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Posts Tagged ‘Antarctic’

EcoTerrorists to Resume Whaling Soon Despite ICJ Ruling

Posted by feww on November 29, 2015

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Japan says it will resume whaling in the Antarctic

Japanese Fisheries Agency has notified the International Whaling Commission (IWC) that it will resume whaling in the 2015-2016 season, despite an International Court of Justice ruling last year that they cease whale hunt in the Antarctic.

Their plan reportedly calls for hunting 333 minke whales, which they say is “scientifically reasonable.” [Previously, their self-declared quota was over 1,000 minke whales per season.]

A lactating mother and her calf? Why, they taste better together? Japan has said the pictures were misleading and did not show a lactating mother and her calf. July 11, 2008. (Australian Customs Service)

Japan managed to kill 251 minke whales in the Antarctic in the 2013-14 season and 103 the previous year,  far fewer than their annual target of 1,000, mainly because of direct action by the Sea Shepherd.

To the best of our knowledge, the whalers have not provided a detailed account of why a single whale must be butchered in the name of science, let alone so many hundreds.

Iceland and Norway recently began exporting whale meat for sale in Japan. Photo: via BBC. May 11, 2009. Image may be subject to copyright.

In fact, the meat from the butchered mammals finds its way on supermarket shelves at a very early stage of the “research,” often  within hours of being harpooned.

What Officials in Australia said:

Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt: “We do not accept in any way, shape or form the concept of killing whales for so-called ‘scientific research,'” adding  that  Australia strongly opposes Japan’s decision.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull: “Our position is standard, that we […] strongly encourage Japan to cease its whaling operations in any time, in any season, in any year.”

Green Party conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage:  “We are glad the Government has spoken out against Japan’s resumption of this cruel and inhumane practice, but New Zealand must do more.”

“Japan is determined to flout the court’s ruling, even though it’s been proven that their so-called ‘scientific research’ can be done without actually killing whales.

“Japan is determined to flout the court’s ruling, even though it’s been proven that their so-called ‘scientific research’ can be done without actually killing whales.

“Giving Japan a verbal telling-off isn’t going to save these beautiful animals from needless slaughter. Countries that are opposed to whaling are going to have to show some backbone, and follow up their condemnation with action,” asking the Australian government to send navy ships to the Antarctic to monitor the whaling fleet.

Fishermen slaughter a 10m-long bottlenose whale at the Wada port in Minami-Boso city, Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo, June 25, 2008. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

Posted in News Alert | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

“Polar Wave Hits Buenos Aires”

Posted by feww on August 24, 2013

Buenos Aires Temperatures hit a low of 2 degrees and a high of 10ºC

Polar wave hits Argentina again with very low temperatures in Buenos Aires. The polar wave which started on Friday in Buenos Aires Province and reached the city and surroundings, pushed down the temperatures to highs of 10°C and lows of 2°C, reported TELAM.

An earlier cold snap hit Argentina on July 19, 2013, said a report.

coldwave BAA
Original caption:
Two girls are protected themselves from the cold with warm clothes while walking in a street in Buenos Aires City, capital of Argentina, on Aug. 23, 2013. Thursday was registered a polar wave in Buenos Aires province, where it is expected that the minimum temperature will be two degrees Celsius and maximum will be ten degrees Celsius until Monday of next week, according to local press information. (Xinhua/TELAM). More images…

Posted in environment, significant events, significant geophysical disturbances, Significant winter storm | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PIG Calves a Massive Iceberg

Posted by feww on July 9, 2013

Pine Island glacier (PIG) spawns a huge iceberg in the Antarctic

The iceberg measures about 720 sq km, or eight times the size of Manhattan Island, said a report.

Credit DLR – Image taken by TerraSAR-X, Germany’s Earth-observation satellite.

The large crack spreading across the “longest and fastest flowing glacier” in the west Antarctic was first observed in October 2011.

“The PIG is the most rapidly shrinking glacier on the planet,” said a researcher.

“It’s losing more ice than any other glacier on the planet, and it’s contributing to sea level rise faster than any other glacier on the planet.”

The speed of Pine Island Glacier increased by 73 percent between 1974 and  2007. As a result, PIG had a negative mass balance of 46 gigatons per year, that is the glacier system drained more water into the sea than replaced by snowfall, researchers say.

Posted in environment, rising sea levels | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Steve Irwin Will Chase Japanese Whalers

Posted by feww on December 21, 2008

Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, said today their organization’s ship, Steve Irwin, would continue pursuing the whalers once the weather improved.

“They are on the run but right now it is very bad weather,” he told reporters by phone from the Steve Irwin, noting that the Japanese fleet had started very early in the whaling season.

“That means we are going to cut into their profits. When they are running they are not killing whales.”

Japanese whalers plan to kill about 900 whales in this years Antarctic hunt.  Although Japan officially stopped whaling under a 1986 global moratorium, the whalers have been catching hundreds of whales each year, which Tokyo says is “for scientific research purposes.” However, most of the meat is sold openly at Japanese supermarkets.

Watson said Sea Shepherd had spotted the Japanese fleet, which he believed had already killed some whales.  They called off an attempt Friday to attack the harpoon ship Yushin Maru 2  about five kilometers from the ship because of dense fog and icy seas. (Source)

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Posted in harpoon ship, Japanese fleet, whale meat, whaling season, Yushin Maru 2 | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Antarctic Ozone Depth Down to 100 DU

Posted by feww on October 8, 2008

Having broken the previous size record [up by 1million km², or 3.9 %, to 27,000 km²,] the Antarctic ozone depth fell to a low of 100 DU

The George W. Bush Antarctic Ozone Hole – October 04, 2008

Source: NASA Ozone Hole Watch

From a previous entry:

A Deserving Dedication

The Moderators would like to dedicate this year’s Antarctic ozone hole to the outgoing [hopefully] US president [sic] Mr GW Bush. Furthermore we invite all parties concerned to consider renaming the Antarctic Ozone Hole after GW Bush for his contribution to the worsening state of the world. During his 8-year occupation of White House, Mr Bush caused more damage to the world (environment, climate, humanity, security … ) than anyone else before him.

[It’s hoped that NASA employees responsible for Ozone Hole Watch retain the integrity of all data, and blow the whistle if they find any anomaly in the data sets, this year.]

Ozone Facts

What is Ozone?

Ozone is a colorless gas. Chemically, ozone is very active; it reacts readily with a great many other substances. Near the Earth’s surface, those reactions cause rubber to crack, hurt plant life, and damage people’s lung tissues. But ozone also absorbs harmful components of sunlight, known as “ultraviolet B”, or “UV-B”. High above the surface, above even the weather systems, a tenuous layer of ozone gas absorbs UV-B, protecting living things below. (Source: NASA Ozone Watch)

What is a Dobson Unit?

The Dobson Unit (DU) is the unit of measure for total ozone. If you were to take all the ozone in a column of air stretching from the surface of the earth to space, and bring all that ozone to standard temperature (0 °Celsius) and pressure (1013.25 millibars, or one atmosphere, or “atm”), the column would be about 0.3 centimeters thick. Thus, the total ozone would be 0.3 atm-cm. To make the units easier to work with, the “Dobson Unit” is defined to be 0.001 atm-cm. Our 0.3 atm-cm would be 300 DU. (Source: NASA Ozone Watch)

Exposure to Excessive UV Radiation

Without Ozone life on Earth is not possible. Ozone depletion allows higher levels of UV radiation (UVA and UVB) reaching the Earth’s surface and poses the biggest threat to life and the ecosystems. The amount of UV radiation reaching the Antarctica can double during the annual “ozone hole”- a severe depletion of ozone layer.

At usual times, when the ozone hole disappears, New Zealand still receives at least 42 percent more ultraviolet rays than Northern Hemisphere.

NASA and NOAA Declare 2006 Ozone Hole a Double Record Breaker

“The ozone hole of 2006 is the most severe ozone hole (least amount of ozone) observed to date. NASA’s Aura satellite observed a low value of 85 Dobson Units (DU) on Oct. 8 in a region over the East Antarctic ice sheet.”[3]

With a few exceptions, the depth and size of the Antarctic Ozone Hole is increasing each year, while the concentration of ozone, measured in Dobson Unit (DU), is decreasing. The large and persistent ozone hole will “allow much more ultraviolet light than usual to reach Earth’s surface in the southern latitudes.”[3]

Major Health Problems Linked to Overexposure to UV Radiation

Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to the potentially fatal melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, as well as skin disorders like actinic keratoses and premature aging of skin. UV radiation impairs human immune system (including reaction to certain medications, poor response to immunization, and sensitivity to sunlight) and readily damages DNA in all cells causing genetic mutations. [4]

UV radiation increases the incidents of cataracts, chronic eye disease and other eye damage, and several types of blood disease.

The Skin Cancer ‘Hot Spot.’ New Zealand (and Australia) is the worst hotspot for skin cancer in the world. Each year 1 in 29 New Zealanders is diagnosed with skin cancer.[5]

Melanoma Skin Cancers. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. Many dermatologists believe that exposure to sunburns in children and young adults can lead to melanoma later in life. Reported melanoma cases in New Zealand have almost doubled since 1993 and the rising trend is expected to continue. New Zealand [and Australia] has the highest age-adjusted melanoma incidence rates in the world.[6]

New research commissioned by MoleMap New Zealand, a melanoma surveillance program, reveals about one in four New Zealand farmers have suffered skin cancer.[7]

“Almost 300 people die from melanoma each year and New Zealand has the highest melanoma death rate in the world.” Generally, skin cancer incidents occur in older age groups, however, “life-threatening melanoma is most common in people aged between 20 and 39 years.”[8]

In the United States, an estimated 7,910 people will die of melanoma in 2006. [9] The melanoma death rate in New Zealand is about three times higher than the United States.

Non-melanoma Skin Cancers. Non-melanoma skin cancers are less deadly than melanoma cases. However, they can spread, causing disfigurement and more serious health problems, if not treated early. At least 160,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer in New Zealand each year. [10]

Other types of UV-related skin cancer tumors include Basal Cell Carcinomas, and Squamous Cell Carcinomas. Although Basal cell carcinoma grows slowly, it can penetrate to the bone and cause considerable damage. Squamous Cell Carcinomas tumors, which usually appear as nodules or as red, flaky swelling, develop into large patches and spread all over the body. [11]

Cataracts and Other Eye Damage. Cataracts, a type of eye damage, causes the loss of transparency in the lens of the eye, clouds vision and can lead to blindness, if left untreated. The UV radiation increases the likelihood of developing cataracts. UV radiation also causes other kinds of eye damage including “pterygium (i.e., tissue growth that can block vision), skin cancer around the eyes, and degeneration of the macula (i.e., the part of the retina where visual perception is most acute).” [12]

Immune Suppression. Overexposure to UV radiation may suppress the body’s immune system. “Increased exposure to UV rays in animals and humans has been linked to elevated risk from the following diseases: the herpes viruses, the human immunodeficiency virus HIV- 1, a variety of papilloma viruses, leishmaniasis, malaria, forms of tuberculosis, leprosy, lupus erthematodes, dermatitis, E. coli, and Staphylococcus aureus. Since UV rays readily damage DNA in all cells, it is not unrealistic to hypothesize that this will play an additional role in the mutation of existing disease bacteria and viruses and may produce totally new strains of pathogens.” [13]

Note: The above passage is from Truth About ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ Advertising Campaign. For a list of references, see original article at above link.

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Posted in Immune Suppression, immunodeficiency virus HIV- 1, melanoma, nasa, UV-B | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »