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Coming Big Arctic Ocean Warm-Up May Extend Sea Ice Melt Season

robertscribbler

It’s September in the Arctic. A time of year when temperatures should be cooling off. But with sea ice at second lowest levels on record in most monitors and the globe experiencing an unprecedented hot year, it appears that the next week may see the Arctic Ocean reverse its typical seasonal cooling trend and significantly warm up over the coming 5-6 days.

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(GFS models runs show a significant warming is in store for the Arctic Ocean over the coming week. And that’s probably bad news for sea ice running at second lowest levels on record in the current daily measures and lowest levels on record for the first 8 months of the year so far. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

GFS model runs show a strong pulse of warm air rising up over the Atlantic Ocean and Barents Sea within about 72 hours. This warm air then rides in over…

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September 9, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 9 Energy News

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Opinion:

¶ “Clean Power Plan no problem for the Northeast” • The grid operator for 13 northeast states and Washington, DC, PJM Interconnection, recently released a report with some encouraging news: meeting the CPP should be a breeze. That’s a big deal because of the area’s dense population and economic activity. [Into the Wind – The AWEA Blog]

Wind power is a low-cost Clean Power Plan solution for the Northeast. Wind power is a low-cost Clean Power Plan solution for the Northeast.

Science and Technology:

¶ Researchers have created an interactive web tool to estimate the amount of energy that could be generated by wind or solar farms at any location. The tool, called Renewables.ninja, aims to make the task of predicting renewable output easier. Companies such as RWE are using it to test their output models. [AZoCleantech]

World:

¶ UK electricity generated from offshore wind hit 5.1 TWh in the first quarter of 2016, up 10% on…

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September 9, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fund started to help Fukushima thyroid cancer patients cover expenses

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A group comprising medical and legal experts announced Friday it has launched a fund to provide financial support to children who were diagnosed with thyroid cancer after the 2011 nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima Prefecture.

The group, named 3/11 Children’s Fund for Thyroid Cancer, will start accepting donations from Sept. 20, aiming to raise at least ¥20 million. The amount could provide at least ¥50,000 each for 200 to 400 people, it said.

Donated funds will be used primarily to cover medical expenses for thyroid cancer patients in Fukushima and neighboring prefectures, it said. The group will announce more details in November on the criteria that will be used to determine who is eligible to receive the aid before it starts accepting applications.

They are struggling to pay medical bills,” Hiroyuki Kawai, a lawyer and one of the founding members of the group, said at a news conference in Tokyo. “I don’t think ¥50,000 will be enough for them, but they are impoverished and are struggling, and even that amount will be of help.”

Currently, the medical expenses of children diagnosed with thyroid cancer in Fukushima Prefecture are covered by the prefectural government.

Patients, however, have to initially pay their medical expenses out of pocket until they start receiving refunds from the prefecture, placing great financial strain on many families, another member of the group said.

In addition to that, some parents often have to take leave from work to accompany their children during hospital visits, which also includes paying for travel expenses, they said.

According to the group, although medical treatment for thyroid cancer is covered by public health insurance, the patients still have to pay about ¥10,000 per examination and roughly ¥150,000 for surgical procedures. And if patients have to undergo endoscopic surgery, it would cost them an additional ¥300,000, it said.

Since October 2011, the Fukushima government has conducted thyroid screenings for some 380,000 children who were aged 18 or younger.

By the end of March, a total of 173 children were diagnosed with suspected thyroid cancer. Of those, 131 were confirmed to have the cancer after undergoing surgery.

A panel of experts under the prefectural government said in an interim report released in March that those thyroid cancer cases were unlikely to be radiation-induced.

The panel said the amount of radiation released was lower than in the 1986 Chernobyl accident, where more than 6,000 children were diagnosed with the cancer by 2005, and noted that no cancer was found among children aged under 5 at the time of the disaster who are more vulnerable to radiation exposure.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/09/09/national/fund-started-help-fukushima-thyroid-cancer-patients-cover-expenses/#.V9L7aTX8-M8

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Iwaki mayor makes formal request for city to host baseball, softball games during 2020 Olympics

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Iwaki Mayor Toshio Shimizu on Friday presented a request to 2020 Tokyo Olympic organizers, seeking to host a baseball game and a softball game in the city in Fukushima Prefecture.

Shimizu submitted the request to Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee, and Toshiei Mizuochi, senior vice minister of both the sports ministry and the Cabinet Office.

The request comes as Tokyo Olympic organizers are arranging to stage one first-round game each for baseball and softball in Fukushima Prefecture, one of the areas hardest hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, as part of reconstruction efforts.

They are said to be considering Iwaki, Fukushima and Koriyama cities as candidate sites.

The Iwaki municipal government wants the games played at Iwaki Green Stadium, which is occasionally used for Japanese professional baseball games and was the venue of the Under-15 World Cup baseball competition in July and August.

Shimizu expressed hope that the stadium will be chosen as an Olympic venue as that would “give hope and courage” to survivors of the quake and tsunami which also triggered a nuclear accident in the prefecture.

The main ballpark for the 2020 Summer Games is set to be Yokohama Stadium in Kanagawa Prefecture.

In the request, Shimizu and the mayors of eight nearby towns and villages are also requesting that the Olympic torch relay run on National Route 6 in the coastal area of Fukushima Prefecture.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2016/09/09/olympics/iwaki-mayor-makes-formal-request-for-city-to-host-baseball-softball-games-during-2020-olympics/#.V9L7VTX8-M8

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Anti-nuclear Power Protest Tents in Tokyo Removed

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Japanese officials led a predawn raid on August 21st to forcibly remove the protracted anti-nuclear power sit-in protest in front of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) headquarters in central Tokyo. At around 3.30 a.m., some 100 security guards and court officials descended on the so-called “No Nukes Plaza,” a collection of tents that had occupied a corner of land in front of METI in government district of Kasumigaseki since September 11th, 2011.

It had been the longest surviving example of Japan’s post-Fukushima protest movement. The weekly Friday night vigils outside the nearby prime minister’s residence have also continued, albeit with far fewer participant numbers than their peak in 2012, when tens of thousands were gathering in Kasumigaseki.

The protest tents were started by veteran left-wing activists from Japan’s postwar period, though it was supported by a younger generation of activists. It soon achieved a significant level of international attention and mainstream press coverage. The “plaza” evolved into a polestar for the movement, hosting talks, film screenings, and other events that strove to keep the debate over nuclear power in the public eye. One of the tents was even turned into a de facto art museum with Fukushima-inspired exhibits.

The administration of Yoshihiko Noda of the Democratic Party of Japan (now the Democratic Party) left the tents alone, but following the return to power of Shinzo Abe and the Liberal Democratic Party in late 2012, the government made it a priority to remove the protesters. In 2013, the government filed for the removal of the tents, which were manned 24 hours a day by activists. After this was approved by the courts, the activists appealed, claiming it was tantamount to suppressing freedom of speech and the right to free assembly, which is protected by the Constitution of Japan. The court also ordered the protesters to pay a daily fee of over \20,000 (approx. $200) for using government land.

In addition to the authorities, the protesters also attracted enemies from Japan’s ultra-nationalists. Beginning soon after they were erected, the tents were subject to regular attacks by right-wing activists and groups, including one as recently as the weekend before the eviction.

In July, the Supreme Court upheld the earlier ruling that the tents could be removed, meaning the protestors were out of legal options and effectively on borrowed time. METI officials no doubt deliberately chose the early morning to enforce the eviction so as to circumvent any resistance: the protesters were supported by a number of leftist activists known for aggressive hate speech counter-protests and who could be mobilized quickly.

When officials came to dismantle the tents, five activists were reportedly inside but were powerless to stop the proceedings, which took around 90 minutes. By Sunday morning, the tents were completely removed and the area where they previously stood was fenced off. Erecting any new tents was now impossible, but activists have vowed to continue their protest by sitting on chairs and standing at the same corner. Police initially blockaded even the sidewalks for some of Sunday, in fear of a backlash from the activists, though did relent and allow demonstrators to return to the site of their protest. One activist was arrested following a confrontation with police but was later released.

The anti-nuclear protest tents came to be seen as one of the pivotal aspects of the post-Fukushima movement, which blamed METI and the government for the crisis. Occupying the site was arguably just a symbolic gesture, but nonetheless an important one for Japan, where public land is strictly controlled and police and private security are quick to pounce on people who squat. No one else dared to do this kind of protest: the Friday night vigils pack up and go home at 8 p.m., and likewise the student group SEALDs, which generated much press coverage last year for its protests against the government’s controversial security legislation, was orderly and even praised for picking up trash after its demonstrations at Kasumigaseki.

As such, the tents were a renegade and unrepentant presence in the protest culture of Japan, and a constant reminder that the problems of Fukushima have still not been resolved even more than five years after the disaster.

The timing of the removal is also significant. It came shortly before the fifth anniversary of the sit-in, as well as during protests over the restarting of a reactor at Ikata Nuclear Power Plant. Unrest currently continues in Okinawa, too, as demonstrators clash daily with hundreds of riot police protecting the construction of new United States military helipads in the jungle near Takae.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/09/anti-nuclear-power-protest-tents-in-tokyo-removed/

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japanese dried mushroom sample detected with trace level of radioactivity

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said today (September 8) that a loose-packed dried mushroom sample, imported from Japan, was detected with a low level of radioactivity. Follow-up is in progress.

Japanese dried mushroom sample detected with trace level of radioactivity

Hong Kong (HKSAR) –      The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said today (September 8) that a loose-packed dried mushroom sample, imported from Japan, was detected with a low level of radioactivity. Follow-up is in progress.

“The CFS collected the dried mushroom sample from a retail outlet in Sheung Wan for radiation testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. According to the information provided by the retail outlet, the product concerned was imported from Japan. The test result showed that the sample was detected with Caesium-137 at a level of 24 becquerels per kilogram (Bq/kg).

The standard laid down by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in the guideline levels for radionuclides in foods contaminated following a nuclear or radiological emergency is 1 000 Bq/kg for Caesium-137. The radiation level detected does not exceed the Codex guideline level,” a spokesman for the CFS said.

The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the test result. The vendor has voluntarily stopped sale and removed from shelves the affected product.

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident, the CFS has enhanced radiation testing on food imported from Japan at import, wholesale and retail levels since March 12, 2011.

The CFS updates the results and figures of food surveillance on imported Japanese food on its website every working day (including those cases detected with low levels of radioactivity).

The CFS will continue to closely monitor information from Japan as well as the radiation test results of Japanese food products in Hong Kong and elsewhere. It will review and adjust, if necessary, the surveillance strategy on food products imported from Japan in a timely manner, making reference to the recommendations of international authorities, to safeguard food safety.

Please refer to the CFS website for results of the food surveillance on Japanese food: http://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/programme/programme_rafs/programme_rafs_fc_01_30_Nuclear_Event_and_Food_Safety.html” target=”_blank”>www.cfs.gov.hk/english/programme/programme_rafs/programme_rafs_fc_01_30_Nuclear_Event_and_Food_Safety.html.

http://7thspace.com/headlines/530211/japanese_dried_mushroom_sample_detected_with_trace_level_of_radioactivity.html

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Kagoshima governor once again requests nuclear reactor halt

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Governor again requests reactor suspension

Satoshi Mitazono, governor of the southwestern Japan prefecture of Kagoshima, meets with reporters on Sept. 7, 2016, in the city of Fukuoka after issuing a second request to Kyushu Electric Power Co. to suspend operations of two reactors at its Sendai nuclear plant. The utility rejected the initial request issued on Aug. 26.

Kagoshima Gov. Satoshi Mitazono once again requested Wednesday that Kyushu Electric Power Co. immediately suspend the operation of two reactors at its nuclear power plant in the southwestern prefecture after the utility rejected his earlier call.

Following a meeting with Mitazono in Fukuoka, Kyushu Electric President Michiaki Uriu indicated to the press that the operator is likely to reject the request, saying he wants the company to be “spared of” the suspension as it will conduct “special safety checkups” thoroughly on the Sendai nuclear plant reactors — two of only three nuclear reactors currently operating in Japan.

The latest request came after the new governor demanded on Aug. 26 that the utility halt the plant’s Nos. 1 and 2 reactors to verify their safety, citing local worries about the plant’s safety after major earthquakes rocked neighboring Kumamoto Prefecture and its vicinity in April.

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2016/09/432470.html

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Gov’t may shift nuke accident, reactor decommissioning costs onto new power suppliers

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The government is moving to bill new electricity suppliers for a portion of nuclear reactor decommissioning costs and compensation payments related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, it was learned on Sept. 7.

After decades under regional utility monopolies, the electricity supply market was opened to competition in April this year. The government apparently fears that the old monopolies such as Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) lose too many customers to new suppliers and they may no longer be able to cover the high costs of decommissioning old reactors or compensate the victims of nuclear accidents, hence the move to shift some of the financial burden onto new market entrants.

However, these costs were originally supposed to be covered by the nine big utilities, and the government’s moves would essentially transfer that burden onto the Japanese people, making a clash more than likely.

Under the current system, large utilities must cover nuclear reactor operating expenses — including eventual decommissioning — from electricity bill income. Also, TEPCO receives monies to cover Fukushima nuclear disaster compensation claims from the government-licensed Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp. (NDF), which is in turn funded by all the large utility companies.

The new system being considered by the government would spread the financial burden of nuclear accident compensation and reactor decommissioning to new electricity suppliers, lightening the load on the big utilities. The government estimates the total cost for reactor decommissioning plus Fukushima nuclear disaster compensation paid before the NDF was established at some 8 trillion yen. The new power suppliers would likely pass on their share of these costs to their customers, resulting in monthly power bills up to about 200 yen higher than at present for an average three-person household.

However, forcing customers of the new electricity firms to pay for the old utilities to decommission their reactors and for TEPCO’s nuclear disaster liabilities runs counter to the goals of liberalizing the electricity market, which was intended to push down prices through competition. It would also in essence be corporate welfare for the big utilities operating nuclear plants.

A sub-committee to debate the new system will be established under the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy reporting to the minister of economy, trade and industry. The committee will decide on what direction to take by the end of this year, with an eye to submitting a bill to revise the Electricity Business Act to the ordinary Diet session next year.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160908/p2a/00m/0na/006000c

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-PM Koizumi backs sick U.S. sailors who blame radiation

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Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is raising money for the hundreds of American sailors who say they got sick from radiation after taking part in relief operations for the 2011 tsunami that set off the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Koizumi, prime minister from 2001 to 2006, told reporters Wednesday he recently visited San Diego to meet with former military service members, who have begun a class-action lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility that operates the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Some 70,000 sailors and Marines took part in “Operation Tomodachi,” flying in aid from an aircraft carrier and other warships off the coast of northeastern Japan.

Some got seriously sick with cancer and leukemia and blame radiation. TEPCO denies any link between the illness and radiation.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201609070067.html

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

To September 10 Climate and nuclear news this week

a-cat-CANNUCLEAR The world was jolted into a renewed awareness of nuclear war danger, today, as North Korea conducted another nuclear bomb test. It may also be miniaturising nuclear warheads, to fit on a missile.  President Obama has stated that America will stick to the principle of being willing to make a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

However, the “Red Button” nuclear war system can be reformed: Donald Trump’s rise illustrates the need for this. Nuclear war risks lessened by Iran nuclear deal, which should continue in USA’s next administration. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has enduring value.

CLIMATE. The world had better pay attention NOW – to soaring ocean temperatures.  Effect of Global Warming on World’s Ocean Circulation is an unknown quantity. More frequent, more powerful Super Typhoons, with climate change. Flooding – a dire hazard to nuclear power stations.  USA and China formally ratify Paris climate agreement. Coal lobby is urged to copy tactics of the tobacco lobby!

 

CANADANuclear company SNC-Lavalin‘s sorry history of corruption.

UK.   Britain’s national disgrace: nuclear reprocessing at Sellafield.

Celtic Union of Renewable Energy Launched By Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

JAPAN. The end of the line for Japan’s super expensive nuclear reprocessing project?   To secure 2020 Olympics Japan’s PM Abe lied about Fukushima nuclear plant being ‘under control’. Concern as leaky ‘ice wall’ around Fukushima nuke plant resembles ‘bamboo screen’. Robot to probe nuke fuel debris in Fukushima No. 2 reactor. 10% return to Fukushima town since evacuation order lifted in ’15.

USA. As nuclear costs rise, top economist urges nuclear operators on early decommissioning of reactors. Outcry over secret trucking of weapons grade nuclear waste to South Carolina. Hypocrisy of big USA companies on climate change.

IRAN. IAEA confidential report shows Iran is Not Cheating on Nuclear Deal. Attempts to sabotage Iran nuclear deal – who stands to gain in this?

SWITZERLAND. Renewable energy heading to replace nuclear power in Switzerland.

SOUTH AFRICA. Nuclear power procurement costs for South Africa could cost triple the estimate.

SOUTH KOREA. Push for South Korea to get nuclear-powered submarines.

CHINA. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concerned about nuclear safety in China.

UKRAINE. European financiers very worried about Ukraine’s dire nuclear industry problems.

BELARUS.  problems, secrecy, ignorance on nuclear unsafety

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Nuclear company SNC-Lavalin’s sorry history of corruption

corruptionLiberals, Conservatives reimburse illegal SNC-Lavalin donations, ROBERT FIFE AND DANIEL LEBLANC OTTAWA — Theflag-canada Globe and Mail, Sep. 08, 2016 The federal Liberal and Conservative parties were forced to reimburse the government after the commissioner of elections found they had received $117,803 in illegal donations from SNC-Lavalin’s political slush fund.

The unlawful contributions span from March, 2004, to May, 2011, and showcase how dirty money that funded Quebec political parties also found a home in the federal arena.

The Liberal Party received the bulk of the illegal donations from the Quebec engineering giant, amounting to $109,615, while the Conservatives got $8,187. As part of its reimbursement, the Liberal Party covered $12,529 in donations that SNC-Lavalin gave in 2006 to the leadership campaigns of Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae, Stéphane Dion and Gerard Kennedy.

 Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin has been mired in corruption and bribery scandals over the past decade involving attempts to curry favour with politicians and other influential players to win lucrative engineering and construction contracts in Canada and abroad. The RCMP has raided SNC-Lavalin’s offices a number of times over the years.

The Commissioner of Canada Elections, Yves Côté, announced Thursday morning that the company had signed a compliance agreement with the federal agency and committed to put in place a series of steps to ensure it does not make illegal donations in the future.

SNC-Lavalin has already admitted it made more than $1-million in illegal donations to Quebec political parties during the 2000s. Like other engineering firms in the province, managers and family members made personal donations to parties, which were then reimbursed with salary bonuses.

A commission of inquiry found that officials inside the Quebec Liberal Party and the Parti Québécois were aware of SNC-Lavalin’s political slush fund, although there is no evidence the federal political parties knew the donations were illegal…….

An elections commissioner investigation found that senior SNC-Lavalin executives illegally donated $83,534 to the Liberal Party of Canada; $13,552 to various Liberal riding associations; $12,529 to contestants involved in the 2006 Liberal leadership race; $3,137 to the Conservative Party; and $5,050 to Conservative riding associations.

In the compliance agreement, SNC-Lavalin “acknowledges that, in offering to reimburse its employees for federal political contributions, and in reimbursing such contributions, it was in fact making those contributions itself.”……..

SNC-Lavalin, or former officials of the company, have in the past been accused of bribery in Algeria, Bangladesh and Libya, as well as in connection with major projects in Canada.

In March, 2012, then-CEO Pierre Duhaime, who oversaw the illegal donations and was involved in other scandals, abruptly resigned after an independent review found he had signed off on $56-million in payments to undisclosed agents to win contracts.

Later that year, Mr. Duhaime and former SNC-Lavalin vice-president Riadh Ben Aissa were charged with fraud for $22.5-million in alleged bribes paid to win SNC-Lavalin the contract to build Montreal’s super hospital. Mr. Ben Aissa served 2 1/2 years in jail in Switzerland for involvement in corruption and money laundering tied to SNC-Lavalin projects in Libya. http://www.theglobeandmail.com//news/politics/snc-lavalin-violated-elections-act-with-contributions-to-liberals-tories/article31762290/?cmpid=rss1&click=sf_globe

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Canada, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Effect of Global Warming on World’s Ocean Circulation – an unknown quantity

A single Atlantic Ocean current system accounts for up to a quarter of the planet’s heat flux.

For now, everyone awaits more data to see whether the AMOC is slowing down and, if so, what that will mean for the planet

climate-changeHow Climate Change Could Jam The World’s Ocean Circulation, 06 SEP 2016: ANALYSIS Scientists are closely monitoring a key current in the North Atlantic to see if rising sea temperatures and increased freshwater from melting ice are altering the “ocean conveyor belt” — a vast oceanic stream that plays a major role in the global climate system.

Environment 360, by nicola jones Susan Lozier is having a busy year. From May to September, her oceanographic team is making five research cruises across the North Atlantic, hauling up dozens of moored instruments that track currents far beneath the surface. The data they retrieve will be the first complete set documenting how North Atlantic waters are shifting — and should help solve the mystery of whether there is a long-term slowdown in ocean circulation. “We have a lot of people very interested in the data,” says Lozier, a physical oceanographer at Duke University.

A similar string of moorings across the middle of the Atlantic, delving as deep as 3.7 miles from the Canary Islands to the Bahamas, has already detected a disturbing drop in this ocean’s massive circulation pattern. Since those moorings were installed in 2004, they have seen the Atlantic current wobble and weaken by as much as 30 percent, turning down the dial on a dramatic heat pump that transports warmth toward northern Europe. Turn that dial down too much and Europe will go into a deep chill. 

Researchers have been worried about an Atlantic slowdown for years. The Atlantic serves as the engine for the planet’s conveyor belt of ocean currents: The massive amount of cooler water that sinks in the North Atlantic stirs up that entire ocean and drives currents in the Southern and Pacific oceans, too. “It is the key component” in global circulation, says Ellen Martin, a paleoclimate and ocean current researcher at the University of Florida. So when the Atlantic turns sluggish, it has worldwide impacts: The entire Northern Hemisphere cools, Indian and Asian monsoon areas dry up, North Atlantic storms get amplified, and less ocean mixing results in less plankton and other life in the sea.

Paleoclimatologists have spotted times in the deep past when the current slowed quickly and dramatically, cooling Europe by 5 to 10 degrees C (10 to 20 degrees F) and causing far-reaching impacts on climate.

A single Atlantic Ocean current system accounts for up to a quarter of the planet’s heat flux.

Modelers have tried to predict how human-caused climate change might impact the Atlantic current, and how its slowdown might muck with the world’s weather even more. But years of intensive peering at this question haven’t yet provided much clarity.

Now, debate is raging about whether the recent Atlantic slowdown has been triggered by climate change, or is just part of a normal cycle of fast and slow currents. New studies in the last few years and months have come out supporting both prospects. The new data from the north, Lozier and others hope, might help to sort things out.

……..The last review by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that the AMOC is very likely to slow by the end of the century, perhaps by as much as 54 percent in the worst-case scenario, where emissions keep going up and global temperatures rise about 4 degrees C. But the range of possible slowdowns in these predictions is huge, starting at just 1 percent for an emissions-restricted world.

If the North Atlantic current slows dramatically, then the entire Northern Hemisphere would cool; a complete collapse of the current could even reverse global warming for about 20 years. But the heat that ocean currents fail to transport northwards would make parts of the Southern Hemisphere even hotter. And a cooler north isn’t necessarily good news.

The jury is still out. Weakening is a possibility, but it hasn’t been proven yet,’ says one scientist.

Should the AMOC shut down, models show that changes in rainfall patterns would dry up Europe’s rivers, and North America’s entire Eastern Seaboard could see an additional 30 inches of sea level rise as the backed-up currents pile water up on East Coast shores.

But to pin down what the AMOC is going to do, researchers need to better understand what it’s doing right now. And that is proving tricky. ………

For now, everyone awaits more data to see whether the AMOC is slowing down and, if so, what that will mean for the planet……..http://e360.yale.edu/feature/will_climate_change_jam_the_global_ocean_conveyor_belt/3030/

September 9, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

To secure 2020 Olympics Japan’s PM Abe lied about Fukushima nuclear plant being ‘under control’

Japan-Olympics-fearAbe’s Fukushima ‘under control’ pledge to secure Olympics was a lie – former PM
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/abe-s-fukushima-under-control-pledge-to-secure-olympics-was-a/3108276.html07 
Sep 2016  TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s promise that the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant was “under control” in his successful pitch three years ago for Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympic Games “was a lie”, former premier Junichiro Koizumi said on Wednesday.

Koizumi, one of Japan’s most popular premiers during his 2001-2006 term, became an outspoken critic of nuclear energy after a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (Tepco) Fukushima Daiichi plant, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

Abe gave the assurances about safety at the Fukushima plant in his September 2013 speech to the International Olympic Committee to allay concerns about awarding the Games to Tokyo. The comment met with considerable criticism at the time.

“Mr. Abe’s ‘under control’ remark, that was a lie,” Koizumi, now 74 and his unruly mane of hair turned white, told a news conference where he repeated his opposition to nuclear power.

“It is not under control,” Koizumi added, citing as an example Tepco’s widely questioned efforts to build the world’s biggest “ice wall” to keep groundwater from flowing into the basements of the damaged reactors and getting contaminated.

“They keep saying they can do it, but they can’t,” Koizumi said. Experts say handling the nearly million tonnes of radioactive water stored in tanks on the Fukushima site is one of the biggest challenges.

Koizumi also said he was “ashamed” that he had believed experts who assured him that nuclear power was cheap, clean and safe and that resource-poor Japan had to rely on nuclear energy.

After the Fukushima crisis, Koizumi said, “I studied the process, reality and history of the introduction of nuclear power and became ashamed of myself for believing such lies.”

All Japan’s nuclear plants – which had supplied about 30 percent of its electricity – were closed after the Fukushima disaster and utilities have struggled to get running again in the face of a sceptical public. Only three are operating now.

Abe’s government has set a target for nuclear power to supply a fifth of energy generation by 2030.

The meltdowns in three Fukushima reactors spewed radiation over a wide area of the countryside, contaminating water, food and air. More than 160,000 people were evacuated from nearby towns.

(Reporting by Linda Sieg and Megumi Lim; Editing by Nick Macfie)

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

UK’s Hinkley nuclear deal teetering, but PM Theresa May claims good relations with China

flag-UKflag-ChinaG20 summit: Theresa May says UK-China relations are about more than ‘Hinkley’ as deal teeters on edge  The Prime Minister’s comments came as she prepared for a meeting with the Chinese premier at the end of the G20 summit  Independent,   Joe Watts Political Editor  @JoeWatts_  Tuesday 6 September 2016 Theresa May has said the UK’s relations with China are “about more than Hinkley” as speculation mounted that the Prime Minister could pull back from the symbolically important £18bn nuclear scheme.

