A Level

Radiation Dose Chart

Why Nuclear Power is still the solution

0

 

Radiation Dose Chart

Radiation Dose Chart

Having read George Monbiot’s excellent article in the Guardian and also been a keen follower of James Lovelock and his Gaia theory, both supporters of nuclear power, I’m keen that the argument for nuclear power should still be balanced and not skewed by the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear power plant.  The fact that Fukushima was over 30 years old ,remained standing following the largest Japanese earthquake in recorded history, then was inundated by the tsunami which was 14 metres in height and only then had a relatively minimal release of radiation, shows that the fear of nuclear power is greater than the actual effects.

Obviously I wish I could afford  to buy, along with everyone else, solar panels, drive a Nissan Leaf, a ground heat pump and install a wind generator in my garden as a green solution but it’s still not a logical economical choice.  Bring on a regulated, modern nuclear power industry and build it in Cornwall to guarantee jobs for the future and get GAIA back to its human friendly state.

Global Temperature Anomalies - November 2010

UK Freeze = Global Warming?

0
Mr PJ Snowman

Mr PJ Snowman

OK so my attempts at making snow people aren’t great but my Stasi hat bought at Checkpoint Charlie gives it a certain authoritative look.  Didn’t stop the local hoodlums from tormenting him and his carrot nose was last found in an inappropriate place.

So how can this cold weather be linked with the theory of global warming.  The problem with many of us is we tend tyo be very Eurocentric and our thinking doesn’t extend beyond our local area.  Fortunately we now have satellites that can provide a far more detailed view of our global temperatures.  By using the brilliant NASA temperature anomaly tool here we can examine temperatue differences across the globe.  A simple data input can give us the following summary map for the World.

Global Temperature Anomalies - November 2010

Global Temperature Anomalies - November 2010

As you can see the cooler blue sections over Scandinavia and the UK are dwarfed in size by the deep red over the remaining continental landmasses in the northern hemisphere, especially over northern Russia and North America.   The temperatures in western Greenland, northern Canada and Siberia were between two and ten degrees higher than usual. A graph by latitude shows the significant anomaly in the northern hemisphere.

Graph of temperature anomalies nov 2010

Graph of temperature anomalies nov 2010

According to NASA’s datasets, the world has just experienced the warmest January-November since the global record began, 131 years ago. 2010 looks likely to be either the hottest or the equal hottest year. This November was the warmest on record.

Thank you the the excellent George Monbiot article here for making this all very clear and pointing out to the naysayers and bumpkin climate ‘experts’ that our climate is far greater than the picture of snowmen outside our windows!

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Plumbing

Iceland Volcano Plumbing

0
Eyjafjallajokull ash cloud

Eyjafjallajokull ash cloud

A student (thank you Robyn) pointed me in the direction of this excellent article all about the Eyjafjallajokull volcano and its magma plumbing.  It’s a really interesting read particulary how they’re using radimoetric readings from the TerraSAR-X German satellite to look at how the land deformed leading up to the eruption.  This is extremely important in the race to make the science of predicting volcanic eruptions a more accurate one.

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Plumbing

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Plumbing

Essentially the eruption was a phreatic one where water mixed with magma to produce the ash materail that caused havoc around Europe for airline travellers. Check out some typically good BBC graphics here on the eruption plume. Check out the brillinat pictures on the eruption on the Boston Globe website here.

Met Office Climate Change

Google Earth Climate Change Met Office Layer

0

Met Office Climate Change

The UK Met Office Hadley Centre with a variety of other agencies has produced a fantastic Climate Change layer for Google Earth.  It looks at a change of 4 degrees on climate change and their associated possible impacts.  Like all climate change mapos there is a degree of uncertainty but if I was to trust any scientific body to produce an accurate forecast then the Met Office would be top of my list.  You can download the KML file here but you will need to have Google Earth installed first.  Good video on Channel 4 news about the layer here.

uk flood map 2m rise

Flood defence in the UK to cost £1billion

0

Great article from the Guardian here explaining how half a million houses in the UK will be at considerable flood risk.  The cost of defending them will be far less than the cost of dealing with the floods when they occur.  The cost benefit analysis has to be 5 times the cost of the defences.  Apparently the average cost of a burglary6 in the UK is £1000 whereas the average cost to a home following a flood is £20,000 – £30,000!

New Orleans Flood Animation

0


Great animation explaining why Hurricane Katrina led to flooding in New Orleans on August 29th 2005.

Rehearsing for the Big Californian Earthquake

0


This story from Time Magazine looks at how on 13 November 2008 a large Earthquake drill for South California that was supposed to involve 5 million people.


Organised by the Drop! Cover! Hold! Earthquake Centre as they await the BIG ONE which is already overdue.  Watch this space!

Italian Earthquake 6 April 2009

0

Where?: Medieval city of L’Aquila, 95km (60 miles) from Rome

When?: 0332 6 April 2009



How strong?
: 6.3 magnitude at 0332 local time (lots of people asleep and therefore trapped)  preceded by a 4.6 magnitude quake (no reported damage)

Effects:  Initial reports state that 27 people have been killed, 30 unaccounted for, 3,000 to 10,000 builidngs damaged.  Many historical buildings have collapsed.  As of 1030 6 April 2009.

Why? : Down the middle of Italy is the large Apennine Fault which is orientated NW-SE.  It is a complex geological area and the appenines is largely an accretinary wedge formed due to the process of subduction.  Essentially the region is both a collision zone and a subduction zone between the Eurasian and African plates as well as smaller microplates.  The US Geological Survey has extensive infrmation.

Italian Earthquake Map

Category 1 is the strongest (red)

Resources:

Impacts of Global Warming

1


Two excellent graphs from Nature magazine which show the effect of Global Warming based on a variety of scenarios.

The first is the global impact
The second regional impact by continent.

The second is rgional impactThe consequences of a 4C rise would be catastrophic and 2C would be disastrous for large areas of the earth, particulary the higher latitudes.

Global Issues

0

An excellent website, Global Issues, which has a load of articles suitable for A’Level students in particular.

Go to Top