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Waste Isolation Pilot Plant contains volatile materials – “potential bombs”

exclamation-Flag-USA“Patented explosives” reported inside plutonium waste drums at US nuclear facility — TV: So volatile, experts comparing it to ‘bomb’ — Official: I’m appalled we weren’t told about real and present danger — Over 5,000 drums a threat — Invisible reactions may have already occurred (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/investigation-patented-explosives-drums-plutonium-waste-nuclear-facility-tv-volatile-experts-calling-potential-bomb-5000-drums-threat-invisible-reactions-occurred-other-containters-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Sante Fe New Mexican, Nov. 15, 2014 (emphasis added): The combination [of neutralizer and wheat-based organic litter] turned the waste into a potential bomb that one lab chemist later characterized as akin to plastic explosives, according to a six-month investigation by The New Mexican. [Los Alamos National Lab] then shipped [the waste] to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant… Feb. 14… the drum’s lid cracked open… Temperatures in the underground chamber soared to 1,600 degrees, threatening dozens of nearby drums… Documents and internal emails show… officials downplayed the dangers… and withheld critical information.

Patented Explosives

  • LANL chemist Steve Clemmons [found] the drum’s contents match the makeup of patented plastic, water-gel and slurry explosives… “All of the required components included in the patent claims would be present,” Clemmons wrote… “I am appalled that LANL didn’t provide us this information!” [wrote DOE official Dana Bryson]… On May 27, when they learned of the memo about patented explosives… WIPP abandoned plans for the next day to sample the area where the breach occurred, fearing it was too dangerous. “In a phone call withLANL, they indicated that there is a possibility that any sampling of the kitty litter/drum contents could cause another event,” [wrote] David Freeman, Nuclear Waste Partnership’s chief nuclear engineer… “We have a formal letter on LANL letterhead implying there is a real and present danger in the WIPP underground,” Bryson wrote.

Up to 55 more drums of waste ‘destabilized ‘

  • The intense underground flare may have destabilized up to 55 more drums of waste [near the one that ruptured], calling into question whether they, too, had become poised to burst. “[The high heat event] may have dried out some of the unreacted oxidizer-organic mixtures increasing their potential for spontaneous reaction,” the report said. “The dehydration of the fuel-oxidizer mixtures… is recognized as a condition known to increase the potential for reaction.”

Over 5,000 more waste drums a threat

  • LANL began treating waste with assorted varieties of organic kitty litter as early as Sept. 2012spawning thousands of drums of waste that hold the same organic threat… [It] may have been mixed in up to 5,565 containers of waste at LANL.

LANL (pg. 21 of pdf): [The team] evaluated the effect of a heat generating event on the adjacent waste containers [that] could have chemically or physically changed the waste and introduced a reaction hazard. Unreacted drums of nitrate salt waste stream… continue to pose a potential reaction hazard… Reactions may have occurred within some of these drums at levels insufficient to lead to detectable visible evidence.

KOB, Nov. 16, 2014: Nuclear waste so volatile, it’s been called a potential bomb by experts… Greg Mello, former nuclear waste inspector for LANL: “The drum in question was basically kind of a time bomb.”… [A WIPP] assessment… estimates over 5,000 drums of waste may contain the volatile organic kitty litter that caused the one drum to split open.

Watch the broadcast here

November 19, 2014 Posted by | safety, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

US troops for combat, in the event of ISIS getting nuclear weapons

Obama ‘Would Order’ US Troops Into Combat If ISIS Got Nuclear Weapon, abc news, Nov 17, 2014, By   President Obama has been unwavering and definitive in declaring he will not deploy U.S. ground troops into combat to fight ISIS militants. Period.

But for the first time since the start of then anti-ISIS offensive dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve, the president volunteered a scenario which he said would change his mind.

“If we discovered that [ISIS] had gotten possession of a nuclear weapon, and we had to run an operation to get it out of their hands, then, yes,” the president told reporters at a news conference in Brisbane, Australia, on Sunday. “I would order it.”

There is no indication that ISIS currently possesses or could easily obtain a nuclear weapon, officials say.

Still, Obama’s declaration of a nuclear weapon in the hands of ISIS is a noteworthy new “red line” – and a very high bar for a U.S. offensive role on the ground……..http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/obama-order-us-troops-combat-isis-nuclear-weapon/story?id=26976710

November 19, 2014 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear power’s dimming future, as wind, solar and biomass power races ahead

False promise of nuclear power, THE HINDU, BRAHMA CHELLANEY 19 Nov 14 The need for costly upgrades post-Fukushima and for making the nuclear industry competitive, including by cutting back on generous government subsidies, underscore nuclear power’s dimming future.

New developments highlight the growing travails of the global nuclear-power industry. France — the “poster child” of atomic power — plans to cut its nuclear-generating capacity by a third by 2025 and focus instead on renewable sources, like its neighbours, Germany and Spain. As nuclear power becomes increasingly uneconomical at home because of skyrocketing costs, the U.S. and France are aggressively pushing exports, not just to India and China, but also to “nuclear newcomers,” such as the cash-laden oil sheikhdoms. Still, the bulk of the reactors under construction or planned worldwide are located in just four countries — China, Russia, South Korea and India.

nuclear-costs3Six decades after Lewis Strauss, chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, claimed that nuclear energy would become “too cheap to meter,” nuclear power confronts an increasingly uncertain future, largely because of unfavourable economics. The International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2014, released last week, states: “Uncertainties continue to cloud the future for nuclear — government policy, public confidence, financing in liberalized markets, competitiveness versus other sources of generation, and the looming retirement of a large fleet of older plants.”

Heavily subsidy reliant

Nuclear power has the energy sector’s highest capital and water intensity and longest plant-construction time frame, making it hardly attractive for private investors. Plant construction time frame, with licensing approval, still averages almost a decade, as underscored by the new reactors commissioned in the past decade. The key fact about nuclear power is that it is the world’s most subsidy-fattened energy industry, even as it generates the most dangerous wastes whose safe disposal saddles future generations. Commercial reactors have been in operation for more than half-a-century, yet the industry still cannot stand on its own feet without major state support. Instead of the cost of nuclear power declining with the technology’s maturation — as is the case with other sources of energy — the costs have escalated multiple times.

In this light, nuclear power has inexorably been on a downward trajectory. The nuclear share of the world’s total electricity production reached its peak of 17 per cent in the late 1980s. Since then, it has been falling, and is currently estimated at about 13 per cent, even as new uranium discoveries have swelled global reserves. With proven reserves having grown by 12.5 per cent since just 2008, there is enough uranium to meet current demand for more than 100 years.

Yet, the worldwide aggregate installed capacity of just three renewables — wind power, solar power and biomass — has surpassed installed nuclear-generating capacity. In India and China, wind power output alone exceeds nuclear-generated electricity……

 

November 19, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Radioactive water keeps entering Fukushima Daiichi tunnels while water is pumped out

water-radiationRadioactive water to tunnels unlikely stopped http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20141118_03.html Nov. 17, 2014 The officials overseeing the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant say a barrier designed to prevent radioactive water from entering underground tunnels is likely not doing its job.

The decommissioning work includes a plan to remove highly-radioactive water from tunnels under the facility grounds and then fill them with concrete to prevent leaks to surrounding soil.

A barrier to hold out water during this process was under construction until November 6th.
On Monday, workers removed 200,000 liters of water, estimating that water levels in the tunnels would drop by 80 centimeters.
However, the levels went down by only 20 centimeters. This led officials to conclude that more water was likely entering the tunnels from the reactor building while water was being pumped out.

The officials considered the effects of radioactive water on ground water, and decided on a plan to fill tunnels in with cement before they are completely drained.

They say the operation will require carefully handling to prevent any overflow of contaminated water.

November 19, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014 | Leave a comment

EDF’s nuclear power plants Flamanville and Olkiluoto delayed yet again

reactor-Olkiluoto_14EDF says French nuclear reactor delayed another year to 2017 , 

* New one-year delay adds up to 10-year building period

* EDF says Areva unable to deliver key ingredients in time

* EDF still committed to EPR for UK Hinkley Point project (Adds EDF quote, background)

PARIS, Nov 18 (Reuters) – French utility EDF announced a new one-year delay for its Areva-designed EPR nuclear reactor in Flamanville, France, which it now expects to be connected to the grid in 2017, a decade after construction started.