Ms May made the comments as she prepared for a meeting with Xi Jingpin, in which the Chinese President relieved a little pressure on her by saying he was willing to have “patience” in allowing her time to work out what she plans to do with the scheme his government has committed £6bn to.

The half-hour meeting that took place at the end of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou also saw Mr Xi say China would be “open” to bilateral trade arrangement.

It has already emerged that security around the planned nuclear power initiative at Hinkley is an issue officials are reviewing, and that at least one senior member of Mrs May’s team has serious reservations about the project.

Under the current deal which is yet to be signed, the Chinese would contribute funds towards building two reactors at Hinkley Point in a scheme led by French firm EDF, but it could then in turn lead to a further Chinese-designed power station at Bradwell in Essex.

The delay in finalising the agreement has threatened to overshadow Mrs May’s first major international summit, also her first visit to China. In Hangzhou, she and her team tried to move the story on UK/China relations off the Hinkley Point project and on to other areas. ……..http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/g20-summit-theresa-may-uk-china-hinkley-point-xi-jingpin-edf-power-relations-are-about-more-than-a7227046.html

September 9, 2016 Posted by | politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear war risks lessened by Iran nuclear deal, which should continue in USA’s next administration

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranFlag-USAIran Nuclear Deal Likely to Survive Next Administration, Real Clear World,  By Barbara Slavin, September 07, 2016  Barbara Slavin is the Acting Director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council and Washington correspondent for Al-Monitor. This article was created in collaboration with the Atlantic Council. The views expressed are solely those of the author. 

Like a car that has lost its new car smell and has a few nicks on its bumpers, the nuclear agreement reached last year between Iran and six world powers is showing some wear just nine months after its full implementation.

But the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as the Iran nuclear deal is known, has survived efforts to wreck it by opponents in both Iran and the United States, and the deal is likely to endure into the next U.S. administration.

The problems with the agreement relate more to underlying hostility between the United States and Iran, which have not had normal diplomatic relations since 1980.

Seeking to prove that the JCPOA does not mean appeasement of the Great Satan, Iranian hardliners have stepped up provocative actions including arresting dual nationals, testing ballistic missiles, and harassing U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has repeatedly warned Iranian government officials not to negotiate with the United States on non-nuclear matters, even as senior diplomats continue to meet to review implementation of the nuclear agreement and to discuss a potential settlement to the war in Syria.

On the American side, Republicans and some Democratic hawks have been quick to pounce on any negative Iranian action as proof that the JCPOA has failed. Critics recently seized on a report by the Wall Street Journal claiming that the Obama administration paid $400 million in cash to Iran after four Iranian-Americans and a fifth American citizen were freed from custody on Implementation Day.

In fact, the payment was not “ransom” for the Americans but reimbursement to Iran for weapons that had been purchased before the revolution and never delivered. The Americans were swapped for seven Iranian nationals held in U.S. prisons for sanctions violations……..

Confronting the Islamic State group, dealing with Russia, the ramifications of British exit from the European Union, and the challenges of climate change are likely to take precedence over Iran for both candidates.

Even Israel’s hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rarely mentions Iran these days; Israeli security experts privately praise the JCPOA for postponing an Iran nuclear crisis for at least another decade.

Of course, the Middle East has a tendency to insert itself into U.S. foreign policy debates in unpredictable ways. But Iran has been relatively stable in the face of the crises afflicting many of its neighbors. A President Clinton or Trump is more likely to have to deal with political turmoil in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, or Iraq.

As for the future of U.S.-Iran relations, much will depend on Tehran and whether the supreme leader’s successor feels the same need to maintain animosity toward the United States as a prop to regime survival. Both countries’ citizens would benefit from restoring diplomatic relations and working toward common ground. But if real peace is not yet possible, at least the JCPOA has drastically reduced the chances for another Middle East war. http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2016/09/07/iran_nuclear_deal_likely_to_survive_next_administration.html

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment