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Radiation from Chernobyl spreads far away, as global heating exacerbates widfires

Climate change is spreading radiation from Chernobyl over 2,000 miles away, Boing Boing, 3 Sep 20,  One of the more difficult parts of trying to convince people about the seriousness of climate change is explaining how so many disparate elements and factors can collude and compound* and make everything worse. And it’s even harder to predict how long those complications will take to manifest, whenever they do what they do…….

. As The Atlantic reports:

Monitors in Norway, 2,000 miles away, detected increased levels of cesium in the atmosphere. Kyiv was smothered in smoke [from forest fires]. Press reports estimated that the level of radiation near the fires was 16 times higher than normal, but we may never know how much was actually released: Yoschenko, Zibtsev, and others impatient to take on-the-ground measurements were confined to their homes by the coronavirus pandemic. August is typically the worst month of the Chernobyl fire season, and this year, public anxiety is mounting. The devastation left by the world’s worst nuclear disaster is colliding with the disaster of climate change, and the consequences reach far and deep.

The unexpected result is an immense, long-term ecological laboratory. Within the exclusion zone, scientists are analyzing everything, including the health of the wolves and moose that have wandered back and the effects of radiation on barn swallows, voles, and the microorganisms that decompose forest litter. Now, as wildfires worsen, scientists are trying to determine how these hard-hit ecosystems will respond to yet another unparalleled disruption. ……

when something nuclear does go wrong — which is still likely, because nothing’s perfect — more nuclear power production will result in more radiation damage. And, if this situation with Chernobyl’s forest fires is any indication, then the ultimate fallout of that combined with our existing climate change problems could be even more insurmountably devastating……. https://boingboing.net/2020/09/04/climate-change-is-spreading-ra.html

September 5, 2020 - Posted by | climate change, environment, Ukraine

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