single radiation dose of 2,000 millisieverts (200,000 millirems) and above causes serious illness. See also exposure list below.

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

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 (eg. 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.]


  • 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


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

Air Travel

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

Megaquake and Tsunami Death Toll

The latest figures released by the authorities put the number of dead at about  12,000 with 16,000 people still listed as missing.

Related Links

Posted in Chernobyl, Chernobyl nuclear disaster, fukushima nuclear disaster, Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, Fukushima Nuclear reactor, Japan Nuclear alert | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Red Flag Warnings in Seven States

Posted by feww on April 3, 2011

Strong Winds Sunday & Severe Weather Possibilities: NWS

Strong winds and low relative humidity prompts National Weather Service to issue Red Flag Warnings in at least 7 states:  Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Check map also for flood warnings.

Click map to enter BWS portal.

Nine tornadoes tore through the Tampa Bay area

NWS has confirmed that at least 9 tornadoes tore through the Tampa Bay area, three each in Polk, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, as  a strong weather front moved through the area three days ago.

“Substantial damage occurred in the Palm River, Riverview and Interbay Boulevard areas, where the weather service said two tornadoes touched down in a 10-minute period.” Said a report.

About 87,000 customers lost power during the storm. “Some of the homes and businesses were so severely damaged that even if we restore a neighborhood, the customer has problems receiving the power,” a TECO spokesman said.

Record High Temperatures Across Northern & Central New Mexico

NWS has reoported the following preliminary temperatures for NM on Saturday April 2.

LOCATION                    NEW RECORD        OLD RECORD

ALBUQUERQUE SUNPORT             83              82/1966
FARMINGTON AIRPORT              80              75/1966
CHAMA                           70              66/2002
LOS ALAMOS                      75              72/2002
DULCE                           73              72/2002
SANTA FE                        77              74/2002
CLAYTON AIRPARK                 86              84/1946
GALLUP AIRPORT                  76              75/2002
TUCUMCARI AIRPORT               91              90/1946
RUIDOSO AIRPORT                 75              72/1967
ROSWELL AIRPORT                 95              90/1966
CLOVIS                          90              89/1943

Severe Weather Pounds North and Central Georgia

(March 26-27, 2011)

A complex storm system tracked from Texas into the Mississippi River Valley and across Georgia on March 26 and 27 bringing severe weather to north and central Georgia. More…

Large Hail fell in Moreland (Coweta County), GA. Credit: NWS. Click image to enlarge.

An EF-1 tornado tracked across Laurens County with maximum winds estimate at 90 MPH and a maximum path width of 500 yards. It touched down around 9:40 PM EST about 1.8 miles west of Brewton and traveled east approximately 3.5 miles before lifting. Hundreds of trees were snapped or downed and about 30 structures were damaged, More …

Path of EF-1 tornado that struck Brewton in Laurens County, GA. Credit: NWS

Related Links

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