EDF said the delay was due to Areva’s difficulties with ensuring a timely delivery of certain pieces of equipment, such as the lid and internal structure of the reactor vessel. It also said Areva had briefed it on a steam generator welding defect.

Construction on the Flamanville EPR reactor started in 2007 and it had initially been scheduled to be connected to the electricity grid in 2012, but it has been delayed repeatedly…….Four EPRs are under construction worldwide, one in France, one in Finland and two in China, but the Finnish and French projects have been plagued by billion euro cost overruns and multiyear delays.

Construction on the first EPR in Olkiluoto, Finland started in 2005 and it had originally been scheduled to go live in 2009, but it is now expected that will occurr in late 2018, almost a decade later than originally planned. Construction will have lasted 13 years, if it is not delayed again……..

Last month, European Union competition authorities gave the green light for state subsidies to EDF’s 16 billion pound project to build two EPR reactors in Hinkley Point C in southwest Britain, which are expected to start producing power from 2023……..http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/11/18/edf-nuclear-idINL6N0T85BN20141118

November 19, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, Finland, France | Leave a comment

Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s chief warns that Commission is not geared for needs of decommissioning

Macfarlane, AllisonNuclear Agency Rules Are Ill-Suited for Plant Decommissioning, Leader Says NYT By NOV. 17, 2014 WASHINGTON — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s rules are not geared for supervising the decommissioning of nuclear reactors, the task that will occupy much of its time in the coming years, the head of the agency, Allison M. Macfarlane, said Monday.

Speaking at the National Press Club in a wide-ranging look at her agency and the industry before she leaves the job at the end of the year, Dr. Macfarlane said the industry had instead set itself up about 15 years ago to oversee more reactor construction, a revival that did not occur. “The industry was really expecting to expand,” she said. “The agency’s not facing the future that five years ago people envisioned.”

Instead, a plunging price of natural gas and slack demand for electricity have made some existing plants uncompetitive, and the pace of retirements has been high. But the commission’s rules on areas like security and emergency planning are geared to operating plants, she said. So shut-down plants are applying for exemptions to the rules that no longer seem to fit the risk that the reactors pose when decommissioned.

As with nuclear waste, the commission’s rules on reactors seem more focused on construction and operation than on the “back end,” said Dr. Macfarlane, a geologist who is returning to academia.

Decommissioning

In her comments, Dr. Macfarlane said that the future of a proposed nuclear waste repository near Las Vegas, blocked for years by Senator Harry Reid of Nevada as majority leader, was still far from assured, despite the coming change of party control in the Senate. The commission’s job would be to rule on whether the repository should be licensed, but it could never approve a license without “a willing applicant,” she said.

That applicant would be the Department of Energy, which dropped work on the project after a campaign promise by Barack Obama when he ran for president the first time.

To resume work on the proposed repository, at Yucca Mountain, the Energy Department and the commission would need a new appropriation, she said. And at the time work was stopped, in 2010, “there were more than 300 contentions challenging the application,” she said. Each must be argued before a panel of administrative law judges.

And even then, she noted, Yucca Mountain would not be big enough for all the waste.

In light of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011 in Japan, Dr. Macfarlane said that the commission should consider new rules on some reactors whose design does not resemble the ones that melted down in Japan. The commission has required older plants of the General Electric design to improve their systems for venting gases in an emergency, but perhaps other models should have to do the same, she said……..http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/18/us/nuclear-agency-rules-are-ill-suited-for-plant-decommissioning-leader-says.html?_r=0

November 19, 2014 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

New robots for decontaminating Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

Fukushima Daiichi Updates From IRID Part 2; New Robots & Work SimplyInfo, November 18th, 2014  (Great diagrams and photos)

As part of reviewing IRID’s updates on work progress for Fukushima Daiichi, new information about robots to be used and their proposed work has been released.

First Floor Robots, Floor Decontamination……..

Overhead Robots For First Floor………

Robots For Upper Floors …….

Containment Inspection Robots………

Penetration Checking Robot…… http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=14099

November 19, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

India being dudded by Westinghouse, GE and Areva on nuclear power program?

Globally, nuclear power is set to face increasing challenges due to its inability to compete with other energy sources in pricing. Another factor is how to manage the rising volumes of spent nuclear fuel in the absence of permanent disposal facilities.  …….  nuclear power is in no position to lead the world out of the fossil fuel age.

flag-indiaFalse promise of nuclear power, THE HINDU, BRAHMA CHELLANEY 19
Nov 14 

“…….Westinghouse, GE and Areva also wish to shift the primary liability for any accident to the Indian taxpayer so that they have no downside risk but only profits to reap. If a Fukushima-type catastrophe were to strike India, it would seriously damage the Indian economy. A recent Osaka City University study has put Japan’s Fukushima-disaster bill at a whopping $105 billion.

To Dr. Singh’s discomfiture, three factors put a break on his reactor-import plans — the exorbitant price of French- and U.S.-origin reactors, the accident-liability issue, and grass-roots opposition to the planned multi-reactor complexes. Continue reading

November 19, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, India, politics international | Leave a comment

Nuclear power promoter DOE to run research into health effects of radiation

Dracula-DOE House passes bill to study low-dose radiation http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/224411-house-passes-bill-to-study-low-dose-radiation
By Cristina Marcos November 17, 2014,
The House on Monday passed legislation by voice vote to authorize Department of Energy research on the risks of low-dose ionizing radiation.

Under the measure, H.R. 5544, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science would conduct research on low-dose radiation. Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), the bill’s sponsor, said there isn’t enough scientific data regarding exposure to low levels of radiation.

 “Sufficient data is not available for experts to definitely conclude whether there are risks from this low dose radiation,” Broun said. “As a medical doctor, and a true fiscal conservative, I recognize that this major gap in understanding is detrimental to the health of Americans and will contribute to the unnecessary economic burdens if we do not deal with it immediately.”

The director of the Energy Department’s Office of Science would be required establish an agreement with the National Academies on a long-term strategy for low-dose radiation research within 60 day’s of the bill’s enactment. Such a study would have to be completed within 18 months.

The measure encountered no opposition during House floor debate.

 

November 19, 2014 Posted by | politics, radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Uranium the “dead cat” investment

Of all the problems confronting uranium, and a reason to stay clear, the biggest is the energy glut and the fact that most alternatives forms of power are easier to develop and require much less government scrutiny than nuclear power.

Uranium Is Hot, But Not For Investors, Forbes, Tim Treadgold, 18 Nov 14 At a time when most commodity prices are falling it is hard to ignore a metal outlier that has just had its best week in 18 years, but in the case of uranium ignorance could save you money.

Last week’s 14% rise in the price of the nuclear fuel took most observers by surprise though when
nuclear-dead-catanalyzed it seems that the much of rise in the short-term price from $36.75 a pound to $42/lb was in a category called dead-cat bounce.

For anyone unfamiliar with market slang a dead-cat bounce is the height a cat rises off the footpath after falling 20 floors – it’s an irrelevant recovery, and the cat’s still dead………

even as Japan re-fuels its fleet of nuclear reactors, and China presses ahead with a major nuclear building program, there are four reasons to be cautious about the uranium outlook, and even more wary of uranium exploration and mining companies.

Firstly, there is a global energy glut with prices for oil, coal and gas depressed by an over-supply of all fossil fuels hitting a sluggish global economy.

Secondly, the uranium market is divided into three distinct categories of short, medium and long-term and what happened last week was a sharp price movement, in very thin trading, at the short end of the market with no price change, yet, in medium or long-term pricing.

Thirdly, there is no shortage of uranium in the world, and while squeeze points could develop, such as Russia withholding high-grade fuel in a tit-for-tat reaction to the sanctions slowing its economy, there is plenty of other material available.

Fourthly, most uranium mines still in the planning stage require a price of at least $60/lb to be profitable, or attract the finance to fund their development.

Other factors weigh on the uranium industry, including a long line of projects-in-waiting which were taken through to the planning stage a decade ago when the price hit $135/lb but cancelled when the price collapsed……..

Of all the problems confronting uranium, and a reason to stay clear, the biggest is the energy glut and the fact that most alternatives forms of power are easier to develop and require much less government scrutiny than nuclear power.

If the short-term price rises closer to the $60/lb mark it might be time to take uranium seriously, but only if the long-term price moves higher as well. http://www.forbes.com/sites/timtreadgold/2014/11/17/uranium-is-hot-but-not-for-investors/

November 19, 2014 Posted by | business and costs | Leave a comment

Japan’s Prime Minister Abe is banking on getting a new voter mandate

Abe is banking on getting a new voter mandate BY REIJI YOSHIDA, JAPAN TIMES 18 NOV 14 “…….Abe would never admit in public what is widely believed to be the real reason for the snap election: A campaign as early as next month will likely strengthen the ruling camp and Abe himself.

The prime minister plans to submit controversial bills to the Diet in the spring, including those based on his reinterpretation of the Constitution to expand Self-Defense Forces’ missions overseas.

Abe,-Shinzo-nukeNext year, Abe also plans to reactivate some of the nuclear reactors that have mostly sat idle since the Fukushima meltdowns, a hotly contested move that would likely sap support from the Liberal Democratic Party in a national election next year……..

There is little doubt that the LDP-Komeito ruling camp will retain power, and Abe could even strengthen his political base within the LDP.

“An (early) election will basically give an advantage to the ruling parties,” Sasaki said.

The situation, however, might not be as good as Abe thinks………http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/18/national/politics-diplomacy/abe-dissolve-lower-house-friday-dec-14-election/#.VG0mpzTF8nl

November 19, 2014 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Did PG&E secretly alter Earthquake Standards for Diablo Canyon nuclear plant?

Diablo nuclear power plantsecret-agent-SmPG&E May Have Secretly Altered Earthquake Standards for California’s Last Nuclear Power Plant, AlterNet The aging plant is located on an intricate network of earthquake fault lines. October 29, 2014  |  

Montaña de Oro State Park is a place where the rolling hills of the Central California coast drop from steep cliffs into crashing waves that are home to diverse sea life ranging from starfish and anemones to sea lions and migrating whales. Nestled among the wildflowers along the craggy bluffs of this majestic natural reserve is Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon………

This week a group of environmental activists brought a lawsuit against PG&E and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission because, as it turns out, federal regulators secretly revised Diablo’s license “to mask the aging plant’s vulnerability to earthquakes,” as the  San Francisco Chronicle put it.

“The suit claims that the  Nuclear Regulatory Commission and [PG&E] last year changed a key element of the plant’s license related to seismic safety without allowing public input as required by law — or even notifying the public at all. The changes concern the strength of earthquakes that the plant … can withstand,” reports the  Chronicle.

The public PG&E failed to notify consists of my parents, cousins, teachers, childhood friends, and their children. It’s heartbreaking to read about a nuclear disaster an ocean away, but it’s terrifying to realize that the same thing could happen here in California because of a greedy, negligent corporate coverup.

The lawsuit was filed in  U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which is specifically set up to review the decisions of federal agencies. The group behind the suit wants the court to shut down the plant until the necessary changes are in place. They want public hearings to take place to amend Diablo Canyon’s license. So far PG&E denies all of the allegations………

“Environmentalists have long argued that the plant wasn’t designed to survive the shaking that some of the newly discovered faults could produce,” states the  Chronicle. “And last year, Michael Peck, one of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s inspectors at Diablo, recommended shutting down the plant until the commission determined that its equipment could withstand a strong quake from those faults. The commission rejected the idea.”……http://www.alternet.org/environment/pge-may-have-secretly-altered-earthquake-standards-californias-last-nuclear-power-plant

November 19, 2014 Posted by | Legal | Leave a comment

“Superfuel” thorium is super-expensive, and does have weapons proliferation risks

“The difference in the state of development of thorium versus other sources of fuel is so vast and the cost of developing the technology is so high, it’s really questionable today whether it’s worthwhile to spend a lot of money on the development of thorium.”

Thorium-snake-oilIs the “Superfuel” Thorium Riskier Than We Thought? 
A new study in Nature says that using thorium as a nuclear fuel has a higher risk for proliferation into weapons than scientists had believed. Popular Mechanics, By Phil McKenna December 5, 2012 
Imagine a cheap, plentiful source of energy that could provide safe, emissions-free power for hundreds of years without refueling and without any risk of nuclear proliferation. The fuel is thorium, and it has been trumpeted by proponents as a “superfuel” that eludes many of the pitfalls of today’s nuclear energy. But now, as a number of countries including China, India, and the United States explore the potential use of thorium for nuclear power, researchers say one of the biggest claims made about the fuel—its proliferation resistance—doesn’t add up.

“It may not be as resistant as touted and in some cases the risk of proliferation may be worse than other fuels,” says Stephen Ashley of the University of Cambridge. Continue reading

November 19, 2014 Posted by | technology | Leave a comment

Iran nuclear talks – the state of plan

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranIran nuclear talks – the Guardian briefing   and Tuesday 18 November  Iran and a six-nation negotiating group are trying to reach an agreement that could bring an end to 12 years of deadlock over Iran’s nuclear programme. Read a brief history of the standoff and find out why the outcome of the talks is still in the balance

What’s the story?

The international negotiations over the future of Iran’s nuclear programme are approaching a deadline of 24 November. A deal would curb the Iranian programme – to reassure the rest of the world that Tehran does not intend to build nuclear weapons – in return for sanctions relief. Success would diminish the threat of a new war in the Middle East and significantly improve US-Iranian relations after a 35-year freeze. That in turn could lead to better cooperation in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond. Inside Iran, the lifting of sanctions would immeasurably strengthen the hand of pragmatistsled by the president, Hassan Rouhani, who want to re-engage with the west.

How did we get here?……..http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/18/-sp-iran-nuclear-talks-briefing

November 19, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The role of ozone depletion in climate change

diagram-ozone-depletionThe ozone hole leaves a lasting impression on southern climate, The Conversation,  Sharon Robinson Professor at University of Wollongong, 8 November 2014, Many people think of sunburn and skin cancer when they hear about the ozone hole. But more ultraviolet (UV) radiation isn’t the only problem.

The ozone hole has also led to dramatic changes in Southern Hemisphere weather patterns. These in turn are altering natural ecosystems and food production. These climate changes are likely having a similar if not greater impact than more UV radiation.

We discuss some of these changes in a paper published today in Global Change Biology.

This week the parties to the Montreal Protocol will meet in Paris, to consider the latest report from the United Nations Environment Programme Environmental Effects Assessment Panel. This report summarises the impact of both ozone loss and the associated increase in ultraviolet radiation on the environment and human health.

The Montreal Protocol continues to be effective at phasing out ozone depleting chemicals and has decreased levels of these greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But while the Montreal Protocol is a success story, the Southern Hemisphere still faces the threat of climate change from rising greenhouse gases. There is still much to do.

Changing the weather

In recent years, climate scientists have shown that the ozone hole has had a profound impact on weather systems throughout the Southern Hemisphere, especially during summer.

The ozone hole has pulled the polar jet stream further south, increasing its strength. These winds isolate Antarctica and help to keep most of it cold as the rest of the world warms. This has prevented sea ice melt and rising sea-levels. By changing atmospheric circulation, the ozone hole modifies wind, rain and snowfall patterns across the Southern Hemisphere. The changing pattern and strength of winds has caused shifts in the regions that get plenty of rain or snowfall, and those that stay dry. …….

A world avoided

The Montreal Protocol (1987) is a major success story. As a result of this international agreement, the ozone hole is likely to recover by the middle of this century.

Ultraviolet (UV-B) radiation damage to all living organisms, including humans, has been minimised since the region where major ozone depletion occurred is over the sparsely-populated Antarctic. Even there the impacts on terrestrial life are thought to be small, probably less than a 6% loss in productivity in plants.

By controlling the release of ozone depleting chemicals the Montreal Protocol has made a large contribution to reducing greenhouse gases.

The world is cooler now than it would have been without the Montreal Protocol’s controls on emissions of ozone depleting chemicals. This is because many of the chemicals that break down ozone are also potent greenhouse gases (such as chlorofluorocarbons — CFCs).

Climate change in the Southern Hemisphere can be attributed to ozone depletion, as well as increasing greenhouse gases. Decades after the ozone hole was identified and action was taken, we are still discovering how profound its implications are both in terms of the “world avoided”, and unanticipated climate change.

Prompt action was taken in 1987 but the lag time for recovery is still long (see also here)………

Sharon Robinson and Dr. David Erickson, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA present this work in the scientific journal Global Change Biology. They are both members of the UNEP-EEAP. ttp://theconversation.com/the-ozone-hole-leaves-a-lasting-impression-on-southern-climate-34043

November 19, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment