nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Brazil’s increase in fires in Amazon region – alarming news

The alarming number of fires in the Brazilian Amazon, Mongabay, 8 September 2016 / Commentary by Natália Girão Rodrigues de Mello

For three months, from September to December 2015, Manaus was engulfed in smoke, resembling Beijing. That was an unusual scene, and an undeniable sign that predatory exploration in the Brazilian Amazon has not yet been properly tackled.

  • The sharp decrease in the annual rates of forest loss in the Brazilian Amazon is celebrated worldwide. The trend started in 2005 after a peak in deforestation the year before.
  • However, the figures are not so bright when it comes to forest fires, and few people are talking about that.
  • The number of fires in the Brazilian Amazon is alarming, and that was especially true in 2015, when a sharp increase in forest fires occurred………
  • Natural factors alone fail to explain this recent increase, as similar climatic conditions in the past were not associated with the same amount of forest fires.

    Forest fires and precipitation are strongly correlated in the Brazilian Amazon; in dry years, more forest fires occur. 2015 was a dry year, but not as dry as 2010 or 2005 were – years when the region faced anomalous droughts. Nevertheless, in 2015, forest fires increased 115.6 percent and 105.5 percent compared to 2005 and 2010, respectively. Hence it is safe to say that the peak observed last year was strongly associated with unregulated anthropogenic activities in the forest.

    In the region, using fire in order to clear large areas is a common practice. The expansion of roads, settlements, croplands and cattle ranches has been leading fires to reach ever-wider areas of the forest.

    The consequences associated with this issue are vast. They are felt locally, regionally and globally. Forest fires contribute to climate change due to the emission of three greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. As the forest burns, health-damaging gases – carbon monoxide, non-methane hydrocarbons, methyl chloride, and methyl bromide – are also emitted, as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and aerosols. VOCs interact with nitrous oxides to form ozone, a phytotoxic gas. Aerosols cause the suppression of cloud formation and the decrease of precipitation efficiency. Moreover, a positive feedback between fire-induced death of trees and increased solar penetration in the forest occurs, resulting in the intensification of successive fires…….https://news.mongabay.com/2016/09/the-alarming-number-of-fires-in-the-brazilian-amazon/?utm_content=buffer4318b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

September 12, 2016 Posted by | Brazil, climate change | Leave a comment

Plutonium pollution from nuclear bomb testing still affects remote islands

Even the Most Remote Islands Harbor Human Messes Biologists are trying to clean uninhabited U.S. Pacific Islands that are covered in nuclear waste, bird-eating mice and yellow crazy ants  By Jesse Greenspan | Scientific American September 2016 Issue “…….For Plentovich and other researchers focused on remote U.S. Pacific islands—most of which have no permanent residents and are off-limits to the public—such adventures are par for the course. All their conservation projects share a common theme: undoing damage caused by careless humans….

U.S. PACIFIC ISLAND CONSERVATION PROJECTS……….
Johnston Atoll: A one-time nuclear weapons testing site, this four-island cluster serves as a seabird haven despite being highly contaminated with plutonium, asbestos and other toxic substances…….http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/even-the-most-remote-islands-harbor-human-messes/

September 12, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment