A farmer plows up a field where crops failed because of a severe drought in the region, in Texas in 2011. Scott Olson / AFP Photo

29 March 2012 (AFP) – Leading scientists on Thursday called on the upcoming Rio Summit to grapple with environmental ills that they said pointed to "a humanitarian emergency on a global scale."

In a "State of the Planet" declaration issued after a four-day conference, the scientists said Earth was now facing unprecedented challenges, from water stress, pollution, and species loss to spiralling demands for food.

They called on the June 20-22 followup to the 1992 Earth Summit to overhaul governance of the environment and sweep away a fixation with GDP as the sole barometer of wellbeing.

"The continuing function of the Earth system as it has supported the wellbeing of human civilisation in recent centuries is at risk," said the statement issued at the "Planet Under Pressure" conference.

"These threats risk intensifying economic, ecological and social crises, creating the potential for a humanitarian emergency on a global scale."

The conference gathered nearly 3,000 environment scientists, economists, business executives and policymakers in the runup to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio.

In a recorded message, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he welcomed the declaration, saying "its timing … could not be better."

"Climate change, the financial crisis, and food, water and energy security threaten human wellbeing and civilisation as we know it," he said.

Ban added that he was considering appointing a scientific board or a chief scientific advisor to advise him and other UN organs.

The conference declaration said humanity's impact on Earth was now so great that a new era -- "the Anthropocene," a term derived from the Greek word for human -- had emerged.

Globalisation has shown that economies and societies are now "highly interconnected and interdependent," it said.

These changes have brought stability and innovation but created a system vulnerable to sudden stress, as the global financial meltdown and surge in food prices had shown.
Tackling the problems of global environment change will mean major reforms, it said. […]

Scientists warn of 'emergency on global scale'

A Sudanese child and camels. blogs.anoiadiari.cat

By Climate Desk
30 March 2012

Purdue University climatologist Matthew Huber gets plenty of death threats, but that hasn't stopped him from exploring the outer limits of just how much global warming human beings can tolerate. Whatever our recent Great American Heat Wave may or may not portend, most credible climate scientists agree that human-caused global warming is real -- oh yes they do! -- and most of the research out there, Huber says, predicts dire consequences for people (and other mammals) if average global temperatures rise by 6° Celsius or more.

That could well happen this century: By 2100, Huber points out, the mid-range estimates predict a rise of 3°C to 4°C in average global temperatures based on current economic activities, but those studies ignore accelerating factors like the release of vast quantities of methane -- a potent greenhouse gas -- now trapped beneath permafrost and sea ice that's becoming less and less permanent. Other models foresee rises in the 10°C range this century; at the outer fringe, predictions range as high as 20°C. Truth is, we simply don't know exactly when we'll reach these milestones or what they will cost us. And thanks to the uncertainty, it's been hard to get nations to agree on limits.

All of this got Huber and Steven Sherwood, his colleague at Australia's University of New South Wales, to thinking: Economic considerations aside, they asked, how much warming can we physiologically tolerate? At what point does it get so bad that our bodies can no longer keep cool, so bad that we can no longer work or play sports or even survive for long out of doors? Will we flee for colder climes? Live underground like hobbits, surviving on cold fungus? Okay, I'm projecting -- they didn't actually ponder that last bit that I'm aware of.

In any case, the pair crunched the numbers and published the results in a May 2010 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Using a measurement called "wet-bulb temperature," which Huber explains below, they modeled what might happen in several warming scenarios. At the point where the average global temperature rise hits 10°C, "even Siberia reaches values exceeding anything in the present-day tropics" and many populated parts of the globe might become, if habitable at all, places where the relatively affluent would likely find themselves "imprisoned" in air-conditioned spaces and where "power failures would become life-threatening." Lacking access to AC, the world's poor would have little choice but to flee. Even "modest" global warming, Huber and Sherwood conclude, could "expose large fractions of the population to unprecedented heat stress."

Their paper makes for a good wish-it-were-sci-fi read for the scientifically inclined. For everyone else, the recent heat wave provided the perfect excuse to grill Huber (via email) on his underlying assumptions, the hate mail he gets, and whether humans can evolve or air-condition our way out of this prawndiddity -- that's a word my kids came up with to describe this sort of situation, and I'm rolling with it, since our fiasco is theirs to inherit.

First of all, is there anything you'd like to say about the recent heat wave?

It just goes to show you how random weather can be. It tells us about as much by itself as the occasional unseasonable cold snap. It is useful, however as an analogy for what the future climate might look like. When climate modelers say that spring might start a month earlier on average this sounds abstract to most people, but the recent weather provides a good tangible example of what statements like this mean.

Are there currently places on Earth where average temperatures are beyond the ability of our bodies to stay cool?

In the shade, with plenty of water and ventilation, acclimated healthy adults can survive just about everywhere currently, assuming that they aren't exerting themselves. On the other hand, when physical exertion, sunlight, improper hydration, poor ventilation, lack of acclimatization, and other health conditions (including being very young or old) are a factor, many regions can experience severe enough heat stress that serious consequences arise. Every time someone gets heat stroke, that's someone who pushed themselves or were pushed by circumstance outside of their zone for regulating their temperatures. There is a wide zone over which people can adjust their behavior to withstand very warm conditions. Our paper asked the question: Is there a limit to that adaptability, and, if so, how hot does the world have to get before we reach that limit? […]

Will the Human Body Be Able to Adapt to Rising Temperatures?

Dan Akerson, chairman and chief executive officer of General Motors Co., speaks at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, 28 March 2012. The company announced Wednesday it would stop funding the Heartland Institute, which has questioned that human activity is responsible for global warming. Tony Avelar / Bloomberg

By Dean Kuipers
30 March 2012

Citing its corporate stance that climate change is real, General Motors announced Wednesday that its General Motors Foundation would no longer be funding the Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank that has attacked human-caused global warming as “junk science.”

The announcement was not made in a company statement, but rather in communications with Greg Dalton of Climate One, an ongoing dialog about the environment at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.

“General Motors has decided to discontinue funding of the Heartland Institute, an organization that downplays the risks of climate disruption, three weeks after GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson was asked about it during a Climate One radio interview,” says the first graph of the Wednesday post on the Climate One site.

“Yep, it’s true,” said Greg Martin, a GM spokesperson. “Dan Akerson was giving remarks at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco a few weeks ago, and the issue of GM’s very modest and previous contribution to Heartland came up, and Mr. Akerson said he’d look into it. And we’ve looked into it, and we’ve decided to discontinue it.

“As Dan said at the Commonwealth Club, GM’s operating its business as if climate change is real.”

The development is fallout from the release of Heartland Institute funding documents in February, which showed that GM contributed $15,000 to Heartland in 2010 and 2011. Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute and a MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, revealed in February that he had assumed a false identity to obtain some of those documents. […]

GM pulls support for Heartland Institute

Earthrise from Earth's moon. This view of Earth greeted Apollo 8 astronauts as they emerged from behind the Moon after the lunar orbit insertion burn. NASA

By Paul Douglas, Meteorologist; Author, Restless Skies, the Ultimate Weather Book
29 March 2012

I'm going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real. I'm a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I'm a Penn State meteorologist, and the weather maps I'm staring at are making me very uncomfortable. No, you're not imagining it: we've clicked into a new and almost foreign weather pattern. To complicate matters I'm in a small, frustrated and endangered minority: a Republican deeply concerned about the environmental sacrifices some are asking us to make to keep our economy powered-up. It's ironic. The root of the word conservative is "conserve". A staunch Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, set aside vast swaths of America for our National Parks System, the envy of the world. Another Republican, Richard Nixon, launched the EPA. Now some in my party believe the EPA and all those silly "global warming alarmists" are going to get in the way of drilling and mining our way to prosperity. Well, we have good reason to be alarmed.

Weather 2.0.: "It's a new atmosphere floating overhead."

These are the Dog Days of March. Ham Weather reports 5,299 records in the last 7 days -- some towns 20 to 35 degrees warmer than average; off-the-scale, freakishly warm. 17,360 records since March 1. Sixteen times more warm records than cold records since March 1. The scope, intensity and duration of this early heat wave are historic and unprecedented. And yes, climate change is probably a contributing factor. "Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get." 129,404 weather records in one year, nationwide? You can't point to any one weather extreme and say "that's climate change". But a warmer, wetter atmosphere loads the dice, increasing the potential for historic spikes in temperature and more frequent and bizarre weather extremes. You can't prove that any one of Barry Bond's 762 home runs was sparked by (alleged) steroid use. But it did increase his "base state", raising the overall odds of hitting a home run. A warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, more fuel for floods, while increased evaporation pushes other regions into drought.

Here's what I suspect: the patient is running a slight fever. Symptoms include violent tornado sneezes, severe sniffles of flooding and raging rashes of jaw-dropping warmth. It's 85 in March. What will July bring? It's as if Mother Nature seized the weather remote, clicked America's seasons on fast-forward, turning the volume on extreme weather up to a deafening 10. This isn't even close to being "normal". Weather Underground's Dr. Jeff Masters put it best. "This is not the atmosphere I grew up with." […]

A Message From a Republican Meteorologist on Climate Change

Dried up lake in San Angelo, Texas, June 2011. f150online.com

By David Mark
26 March 2012

A new study suggests climate scientists may have underestimated the effect of greenhouse gases, with global temperatures now predicted to rise by between 1.4 and 3 degrees Celsius by 2050.

The study was published in the journal Nature Geoscience by a team of international scientists who ran 10,000 computer simulations of climate models in an attempt to explore the range of global warming predictions made by climate scientists.

The researchers found that while their results matched the predictions made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the lower end, they were higher than earlier predictions at the higher end.

One of the certainties about predicting climate change is uncertainty, which is why climate change professor David Frame and 26 of his colleagues from around the world have tried to narrow things down.

"We set out to look at how a large range of climate models could try to span a range of uncertainties to try to get a better handle on the sort of range of plausible climates we might see in the next half century and beyond," said Professor Frame, who works at the Victoria University of Wellington. […]

"If people keep emitting fossil fuels in the way we expect, with no price on carbon or no future policy initiatives, we expect a range of 1.4 to 3 degrees by 2050," he said.

Those numbers are based on average temperatures between 1960 and 1990.

At the bottom end it is similar to the last prediction made by the IPCC, but it exceeds that group's prediction at the higher end.

"What we've kind of got is just a broader sweep of that uncertainty range," Professor Frame said. […]

The journal has also published a paper which states that extreme weather events over the past decade have increased and were "very likely" caused by man-made global warming.

Impact of climate change may be underestimated

Survivors wade through floodwaters in Pakistan, July 2010. stockmarkettoday.in

By Nina Chestney
25 March 2012

LONDON – Extreme weather events over the past decade have increased and were "very likely" caused by manmade global warming, a study in the journal Nature Climate Change [pdf] said on Sunday.

Scientists at Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Research used physics, statistical analysis and computer simulations to link extreme rainfall and heat waves to global warming. The link between warming and storms was less clear.

"It is very likely that several of the unprecedented extremes of the past decade would not have occurred without anthropogenic global warming," said the study.

The past decade was probably the warmest globally for at least a millennium. Last year was the eleventh hottest on record, the World Meteorological Organisation said on Friday.

Extreme weather events were devastating in their impacts and affected nearly all regions of the globe.

They included severe floods and record hot summers in Europe; a record number of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic in 2005; the hottest Russian summer since 1500 in 2010, and the worst flooding in Pakistan's history.

Last year alone, the United States suffered 14 weather events which caused losses of over $1 billion each. The high amount of extremes is not normal, the study said.

6,000 weather records broken in March

For some types of extreme weather, there are physical reasons why they would increase in a warming climate. For example, if average temperature rises, then so will the number of heat records if all else remains equal, the study said. […]

Recent years have seen an exceptionally large number of record-breaking and destructive heatwaves in many parts of the world and research suggests that many or even most of these would not have happened without global warming.

Currently, nearly twice as many record hot days as record cold days are being observed both in the United States and Australia, the length of summer heatwaves in western Europe has almost doubled and the frequency of hot days has almost tripled over the period from 1880 to 2005.

