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

Donald Trump’s first United Nations speech – about “totally destroying” North Korea

Donald Trump threatens to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea in UN speech
President castigates ‘a small group of rogue regimes’
Iran nuclear deal ‘an embarrassment to the United States’, Guardian, 
Julian Borger 20 Sept 17, Donald Trump has threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, in a bellicose first address to the United Nations general assembly in which he lashed out at a litany of US adversaries and called on “righteous” countries to confront them.

The speech was greeted in the UN chamber mostly with silence and occasional outbreaks of disapproving murmurs, as Trump castigated a succession of hostile regimes.

In an address heavy with echoes of George W Bush’s “Axis of Evil” State of the Union address more than 15 years earlier, Trump said: “The scourge of our planet today are a small group of rogue regimes.

“If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph,” the president said.

He first singled out North Korea, recounting its history of kidnapping, oppression, and missile and nuclear tests.

 “The US has great strength and patience,” Trump said. But he added: “If it is forced to defend ourselves or our allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

As alarmed murmurs spread around the hall, Trump had another barb. Using his newly adopted epithet for Kim Jong-un, Trump said: “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”……….

Trump said the Iran nuclear deal, signed by the US under the Obama administration with five other countries two years ago, was “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into”.

“Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States,” he said. “I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it – believe me.”

Trump must decide by 15 October on whether to certify Iranian compliance or not. His threatened withdrawal of presidential endorsement could lead to Congress reimposing nuclear-related sanctions and the collapse of the agreement.

Like much of the 41-minute speech, Trump’s reference to the Iran deal was met by stony silence. The deal is overwhelmingly supported by UN member states, including most of Washington’s closest allies……..

Trump is also almost entirely isolated on climate change. Unlike the other opening speakers, including the UN secretary general, António Guterres, Trump made no mention in his speech of an issue that most other leaders in the chamber consider to be the greatest threat to the world.

When his turn to speak came, Macron insisted that though the Paris climate accord, which Trump said he would leave, could be improved, “it will not be renegotiated”. He said he “profoundly respected” the US decision but said “the door will always be open to them”.

The US president had clearly not come to the UN in the mood to placate foreign leaders, but rather to speak over their heads to his own supporters……

September 22, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Successful 1987 ozone layer international treaty now involved in fighting climate change

The 30-year-old ozone layer treaty has a new role: fighting climate change Martyn Chipperfield
The 1987 treaty that stopped the pollution causing a hole in the ozone layer is rightly seen as a major success story. It’s arguably the most successful international environmental agreement ever. It’s true that, 30 years on from the signing of the Montreal Protocol, the Antarctic ozone hole still reappears every year. Yet the protocol really is working and its continued development means that it is doing more good than ever, including helping the fight against climate change.

In 1985, scientists made the unexpected discovery that the Earth’s ozone shield, located in the stratosphere about 20km-30km above the surface and essential for life, contained a huge hole over Antarctica. The cause was quickly established to be chemicals, notably chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used as aerosol propellants and refrigerants, which are stable at low altitudes but release ozone-destroying chlorine and bromine when they break down in the upper atmosphere.

It took just two years for intensive research, building on work on ozone depletion from the 1970s, to provide enough evidence for politicians representing every country in the UN to take action. They agreed to limit production of CFCs and other related gases. Signed on September 16, 1987, the Montreal Protocol put the brakes on increasing ozone depletion. This prevented the catastrophic scenarios of large, global-scale ozone depletion that would have severely damaged animal and plant life at the surface through large increases in ultraviolet (UV) radiation. For example, skin cancer rates in humans would have increased greatly.

Despite the success of the protocol, a large Antarctic ozone hole continues to appear every spring in the southern hemisphere. In fact, the hole continued to grow for almost 20 years after the Montreal Protocol was put in place, with the largest hole recorded in 2006. This is because the process by which the atmosphere can cleanse itself of the stable CFC molecules takes many decades.

