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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Category 1 is the strongest (red)
- In Pictures BBC
- BBC Newsreport
- USGS information
- Good article on European Seismic Activity – look at Italy!
- A video which explains why Earthquakes and Volcanoes occur in Italy.
- Italy Earthquake Information from the USGS
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.