Extremely hot summers are now observed in about 10 percent of the global land area, compared with only about 0.1-0.2 percent for the period 1951 to 1980, the study said. […]

Weather extremes, warming link stronger, study finds

A shipment of pangolin skins from Guinea bound for Thailand and seized at the Belgian airport. Belgian authorities later found that the CITES document accompanying the hides was forged. Belgium Customs

By Rachel Nuwer
26 March 2012

Reeking of infection, the elephant stumbled into the Tanzanian camp where Thomas Appleby works as a safari manager. Its back legs festered with gangrene radiating from the open, pungent wounds that the animal had evidently endured for at least two long weeks. Ivory poachers had shot the elephant in both legs, but it had probably bolted before they could subdue the massive beast enough to hack off its tusks. The infection had slowly spread throughout the animal’s limbs, and Appleby had to put it down.

“The poor thing, it completely tore my heart out,” Appleby said. “We are losing thousands—and I mean thousands—of iconic animals because of some kind of rapacious hunger from far off countries.”

The ivory poachers who shot Appleby’s elephant were most likely African, but their orders probably came from thousands of miles away—from China or Vietnam. In many parts of Asia, traditional Chinese medicine, a taste for wildmeat, a desire to display pricey horn and ivory trophies, and a lust for rare pets have merged into a cultural infatuation with wildlife consumption.

This voracity is taking its toll. The World Wildlife Fund declared the Javan rhino to be extinct in Vietnam in September. The Western black rhino was declared extinct in the wild in November. The Sumatran rhino is almost certainly now extinct in Thailand. Between January and October 2010, South Africa lost 230 rhinos to poaching—on average, one every 30 hours. Last year, South Africa lost a record 443 rhinos.

In Asia, tigers are in a worse state than ever; fewer than 3,500 now live in the wild, occupying less than 7 percent of their historic range. “With the tiger, we are witnessing the tragic winking out of one of the planet’s most beloved animals,” wrote Elizabeth Bennett, the vice president for species conservation for the non-governmental Wildlife Conservation Society, in the journal Oryx.

The world is in the midst of a global extinction crisis primarily driven by illegal hunting for highly valuable animal body parts. Having largely emptied its own jungles of furry, scaly, and feathery creatures, Asia’s thirst for exotic blood, bile, and bones has turned to the African continent. The Far East’s middle class is becoming more affluent; it is no coincidence that poaching on the African continent has spiked in recent years, as more and more people are able to afford luxury goods like ivory or exotic pets.

“With this demand spreading to Africa, it’s only a matter of time before we see populations of animals in Africa start to decline in a similar manner to Asia,” said Chris Shepherd, the Southeast Asia deputy regional director of the non-governmental organization TRAFFIC that deals with illegal wildlife trade. Shepherd doesn’t think Asia’s demand will stop with Africa, either. Once the animals are depleted there, if nothing is done, “it’ll just keep spreading and spreading until nothing’s left,” he said.

Shepherd is part of a group of increasingly desperate conservationists who deal with these statistics on a day-to-day basis. He witnesses illegal Madagascan tortoises openly displayed in Jakarta pet markets, despite Indonesian legislation that bans their trade.  He deals with the logistical nightmare of sorting out 2,800 pounds of African ivory seized in Vietnam in a single week. On the worst days, he and his colleagues must draft the public extinction notices when another animal succumbs forever to the trade. Despite the scale of these crimes, politicians and the public are all too complacent. “We’re losing all of our wildlife, and people are just sitting back and letting it happen,” Shepherd says. […]

[Warning: Brutal photo at original story.]

Not a Normal Killing

Lee Creek phosphate mine, 28 May 2005. MasterGeorge / flickr

By Cory Nealon, cnealon@dailypress.com 
24 March 2012

AURORA, N.C. – The sun was about to set when Robert L. Shirley drove his beige pickup onto the Pamlico River ferry.

He was joined by fellow Potash Corp. employees who had just finished the day shift mining what scientists say could be the "gravest natural resource shortage you've never heard of."

Often overlooked, phosphorus is one of three elements needed to make fertilizer. The others, nitrogen and potash, are readily available with no shortages projected. But phosphate rock — the primary source of phosphorus in fertilizer — isn't as plentiful.

Scientists have estimated that minable supplies may not be sufficient to meet worldwide demand within decades. The situation could lead to higher food prices, famine and worse. […]

The element, which is found in every body cell, is most concentrated in human bones and teeth. It is essential to life and, at the present time, irreplaceable. […]

Reliance on the element is an "underappreciated aspect" that helped the world population grow by 4.2 billion people since 1950, according to a 2009 Foreign Policy magazine article.

In 2009, a pair of Australian scientists published studies suggesting that demand for the element could exceed supplies as early as 2035. Using the term "peak phosphorus," an analogy to peak oil, they relied partly on a Geological Survey estimate that the world had 16 billion tons of minable phosphate rock.

The agency revised its estimate in 2010 to 71 billion tons after a massive deposit was proven in Morocco and the western Sahara. The region has the most reserves followed by Iraq, China, and Algeria. With 1.4 billion tons, the U.S. is thought to have the world's eighth-largest reserves.

Jim Elser, who co-wrote the Foreign Policy article, said the new African reserves, if mined, would stave off peak phosphorus for decades. Nevertheless, it shouldn't prevent the world from reassessing how it uses phosphorus.

"Look at it like this," he wrote in an email to the Daily Press, "You're in a hotel and the fire alarm goes off. You get moving to exit your room when the phone rings. It's the front desk telling you that the fire isn't on your floor, it's actually five or six floors below you and won't reach you for another hour or so.

"Do you go back to bed to try to catch some more rest? Of course you don't."

The fertilizer industry did its own analysis and found there to be 300 years worth of phosphate rock worldwide, said Kathy Mathers, a spokeswoman for The Fertilizer Institute, which represents U.S. fertilizer businesses. […]

Phosphorus: A looming disaster?

Deforestation in Nigeria. deforestation-facts.blogspot.com

By Olasunkanmi Akoni and Johnbosco Agbakwuru
26 March 2012

Lagos – Following the prevalence of heat wave in Lagos State and other parts of the country in the past two weeks, the Lagos State Government has urged residents to reduce the time they stay in the sun by staying indoors more.

Environmental experts have also blamed the harsh weather situation on the rapid deforestation and degradation of Nigeria's rainforest.

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, who gave the warning in Lagos, weekend, said continuous exposure to excessive heat was dangerous and could cause health problems, particularly to young children, the elderly and people with medical problems such as asthma or those on medication for certain conditions.

Urging the people to stay indoors, Idris said if any strenuous exercises must be done at all, "it must be done in the early hours of the day when the temperature is coolest."

He implored the people to drink enough water and avoid drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine, use protective gadgets such as hat or umbrella, sunglasses and sunscreen, take cold baths and leave water to dry on the skin, as well as never leave children and pets inside closed cars.

Idris said: "Lagos is currently experiencing heat wave, which is a prolonged period of excessively and abnormally hot weather with temperature exceeding 32.2C and it is usually accompanied by humidity that usually lasts for at least one day but could last several days to weeks. Continuous exposure to this excessive heat is dangerous and could cause problems such as heat rash, heat stress, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke."

Similarly, environmental experts, at a three-day workshop in Calabar, Cross River State, weekend, said it was time for Nigeria to embrace global programmes, such as the REDD+ initiative.

Speaking on "Background and Context for REDD+ in Nigeria," a lecturer with the University of Calabar, Prof. Francis Bisong, said forest and vegetation resources had been dwindling over the years.

He said the current deforestation rate estimated at 3.7 per cent was among the highest globally, placing Nigeria seventh on the list of Greenhouse Gases emitters due to land use change.

Heat Wave - Lagos Warns Against Over Exposure to Sun - as Experts Decry Deforestation of Rainforest

In this photo released TEPCO, a worker operates an endoscope to take photos of water in the Unit 2 reactor's primary containment vessel at the the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, Monday, 26 March 2012. TEPCO, the operator of the nuclear power plant, said the water level of the reactor container is only 60 centimeters (about 2 feet) from the bottom, indicating a large quantity of water injected to cool the melted fuel is leaking from the vessel. AP Photo / Tokyo Electric Power Co.

By MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press
28 March 2012

TOKYO (AP) – One of Japan's crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and much less water to cool it than officials had estimated, according to an internal examination that renews doubts about the plant's stability.

A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter, and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the No. 2 reactor's containment chamber for the second time since the tsunami swept into the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant a year ago.

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

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

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

Particles from melted fuel have probably sent radiation levels up to a dangerously high 70 sieverts per hour inside the container, said Junichi Matsumoto, spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co. The figure far exceeds the highest level previously detected, 10 sieverts per hour, which was detected around an exhaust duct shared by No. 1 and 2 units last year.

"It's extremely high," he said, adding that an endoscope would last only 14 hours in those conditions. "We have to develop equipment that can tolerate high radiation" when locating and removing melted fuel during the decommissioning.

The probe also found that the containment vessel - a beaker-shaped container enclosing the core - had cooling water up to only 60 centimeters (2 feet) from the bottom, far below the 10 meters (yards) estimated when the government declared the plant stable in December. The plant is continuing to pump water into the reactor. […]

Matsumoto said that the actual water level inside the chamber was way off the estimate, which had used data that turned out to be unreliable. But the results don't affect the plant's "cold shutdown status" because the water temperature was about 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit), indicating the melted fuel is cooled.

Three Dai-ichi reactors had meltdowns, but the No. 2 reactor is the only one that has been examined because radiation levels inside the reactor building are relatively low and its container is designed with a convenient slot to send in the endoscope.

The exact conditions of the other two reactors, where hydrogen explosions damaged their buildings, are still unknown. Simulations have indicated that more fuel inside No. 1 has breached the core than the other two, but radiation at No. 3 remains the highest. […]

Very high radiation, little water in Japan reactor

Aerial view of workers involved in cleanup efforts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, with oily water around them near the South Pass of the Mississippi River along the Gulf coast near Venice, Louisiana, on Thursday, 27 May 2010. AP Photo / Gerald Herbert

By Guy Busby, Press-Register
27 March 2012

GULF SHORES, Alabama -- State and federal health officials are asking anyone who worked on the BP oil spill cleanup to sign up for what has become the biggest study of its kind.

More than 16,000 people, including beach cleanup crews, Vessels of Opportunity operators, support personnel and others have signed up for the Gulf Long-term Followup, or GuLF, Study, said Dale Sandler, chief of the Epidemiology Branch of the National Institute of Environmental Health.

“We’ve done more than 2,700 of our telephone interviews in Alabama already,” she said. “We hope at the end of the day that we’ll have 8,000 people at least from Alabama, which would reflect back at about 21 percent of the people who are on our list as having done something related to the oil spill cleanup did come from Alabama.”

Sandler said she expects at least 40,000 people across the Gulf Coast to be signed up for the study by the end of this year. The telephone interviews will be followed by interviews in participants’ homes.

“We are really the largest study that’s ever been done,” she said. “Largely the big oil spills have not had any kind of health follow-up let alone long-term. We already have enrolled more workers in our study than all the others put together.”

She said some long-term studies have been conducted following spills in other countries, such as Spain and South Korea, and short-term studies were done after the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. […]

Elliott said participants can volunteer by calling 855-644-4853 (855-NIH-GULF). Applications and other information are also available at www.nihgulfstudy.org.

Oil spill cleanup workers sought for long-term health study

SPEEDI simulation of radioactive iodine fallout from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactor meltdowns for 12 March 2011. The prevailing wind direction forecast shifted over time, resulting in the simulation forecasting wide dispersion of radioactive iodine inland. The simulation chart is the internal radiation exposure at the thyroid gland of a 1-year old by inhaling radioactive iodine. Japan Ministry of Education via ex-skf.blogspot.com

22 March 2012 (Mainichi) – The Fukushima Prefectural Government revealed on March 21 that it deleted five days of early radiation dispersion data almost entirely unread in the wake of the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The data from the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI) -- intended to predict the spread of radioactive contamination, information vital for issuing evacuation advisories -- was emailed to the prefectural government by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

According to the prefecture's disaster countermeasure office, just after the March 2011 quake and tsunami, its dedicated SPEEDI terminal was unable to receive data due to effects of the disasters. Therefore, prefectural officials asked the Nuclear Safety Technology Center, which operates SPEEDI, to send data via email on March 12, 2011 -- one day into the nuclear crisis. The Nuclear Safety Technology Center then sent the data hourly starting at 11:54 p.m. that day. The Fukushima Prefectural Government, however, deleted all the data it received from March 12 to about 9 a.m. March 16.

The prefectural government's nuclear center in Okuma, one of the towns hosting the Fukushima No. 1 plant, received emailed data once at midnight on March 11, but the disaster countermeasure office in the prefectural capital was not aware of it.

"We failed to share the information amid all the confusion, and the fact that we had asked for the information to be sent by email hadn't been shared within the countermeasure office," said Yoshihiro Koyama, head of the prefecture's nuclear safety measures section. "We have not been able to confirm when the data was deleted and by who."

At around 10:30 a.m. on March 13, 2011, the disaster countermeasure office confirmed for the first time that it had received data from the central government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency by fax. But the disaster countermeasure office judged that "the data is useless because the predicted amount of released radiation is unrealistic."

The Fukushima Prefectural Government also failed to give the data to the people of the prefecture and local municipalities partly because the central government was supposed to release such data in the first place.

Fukushima Pref. deleted 5 days of radiation dispersion data just after meltdowns

Turkey’s Ataturk Dam was completed in 1990. It is the largest of a series of dams along the two major rivers of the region, the Tigris and Euphrates, which both have their headwaters in southeastern Turkey. Landsat 7 ETM+ image provided courtesy of USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Production Estimates and Crop Assessment Division (PECAD)

22 March 2012

WASHINGTON – The American intelligence community warned in a report released Thursday that problems with water could destabilize countries in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia over the next decade.

Increasing demand and competition caused by the world’s rising population and scarcities created by climate change and poor management threaten to disrupt economies and increase regional tensions, the report concludes.

Prepared at the request of the State Department, the report is based on a classified National Intelligence Estimate completed last October that reflected an increasing focus on environmental and other factors that threaten security. An estimate reflects the consensus judgment of all intelligence agencies.

While the report concluded that wars over water are unlikely in the coming decade, it said that countries could use water for political and economic leverage over neighbors and that major facilities like dams and desalination plants could become targets of terrorist attacks. Coupled with poverty and other social factors, problems with water could even contribute to the political failure of weaker nations.

The public report, unlike the classified version, did not specify countries at greatest risk for water-related disruption but analyzed conditions on major river basins in regions with high potential for conflict — from the Jordan to the Tigris and Euphrates to the Brahmaputra in South Asia. […]

U.S. Intelligence Report Warns of Global Water Tensions

A Fijian woman collects watercress. Damaged ecosystems should be restored and rehabilitated to combat climate change. KELVIN ANTHONYBy Moleen Nand
23 March 2012

AS the world braces for tougher climate conditions in the coming decades, it has become more and more clear that climate change is having a direct impact on our food system.

The issue of food security has become of extreme importance especially for Pacific island people today. The world's most vulnerable people are at risk of falling into the hunger and poverty trap as extreme weather because of the effects of climate change, such as droughts and floods, are already causing an increase in food prices. This increase threatens food security in many parts of the world, pushing the poor into destituteness as they spend more of their income providing for themselves and their families.

Climate change impacts on food systems in several ways and these impacts range from direct to indirect, and differ from region to region. In Fiji, there have already been stories highlighted in the media of various villages that are struck with this reality; Dravuwalu Village on Totoya island in Lau (FT 18 September 2011) is one among the many that face the challenge of accessing food sources.

According to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), food security is defined as "a situation when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life".

Because of multiple socio-economic and bio-physical factors affecting food systems and food security, the capacity for a food system to reduce its vulnerability to climate change is not uniform as this requires improved systems of food production, food distribution, and economic access for food systems to be able to cope with the global crisis. There are four dimensions of food security: food availability/production, food accessibility, food utilisation, and food system stability; and climate change is expected to affect all of these. The first to be affected will be people who are already vulnerable and food insecure. Agriculture-based systems will also be at the immediate risk of crop failure, new pests and diseases and loss of livestock. So how will climate change affect food security and the agricultural sector in the Pacific? Food security in the Pacific will be influenced by a number of factors, such as, adaptability of the agricultural systems to climate change, globalisation, national policies and also socio-cultural changes.

Owing to their high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, small islands have legitimate concerns regarding their future. It is very likely that subsistence and commercial agriculture in the Pacific will be adversely affected by climate change. Sea level rise is a major concern and because of it, low-lying areas will be permanently inundated whereby making it unsuitable for agriculture. Saline water may also seep through and affect the surrounding soils. Plants respond to salinity by reducing leaf size and shoot growth. Taro (dalo as we call it in the iTaukei language), a staple crop in the Pacific with high cultural value is said to respond to salinity in similar fashion. Sea level rise will also severely affect atoll agriculture by contaminating the fresh water lens through saltwater intrusion, affect coastal communities through accelerated shoreline erosion, and alter fish, shellfish, and wildlife populations. […]

It's all about survival

Premature deaths from ground-level ozone: Number of deaths per million inhabitants in 2010, and projected to 2050. OECD (2012), OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050

Urban air pollution is set to become the top environmental cause of mortality worldwide by 2050, ahead of dirty water and lack of sanitation. The number of premature deaths from exposure to particulate air pollutants leading to respiratory failure could double from current levels to 3.6 million every year globally, with most occurring in China and India. Because of their ageing and urbanised populations, OECD countries are likely to have one of the highest rate of premature death from ground-level ozone in 2050, second only to India.

Premature deaths from ground-level ozone: Number of deaths per million inhabitants

23 March 2012

Dolphins in Barataria Bay off Louisiana, which was hit hard by the BP oil spill in 2010, are seriously ill, and their ailments are probably related to toxic substances in the petroleum, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggested on Friday.

As part of an ongoing assessment of damages caused by the three-month spill, which began with an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, NOAA scientists performed comprehensive physicals last summer on 32 dolphins from the bay. They found problems like drastically low weight, low blood sugar and, in some cases, cancer of the liver and lungs.

Yet the most common symptom among the dolphins, found in about half the group, was an abnormally low level of stress hormones like cortisol. Such hormones regulate many functions in the animal, including the immune system and responses to threats. Scientists said the dearth of hormones suggested that the animals were suffering from adrenal insufficiency.

Lori Schwacke, the lead scientist for the health assessment, said the findings were preliminary and could not be conclusively linked to the oil spill at this point. But she said the exams were also conducted on control groups of dolphins that live along the Atlantic coast and in other areas that were not affected by the 2010 spill and that those dolphins did not manifest those symptoms.

“The findings we have are also consistent with other studies that have looked at the effects of oil exposure in other mammals,” Dr. Schwacke added, citing experimental studies of mink that were dosed with oil. Some of those minks developed adrenal insufficiency. […]

Gulf Dolphins Exposed to Oil Are Seriously Ill, Agency Says

A preliminary study of dolphins in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay, an area hit hard by the BP oil spill in 2010, shows the marine mammals overall are in poor health, NOAA researchers said today.

Thirty-two dolphins studied in early August 2011 were underweight, anemic, had low blood sugar, and displayed signs of liver or lung disease, said Lori Schwacke, lead investigator.

About half had low adrenal hormone levels, including the stress hormone, which can cause low blood sugar, weight loss and can lead to death, she said.

In three parishes around Barataria Bay, between February 2010 and March 18, 2012, more than 180 dolphins have been stranded. The BP oil spill occurred in April 2010.

The average annual rate of dolphin strandings for all of Louisiana from 2002 to 2009 is about 20. […]

NOAA study: Barataria Bay dolphins sick

Coastal erosion in Florida. Florida Geological Survey

By Ben Strauss, bstrauss@climatecentral.org 
22 March 2012

Florida is in the crosshairs of climate change. Rising seas, a population crowded along the coast, porous bedrock, and the relatively common occurrence of tropical storms put more real estate and people at risk from storm surges aggravated by sea level rise in Florida, than any other state by far.

Some 2.4 million people and 1.3 million homes, nearly half the risk nationwide, sit within 4 feet of the local high tide line. Sea-level rise is more than doubling the risk of a storm surge at this level in South Florida by 2030. For the hundreds of thousands of Floridians holding 30-year mortgages, that date is not far off in the future.

The world’s oceans are already rising, thanks to global warming. Global average sea level has gone up about eight inches since 1880. In South Florida, taxpayers are already paying the price for climate change as salt water pushes through porous bedrock into coastal drinking-water supplies, and rivers and canals choked by heavy rains have a harder time draining into the ocean. A recent Florida Atlantic University study estimated that just six more inches of sea level rise — very plausible within two decades — would cripple about half of South Florida’s flood control capacity.

It’s now, not later, for sea-level rise in South Florida.

That’s a big reason why Climate Central has worked for two years on a new analysis of this threat, blending storm surge, tides and more into the picture. Integrating storms and tides show that a small amount of sea level rise can make a big difference — multiplying the odds of extreme coastal floods around the United States, not just South Florida. Think of it like raising the floor at a Miami Heat game: you’d see a lot more dunks. Overall, sea-level rise is making the odds of a South Florida flood reaching more than four feet above high tide, by 2050, on par with the odds of losing at Russian roulette.

More than half the population of more than 100 Florida towns and cities lives on land below that four-foot line. Miami-Dade and Broward counties each have more people below four feet than any state, except Florida itself and Louisiana.

Just how vulnerable any area is depends on many elements. Our analysis factored in not only local sea-level rise projections, storm-surge patterns and tides, but also local topography and patterns of development. In an attempt to better inform people, businesses and planners who live and work near the coast, we have mapped and evaluated risk in 3,000 towns, cities and counties across the lower 48 states, including South Florida, and have created a free, ZIP code-searchable map with neighborhood views and risk information at SurgingSeas.org. Among our key national findings:

• Global warming has already doubled or tripled the odds of extreme high water events over widespread areas of the U.S. coast.

• Widespread areas are likely to see storm surges on top of sea level rise reaching at least four feet above high tide by 2030, and five feet by 2050.

• Almost five million U.S. residents currently live on land less than four feet above high tide, and more than six million on land less than five feet above. […]

Rising sea levels imperil our state

Auroop Ganguly, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern, is an expert in climate change and severe weather conditions. Photo by Mary Knox Merrill

By Angela Herring
22 March 2012

Auroop Ganguly — an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering who heads Northeastern’s Sustainability and Data Sciences Lab — explains how global climate change and extreme weather, such as hurricanes and heat waves, could affect water sustainability, critical infrastructures and human health.

What is the difference between global “weirding” and global warming?

Global weirding, a term coined by Rocky Mountain Institute co-founder Hunter Lovins and popularized by New York Times op-ed columnist Tom Friedman, primarily concerns climate extremes. In certain situations, these need to be defined in terms of their impact on natural, engineered and human ecosystems.

Global warming, which addresses changes in average global temperature, does not begin to convey the range of severe weather-related events and changes in weather patterns that can occur as a consequence of climate change.

Depending on the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions, average global temperatures could rise between 2°F and 11°F by the end of the century. But in Boston, for example, temperatures can fluctuate more than that in a single day. So why should that much global warming matter?

Global weirding is a concise way to express why. When we talk about average temperatures rising at the scale of the entire globe and over long time periods, the consequences on heat waves, heavy rainfall, or water stresses, for example, can be severe across different regions of the world. […]

Which other weather events play into “global weirding?”

Last year, research suggested that about seven percent of the intensification of heavy rainfall globally is a consequence of climate change. Our own research on heat waves showed that while geographical variability of heat waves is uncertain, the rising trends in the projected intensity, frequency and duration of heat waves are unmistakable.

On the other hand, our more recent research suggested that cold snaps may persist well into the end of this century. Thus, while the overall climate trend is one of warming, and heat waves are projected to intensify, extreme cold events on the average may continue to be as severe and long-lasting as they are currently.

The other aspect of the global weirding phenomenon is its impact on infrastructure, resources, species diversity and the economy. The impact of a warmer world and exacerbated extremes can be severe on both water and food security, especially in the more vulnerable parts of the world. According to the United States global Change Research Program, the consequences of climate change for the U.S. will include stressed water resources, challenges to crop and livestock production, storm surges in coastal areas and threats to human health.

View selected publications of Auroop Ganguly in IRis, Northeastern’s digital archive.

3Qs: What is 'global weirding'?

HeadsUp! Nasdaq screen from Heads Up! 2012 on Vimeo.

22 March 2012 (NYT) – To mark World Water Day, digital animations conveying the gravity of global declines in groundwater just went on display on two billboards in Times Square. The animations, based on satellite data provided by NASA and the University of California, Irvine, and statistics from the United States Geological Survey, will be shown several times each hour through April 22.

The effort was organized by HeadsUp, an international competition challenging designers to create a visualization related to world water issues. (The winner was Richard Vijgen, an information designer in the Netherlands.)

Groundwater Crisis Unfolds in Times Square

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Radioactive cesium fallout around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, 8 March 2012 - 16 March 2012. Levels rose more than five times in Fukushima over a 24-hour period between March 15 and 16. Posted by Mochizuki on 18 March 2012. TEPCO via fukushima-diary.com

By Charlie Smith
19 March 2012

A Japanese citizen watchdog has reported that cesium-137 levels rose more than five times in Fukushima over a 24-hour period between March 15 and 16.

The online Fukushima Diary pointed out that there were no megabecquerels per square kilometre of cesium-137 detected between March 8 and March 11. But it rose to 17.8 MBq per kilometre from March 11 to March 12. The following day, it reached 25.1, before rising to 128 on the next day.

The Fukushima Diary—which carries the statement "We are against media blackout"—said there was no explanation for the sudden increase from the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which owns the nuclear-power plant in Fukushima. […]

Levels of cesium-134, which has a half-life of just over two years, also shot up over the same period. It went from from zero MBq per kilometre on March 10 to 88.6 MBq per kilometre between March 15 and March 16, according to the Fukushima Diary.

In November, it reported that cesium-134 and cesium-137 releases from Fukushima were already at 95 percent of what was discharged from the Chernobyl nuclear reactor when it exploded in Ukraine in 1986.

Radioactive cesium levels rise sharply in Fukushima, according to citizen watchdog

Allergy forecast for the contiguous United States, week of 19 March 2012. MSNBC

21 March 2012 (CNN) – Whether you're walking along city streets or in a park or the country anywhere across the southeast the past couple of weeks, pollen counts have been off the charts.

Pollen count is measured in a cubic-meter of air, and those are the parts per that cubic-meter. In Atlanta, the pollen count was over 9,000 Monday. Over 1,500 is considered extreme. 6,000 was the old record.

The pollen is not just off the charts in Atlanta. As far north as Cape Girardeau is going to be one of the worst cities Tuesday, as far as pollen counts are concerned. All the way up to Chicago, they have high pollen counts with the hardwoods budding there.

The record-breaking heat for the past couple of weeks and an incredibly warm winter and early spring is the cause of the explosion of pollen. Until rain moves into affected areas, pollen counts are expected to remain high.

Pollen Count Is So High, It's Breaking Records In Southeast

21 March 2012 (WBIR) – Pollen is here early and at record highs this spring following our warm winter.

It means more sneezing, itchy eyes and sniffles for allergy sufferers, and more business for car washes.

You've probably noticed the yellow coating on cars and area streets.

3-Minute Magic Car Wash in Fountain City, Tennessee says all the pollen is blooming lots of business. They say spring is their busiest time of the year.

"With everything blooming right now it's just been crazy. I mean it seems like we have people come in because they wash it one day, then two days later it's yellow again. I mean the trees are blooming, the flowers are blooming, and this warm weather is bringing everybody out," said Josh Roberts.

Allergist doctor Bob Overholt says the pollen counts in Knoxville yesterday were more than 3,000 grams per cubic meter. The normal count is 200.

He says we don't usually see this much pollen until mid-April. […]

Pollen here early at record high counts

By Andy Humbles, The Tennessean
21 March 2012 

Pollen in Nashville’s air is at record levels according to according to the Vanderbilt Asthma, Sinus and Allergy Program because of a string of days with temperatures well above normal.

Greater than 1,500 grains of pollen per cubic meter is considered very high, according to Dr. David Hagman, medical director of the Vanderbilt Asthma, Sinus and Allergy Program.

After reaching a count of 3,200 last week, pollen measurements were 11,000 Tuesday morning and over 16,000 today, Hagman said.

“When you have that much pollen, even people who aren’t allergic are irritated and it can bother your respiratory (condition),’’ Hagman said. “We think this is a record for total amount of pollen.

Tree pollen, normally in the air this time of year, has been abundant without a cold snap in the warm temperatures recently in Middle Tennessee. There is also grass pollen in the air, which normally comes in May and early June, Hagman said. […]

Abnormally high pollen counts continue to rise

MARIETTA, Georgia, 20 March 2012 (WTW) – A warm winter is sending pollen counts soaring to record levels in Georgia.

Officials say a record high pollen count of 9,369 particles of pollen per cubic meter was measured in metro Atlanta on Tuesday. That shattered Monday's level of 8,164.

This week's pollen counts are well above the old record of 6,013, which dates to April 12, 1999.

The pollen counts were measured by the Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic.

Dr. Stanley Fineman, an allergist with the clinic, tells The Marietta Daily Journal that doctors have never seen the level this high, and patients are having a lot more difficulties this year. He said health issues facing patients seen at the clinic include nasal congestion, sneezing and itching of the nose and eyes.

Georgia's pollen count sets new record

An anti-evolution league holds a book sale at the opening of the Scopes 'monkey' trial in 1925, when a Tennessee public school teacher was convicted and fined for teaching evolution. Corbis

By Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent, www.guardian.co.uk
21 March 2012

The state legislature of Tennessee has given legal cover to public school teachers to challenge the science of evolution and climate change, in a move that looks set to deepen a debate about politicisation of the classroom.

The bill passed in the Tennessee Senate this week provides legal protection to teachers who personally do not believe in evolution or the human causes of climate change, and instead want to teach the "scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories".

It comes at a time when science associations are increasingly concerned by moves to inject religious or ideological beliefs into science teaching ahead of the release next month of a new set of education standards which give a central place to climate change.

The new standards, based on recommendations from the National Research Council, are not mandatory for all states. But they have already provoked a backlash from states, such as Utah, which have officially ruled climate change is not settled science. An unauthorised release of documents from the rightwing Heartland Institute last month revealed an ambitious plan in 2012 to discredit existing teaching on climate change.

The Tennessee measure, which passed by 24-8 votes, was strongly criticised by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Centre for Science Education, who called it a step backward. The house approved a similar version of the measure last year.

Bloggers called the move a throwback to the Scopes monkey trial of the 1920s, when a Tennessee public school teacher was convicted and fined for teaching evolution. […]

The National Association of Biology Teachers said the measure, would encourage non-scientific thinking – not critical thought.

"Concepts like evolution and climate change should not be misrepresented as controversial or needing of special evaluation. Instead, they should be presented as scientific explanations for events and processes that are supported by experimentation, logical analysis, and evidence-based revision based on detectable and measurable data," the organisation said. […]

Tennessee bill protects teachers who challenge evolution and climate change

Phytoplankton blooms in the Black Sea, after floods on the Danube River swept over broad stretches of farmland, 20 June 2006. NASA image courtesy of Jeff Schmaltz / MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

21 March 2012 (SEI) – A global, integrated approach is urgently needed to protect the oceans from converging threats.

A new study coordinated by SEI shows climate change alone could reduce the economic value of key ocean services by up to 2 trillion USD a year by 2100, and urges world leaders to make the oceans a priority in global sustainability goals.

The study, Valuing the Ocean [draft Executive Summary pdf], is the work of an international, multi-disciplinary team of experts, including SEI researchers. The full report is slated to be published as a peer-reviewed book later this year; a preliminary Executive Summary is being released to inform preparations for the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June.

A key part of the study is a groundbreaking analysis on ocean economics, designed to quantify the costs of ocean degradation, which are often invisible in the cost-benefit analyses that guide policy. The analysis calculates the cost over the next 50 and 100 years respectively in terms of five categories of lost ocean value (fisheries, tourism, sea-level rise, storms, and the ocean carbon sink) under high- and low-emissions scenarios.
By 2100, the annual cost of the damages from ‘business as usual’ emissions, projected to lead to an average temperature rise of 4°C, is estimated to be 1.98 trillion USD, equivalent to 0.37 per cent of future global GDP. A rapid emission reduction pathway that limited temperatures increases to 2.2°C would ‘save’ (i.e. avoid) almost 1.4 trillion USD of those damages.

“These figures are just part of the story, but they provide an indication of the price of the avoidable portion of future environmental damage on the ocean – in effect the distance between our hopes and our fears,” says Frank Ackerman, director of the Climate Economics Group at SEI-US. “The cost of inaction increases greatly with time, a factor which must be fully recognised in climate change accounting.”

A holistic view

While climate change is an enormous threat, it is not the only one. A key point of Valuing the Ocean is that the convergence of multiple stressors – acidification, ocean warming, hypoxia, sea-level rise, pollution, and overuse of marine resources – could lead to damages far greater than just from individual threats.

The study does not put a monetary value on the total projected damages, many of which involve “priceless” losses such as the eradication of species, but it argues that given how much we do know about the potential costs, world leaders should take a precautionary approach and take strong action to protect oceans, even in the absence of complete economic data.

“We must develop an integrated view of how our actions impact the ocean, and threaten the vital services it provides, from food to tourism to storm protection,” says Kevin Noone, Director of the Swedish Secretariat for Environmental Earth System Sciences at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and co-editor of the report.

“The global ocean is a major contributor to national economies, and a key player in the earth’s unfolding story of global environmental change, yet is chronically neglected in existing economic and climate change strategies at national and global levels,” Noone adds. “We want to bridge these gaps and give a holistic view of the value of the ocean.”
Simultaneous, synergistic threats

The review presents the latest evidence of the way in which parts of the ocean are being affected by multiple stressors – for example ocean acidification, ocean warming and hypoxia - which means that the projected damage, and its costs, is much greater than with single impacts.

“We no longer have the luxury of tackling only one issue at a time,” says co-author Julie Hall, of the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. “We urgently need to devise a management system that works across scales from local to global, and allows us to optimise our use of marine resources in a sustainable way given simultaneous, and often synergistic, threats.”

Valuing the Ocean urges policymakers to fully consider the threats to ocean services in broader economic and development plans, including by valuing the massive ‘blue carbon’ absorption potential of marine ecosystems. The authors also call for local measures, such as marine protected areas (MPAs), to boost the resilience of marine ecosystems to insure against the growing risk of extreme events like mass coral bleaching and more intense tropical storms.

But given the enormity of the climate threat in particular, the authors stress that the only way to avoid huge additional costs and disastrous consequences in the future is by dramatically cutting CO2 emissions.

The study was funded by the Okeanos Foundation, in partnership with the Foundation for Design & Sustainable Enterprise (FDSE).

On Monday, March 26, Kevin Noone and Julie Hall will chair a session during Planet Under Pressure, a major international conference focusing on solutions to the global sustainability challenge, at which they will present the key findings of the study.

Multiple stressors pushing ocean ecosystems, livelihoods to the brink

Gamma Radiation Air-reading in Tokyo, 1 March 2011 – 20 March 2012. monitoring.tokyo-eiken.go.jp



Machine translation: Grey represents the amount of energy when radiation hits the material, you can convert the atmospheric radiation 1 gray dose of 1 sievert.

[Wikipedia: The gray (symbol: Gy) is the SI derived unit of absorbed radiation dose of ionizing radiation (for example, X-rays), and is defined as the absorption of one joule of ionizing radiation by one kilogram of matter (usually human tissue).[1]]

These measurements were observed at the Institute of Public Health: from 0.028 to 0.079 microsievert per hour (average value is around 0.035 micro sievert) <range of band of green above> remained at.

Monitored data on environmental radiation levels / hour


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