Even though the emission of these chemicals has now largely stopped, the CFCs already in the atmosphere will carry on releasing their chlorine and bromine for decades to come, as they are slowly broken down by sunlight in the upper atmosphere. As such, the ozone hole will take about three times longer to disappear than it did to appear, eventually closing sometime in the second half of the century. In the meantime, the thinner ozone shield will lead to some increased levels of surface UV and changes to surface winds and temperature, especially in the southern hemisphere.

Even over the past ten years, scientists have struggled to detect the first signs of repair. Polar ozone loss is driven by the formation of stratospheric clouds at low temperatures. This means ozone depletion is worse after colder winters because more cloud particles form. So natural variations in the meteorological conditions in the stratosphere – occasionally enhanced by volcanic eruptions that can replicate the role of the clouds – have helped to mask the small recovery trend.

Despite this, scientists have finally started to observe the expected increase in ozone. Comparing the current behaviour of the atmosphere with detailed computer models that remove the effect of meteorological variations shows that recovery really has started. As a result, researchers have a high degree of confidence that the Antarctic ozone hole will gradually decrease and return to its 1980 size, when it first became detectable, by about 2050. It is now a question of being vigilant for other unknown factors and checking that the recovery proceeds as expected.

Climate change

The process of protecting the ozone layer didn’t end when the Protocol was signed, and it has continually evolved with periodic amendments to place stronger controls on ozone-depleting gases and to bring new ones into the agreement. Most recently it has been drafted into the fight against man-made climate change. The ozone-depleting gases being controlled by the agreement are also very potent greenhouse gases. Like carbon dioxide, they very efficiently absorb infra-red radiation and so contribute to global warming.

In the latest amendment to the Montreal Protocol, signed in 2016, policy makers agreed to limit the emission of the compounds designed to replace CFCs, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These gases, used for example in air conditioning units, do not lead to ozone depletion but are greenhouse gases. So bringing them under the umbrella of the Montreal Protocol will help reduce future climate change.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to the scientists, politicians and industry leaders who created such an effective and flexible agreement which, 30 years on, is doing what it set out to achieve and more.

September 22, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Huge secret nuclear power deal – Kushner, Bannon, Flynn with Middle East

Kushner, Bannon, Flynn Pushed Huge Nuclear Power Deal In Middle East For Profit, In Secret, By ursulafaw   Sep 17, 2017 It’s no wonder that Mike Flynn asked the House and the Senate for immunity and has refused to voluntarily testify before the Senate twice, the last time being Tuesday. On Wednesday Democrats in the House Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committee reported that Flynn failed to disclose that he worked for oil companies and had attended a meeting on their behalf promoting a U.S.-Russian Saudi financed program to build nuclear reactors in the Arab world. This took place in 2015 and it is one of the meetings that Mike Flynn failed to disclose on his security clearance application.

September 22, 2017 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

6.1 magnitude earthquake 320 kilometres east of Fukushima nuclear plant.

Japan earthquake: A strong quake has hit the Asian island not far from the Fukushima nuclear power station, 21 Sept 17
JAPAN has recorded a strong earthquake off its east coast and just 300km away from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. 
AN earthquake has struck off the east coast of Japan — just 320 kilometres east of Fukushima nuclear plant.

The tremor is said to have had a magnitude of 6.1, according to the US Geological Society (USGS).

The American scientific agency, which tracks natural disasters around the world, said the quake happened 281 kilometres from Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said no tsunami warning was in effect and the USGS said only weak shaking would have been felt on Honshu and the risk of damage was likely to be minor…….

September 22, 2017 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

A FOURTH unexploded bomb found near Britain’s Hinkley Point C nuclear site!

Bridgwater Mercury 16th Sept 2017, A FOURTH unexploded bomb thought to date back to the Second World War hasbeen found in the Bristol Channel not far from Hinkley C. Watchet
Coastguard say the 250lb device is partially detonated and is advising
vessels in the area to proceed with caution and stay at least 500m away
from the site. It is likely the device will be dealt with via a controlled
detonation later today (Saturday, September 16).
This is the fourth such device that has been found in the past two months, but EDF, who are
building a jetty for Hinkley C off the coast near Stogursey, say it is
normal practice to check the seabed before construction activity starts on
any marine project.

September 22, 2017 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

French President Macron calls on Trump to honor Iran nuclear deal

Citing North Korea, Macron calls on Trump to honor Iran nuclear deal September 19, 2017 

Story highlights

September 22, 2017 Posted by | France, politics international | Leave a comment

North Korea Vows to Complete Nuclear Weapons Program

September 22, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

USA and South Korea’ show of bombing force against North Korea

Korean peninsula draws range of military drills in show of force against North Korea, Ben Blanchard, Hyonhee Shin BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) 18 Sept 17, – The U.S. military staged bombing drills with South Korea over the Korean peninsula and Russia and China began naval exercises ahead of a U.N. General Assembly meeting on Tuesday where North Korea’s nuclear threat is likely to loom large.

The flurry of military drills came after Pyongyang fired another mid-range ballistic missile over Japan on Friday and the reclusive North conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3 in defiance of United Nations sanctions and other international pressure.

A pair of U.S. B-1B bombers and four F-35 jets flew from Guam and Japan and joined four South Korean F-15K fighters in the latest drill, South Korea’s defense ministry said.

The joint drills were being conducted “two to three times a month these days”, Defence Minister Song Young-moo told a parliamentary hearing on Monday.

In Beijing, the official Xinhua news agency said China and Russia began naval drills off the Russian far eastern port of Vladivostok, not far from the Russia-North Korea border. Those drills were being conducted between Peter the Great Bay, near Vladivostok, and the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, to the north of Japan, it said.

The drills are the second part of China-Russian naval exercises this year, the first part of which was staged in the Baltic in July. Xinhua did not directly link the drills to current tension over North Korea.

China and Russia have repeatedly called for a peaceful solution and talks to resolve the issue.

On Sunday, however, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the U.N. Security Council had run out of options on containing North Korea’s nuclear program and the United States might have to turn the matter over to the Pentagon.

September 22, 2017 Posted by | South Korea, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Trump’s nominee to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) represents polluting industries

Here Are the Energy Companies Represented by Trump’s Nominee to Head FERC  more

McIntyre is a lawyer who co-leads the global energy practice for the legal and lobbying firm Jones Day, and is currently awaiting final Senate confirmation of his appointment to the nation’s top energy regulatory body. That confirmation may come as soon as this week.

McIntyre’s financial disclosure, submitted recently to the Office of Government Ethics, reveals that in the past two years alone he has represented various energy and utility companies. Some of these companies are regulated by FERC or have projects seeking FERC approval.

The list includes the following entities:

  • Ameren Corporation, a St. Louis, Missouri-based utility and power generation company. Ameren delivers electricity and distributes gas to over 1 million customers in Missouri and Illinois. The company owns several power-generating plants running on coal, gas, and oil. It also operates nuclear, hydroelectric, and renewable facilities.
  • American Electric Power Service Corporation (AEP), a large Columbus, Ohio-based electric utility supplying customers throughout the Midwest and Southwest US. The company owns about 60 power generating facilities, of which coal-fueled plants account for approximately 47 percent of AEP’s generating capacity, while natural gas represents 27 percent and nuclear 7 percent.
  • Lakeside Energy LLC, a Chicago-based energy holding firm that targets independent power generating and renewables industries.
  • Navajo Transitional Energy Company, a Farmington, New Mexico-based coal mining company owned by the Navajo Nation. The company supplies coal to the nearby Four Corners power plant.
  • SCANA Corporation, a Cayce, South Carolina-based energy holding company engaged primarily in electric and gas utility operations in the Carolinas and Georgia. The company also owns nuclear, hydroelectric, coal, and renewable power generating facilities.
  • TECO, a Tampa-based electric and gas utility providing services to customers in Florida and New Mexico. TECO is a subsidirary of Canadian energy and services giant Emera, which owns $29 billion in assets in North America and the Caribbean.
  • Traverse Midstream Partners, an Edmond, Oklahoma-based pipeline company with stakes in the Rover pipeline and Ohio River System pipeline. In both pipelines, Traverse partners with Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline.
  • Ascent Resources, an Oklahoma City-based oil and gas exploration and production company that focuses on fracking in the Utica and Marcellus shales in Ohio and West Virginia.
  • Enable Midstream Partners, an Oklahoma City-based oil and gas gathering, processing, and transmitting company with operations in Oklahoma and Arkansas. One of Enable’s current proposed pipeline projects, the Central Arkansas Pipeline Expansion (CAPE), will require FERC approval.
  • EDF Energy Services LLC, a Houston-based subsidiary of French utility EDF, the company provides electricity, natural gas products and services to large-scale, energy-intensive commercial and industrial consumers in the US and Canada.
  • PT. Xintia Indonesia, an Indonesian company providing drilling equipment and services to the oil and gas industry.
  • SOCAR Trading S.A., a Geneva Switzerland-based company which is the marketing and development subsidiary of SOCAR, the state oil company of Azerbaijan. SOCAR Trading markets the bulk of Azeri crude exports.
  • Total Petrochemical & Refining USA, Inc., a Houston-based subsidiary of French oil and gas major Total involved in the production of various petrochemical materials with facilities in Texas and Louisiana.
  • Iberdrola Renovables Mexico S.A. de C.V., a Mexican subsidiary of Spanish electric utility giant Iberdrola, focusing on renewable energy investments in Mexico.

Concern Over Industry Ties

After a number of resignations and term expirations, as of this past June the FERC‘s bench had dwindled down to one single commissioner. The Trump administration has nominated four new candidates to restore the quorum needed for FERC to make key decisions.

Industry representatives lauded the reestablishment of a quorum on the commission, which can now approve the logjam of pending energy projects.

Critics, however, have sounded the alarm about some of the new appointees’ industry ties. Protesters with the group Beyond Extreme Energy had disrupted two Senate confirmation hearings in recent months.

They’ve pointed out that the newest FERC appointees Neil Chatterjee and Rob Powelson have ties to fossil fuel companies and utilities. While Chatterjee previously worked as an energy policy advisor to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Powelson developed a close relationship with the industry as a state utilities regulator.

As DeSmog recently reported, Powelson received gifts from industry in his previous regulatory position.

Kevin McIntyre’s financial disclosure adds fuel to these concerns. McIntyre did not respond to a request for comment.

Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at the government watchdog group Public Citizen, says the disclosure is cause for further concern. “I do think FERC has had problems of not accommodating the public interest as much as is spelled out in its statutory requirements,” Slocum says. “And McIntyre’s list of clients does not appear to include public interest clients, whereas today there is much opportunity for lawyers to represents such clients as well.”

Slocum adds that as co-lead of Jones Day’s energy practice, McIntyre is probably privy to other kinds of key information about energy clients, beyond those entities listed as the ones he personally represented at the firm.

“This complicates the question of potential conflicts beyond the list he provided in the disclosure since there’s uncertainty as to that kind of information he may hold,” Slocum says.

September 22, 2017 Posted by | climate change, politics, USA | Leave a comment

America’s Senate passes bill to massively increase nuclear weapons production

Senate Passes Defense Bill That Would Bolster Nuclear Weapons Programs TruthOut September 19, 2017By Mike LudwigTruthout The Senate approved a massive defense policy bill by a vote of 89 to 9 on Monday that is raising concerns about nuclear weapons proliferation amid rising tensions between the United States and countries such as North Korea and Russia.

The Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an annual piece of “must-pass” legislation that shapes dozens of policies at the Pentagon, would authorize $640 billion in discretionary defense spending and an additional $60 billion for overseas military operations, such as the ongoing war efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

What’s the value of $700 billion? It’s more than twice the size of Denmark’s entire economy, and the same amount of money that the government spent bailing out banks during the financial collapse in 2008. Both the Senate and House versions of the bill name amounts that exceed President Trump’s request for military funding by tens of billions of dollars.

The numbers put forth in the defense authorization bill set the bar for future defense spending legislation and policy determinations. As an authorization bill, this legislation does not actually permit the expenditure of those funds; an appropriations bill is needed for that.

The bill authorizes billions of dollars for nuclear weapons and nonproliferation programs, including $65 million for developing a cruise missile that nonproliferation groups fear could derail the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a landmark nuclear treaty between the US and Russia.

Critics say increasing spending on the US nuclear arsenal could trigger other countries to invest in their own capabilities and add to the number of highly destructive weapons on the planet.

“We [are] already investing in nuclear weapons to a tune of about $20 million a year, so we really have to ask ourselves what the point of an increased investment would be, considering these are weapons that should never be used,” said Lindsay Koshgarian, director of the National Priorities Project, a group that tracks military spending, in an interview with Truthout.

The US has accused Russia of violating the INF Treaty by developing and fielding a land-based cruise missile with nuclear capabilities, a charge Russia has denied. The Senate’s version of NDAA authorizes research and development of a mid-range, road-mobile cruise missile system that could carry a nuclear warhead, similar to the missile Russia allegedly developed.

The Senate Armed Services Committee claims that the money could only be used for research and development of the missile, not testing and deployment, so it would not violate the treaty in the way that Russia allegedly has. Rather, the committee says, it would close a “capability” gap opened by Russia.

However, developing such a weapon would suck money away from nonproliferation programs while sowing divisions within NATO and giving Russia an excuse to reject the treaty and deploy large numbers of noncompliant missiles without constraint, according to the Arms Control Association.

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) added an amendment to the bill that requires the defense secretary to submit a report to Congress on the rationale and strategic implications for developing such a weapon before the $65 million can be spent. Warren also included an amendment asking the Department of Defense to consider existing treaty obligations in an upcoming Nuclear Posture Review. The House rejected similar measures offered by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon).

The House version of the bill provides $25 million to develop conventional (non-nuclear) land-based cruise missiles and requires the president to submit a report on Russian compliance with the INF treaty within 15 months. If Russia is determined to be out of compliance, the treaty would no longer bind the US, effectively dissolving a decades-old nonproliferation agreement between the two countries that control about 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.

The House bill would also block funding for extending the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, a nuclear nonproliferation agreement considered a bright spot in US-Russia relations, unless Russia returns to compliance with the INF Treaty.

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) added an amendment to the bill that requires the defense secretary to submit a report to Congress on the rationale and strategic implications for developing such a weapon before the $65 million can be spent. Warren also included an amendment asking the Department of Defense to consider existing treaty obligations in an upcoming Nuclear Posture Review. The House rejected similar measures offered by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon).

The House version of the bill provides $25 million to develop conventional (non-nuclear) land-based cruise missiles and requires the president to submit a report on Russian compliance with the INF treaty within 15 months. If Russia is determined to be out of compliance, the treaty would no longer bind the US, effectively dissolving a decades-old nonproliferation agreement between the two countries that control about 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.

The House bill would also block funding for extending the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, a nuclear nonproliferation agreement considered a bright spot in US-Russia relations, unless Russia returns to compliance with the INF Treaty…….

The US defense budget easily dwarfs that of any other country on the planet, and the NDAA would authorize an annual budget for the Pentagon that is even larger than the ones it received during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon already receives more than half of federal discretionary spending, but if Congress were to honor the White House’s requests for domestic cuts, the portion of the discretionary budget that is earmarked for defense could top 68 percent.

However, since the bill does not actually appropriate any money, Congress faces difficult budget negotiations going forward. Democrats typically use defense spending as leverage to maintain or increase funding for domestic programs. If the funding levels specified in the NDAA were to be approved, a 2011 law that placed limits on military spending would need to be lifted or otherwise circumvented, because the bill outlines spending that would easily exceeds those limits.

September 22, 2017 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK’s religious leaders unite, to urge Theresa May to sign the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty

Sign up to the UN ban on nuclear weapons  The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament calls on the British government to support a historic treaty Around the world there are growing fears about the prospect of a nuclear war. The US-North Korea nuclear crisis is a terrifying reminder of the dangers of nuclear weapons and a powerful, yet unwelcome, riposte to the nuclear states who have long argued that these weapons of mass destruction deter war. But there is an alternative. The overwhelming majority of states want abolition of all nuclear weapons and have taken matters into their own hands. A legally binding nuclear weapons ban treaty has been agreed by 122 states at the UN, the culmination of decades of global civil society campaigning.

That treaty opens for signature today, and more than 100 states are set to sign this ground-breaking document. This is an open invitation from the majority of the world’s states to all countries to sign up and work to make the abolition of nuclear weapons a reality. Our government says it is committed to the same aim, yet it boycotted the talks that produced the treaty and insists the UK will never sign. But the opportunity is there; the UK must seize it and work to make a success of it. The alternative is spiralling nuclear proliferation, massively increased danger and inevitable annihilation. For all our futures, we urge Theresa May to sign the treaty.
Caroline Lucas MP Chair Parliamentary CND, Malcolm McMahon Archbishop of Liverpool, Kelvin Hopkins MPMark Serwotka PCS union, Stephen Cottrell Bishop of Chelmsford, Mohammed Kozbar Muslim Association of Britain, Tommy Sheppard MPHywel Williams MPKate Hudson CND general secretary, Jill BakerMethodist Church in Britain, Juliet Prager Quakers in Britain, Ronnie Cowan MP

September 22, 2017 Posted by | Religion and ethics, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Anti nuclear groups invite individual MPs in Canada to sign the nuclear ban treaty

MPs and Senators invited to “sign” nuke ban treaty Wednesday on Parliament Hill DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN  September 19, 2017 Anti-nuclear groups are hoping to raise awareness about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision not to sign a treaty banning nuclear weapons with an event to be held Wednesday on Parliament Hill.

September 22, 2017 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Most Britons happy to live near wind turbines, but not near Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

Most Britons would not be happy living near the mini nuclear power stations
that Rolls-Royce and several other international companies want to build in
the UK, a survey has found. The government has promised the developers of
small modular reactors a slice of a £250m funding pot in a race to
position the UK as the place where the first generation of the power
stations should be built.

Polling by YouGov, however, believed to be the
first survey of public attitudes towards the plants, found that 62% of
people would be unhappy living within five miles of one. The poll,
commissioned by the climate change charity 10:10, found that only 24% would
be unhappy living near an onshore windfarm, which the Conservative party
has stymied with tougher planning rules.

The figure fell to 17% for community-owned windfarms. Ellie Roberts, a campaigner at 10:10, said:
“These results show just how wildly out of step with public opinion UK
energy policy has become.” Most small modular reactors (SMRs) would
generate less than a tenth of the power the projected Hinkley Point C will
provide, but are backed by industry as a cheaper option to big nuclear
plants and an opportunity for British firms to be first in a new

Harry Holt, the president of nuclear at Rolls-Royce, said:
“With demand for energy set to rise in the near future, in part due to
the growing popularity of electric cars, we believe that a UK SMR programme
is a vital addition to our national infrastructure.”

Guardian 18th Sept 2017

September 22, 2017 Posted by | technology, UK | Leave a comment

Melting Arctic ice cap

Melting Arctic ice cap falls to well below average This summer’s minimum is the eighth lowest on record
Shrinking ice cap increasingly linked to extreme weather events around the world, say scientists,
Guardian, Damian Carrington , 20 Sept 17, The Arctic ice cap melted to hundreds of thousands of square miles below average this summer, according to data released late on Tuesday.

Climate change is pushing temperatures up most rapidly in the polar regions and left the extent of Arctic sea ice at 1.79m sq miles at the end of the summer melt season.

This is the time when it reaches its lowest area for the year, before starting to grow again as winter approaches. The 2017 minimum was 610,000 sqmiles below the 1981-2010 average and the eighth lowest year in the 38-year satellite record……

September 22, 2017 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Vatican ratifies treaty on the prohibition of nuclear arms

Holy See ratifies treaty on the prohibition of nuclear arms, (Vatican Radio) 21 Sept 17,  The Holy See on Thursday became one of the first entities to sign and ratify a new treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. The treaty was signed by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, for the Holy See, and in the name of and on behalf of Vatican City State.

More than 40 countries signed the treaty during a high level signing ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Along with the Holy See, Thailand also ratified the treaty. More nations are expected to sign in coming days, with the treaty set to go into effect 90 days after it has been ratified by at least 50 nations…….

September 22, 2017 Posted by | EUROPE, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | 1 Comment