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Japan Drops Nukes then Reverses Policy

A few days ago, the Japanese government announced its plans to begin to phase out nuclear power with the country aiming to end all nuclear power by 2040. But less than a week later, the announced policy policy was already backing away from that commitment.

Of course, Japan suffered an enormous environmental crisis in the wake of the March 2011 earthquake and cheap cialis without prescription tsunami when the Fukushima nuclear reactor complex suffered a series of tramadol sale no prescription required explosions and meltdowns of some of the reactors, contaminating the region with radioactive material. There has been strong public sentiment in Japan favoring an end to the use of nuclear power in the aftermath of the crisis.

The government had initially announced plans to end all nuclear power by 2040. But only a few days later, this decision was evidently reversed in an announcement of the new energy policy that leaves more room for continuing use of nuclear power. Business interests had lobbied hard for changes in the policy.

Other countries have taken steps to phase out nuclear power, but they generally have stronger programs of renewable power already in place. Japan is particularly poor in fossil fuel resources, but could be well situated for renewable sources including wind, wave, and tidal, as well as solar.

image: CC BY-SA 3.0 by Digital Globe/Wikimedia


Sweden Wants to Import More Trash

Sweden is a country with an especially good national recycling program and broad public participation. It is so good that only 4 percent of uk viagra sales household waste goes into landfills. Sweden also has a lot of district heating plants, which produce electricity and hot water that is distributed for heating to nearby homes and businesses. Many of these plants rely on trash incineration to generate the heat to run the systems. Trash incinceration provides 20 percent of the district heating in Sweden. These plants also generate the electricity for 250,000 homes.

The problem is that Swedish power plants need more trash to feed these plants than the country is producing, so the country is looking to import trash from its European neighbors to fuel these plants. At present, they are importing waste from neighboring Norway to cheapest cialis fuel these plants.

Getting rid of trash and producing energy may seem like a win-win, but trash incineration plants have serious downsides. They produce large amounts of dioxins which can be released into the atmosphere. There are also toxins and heavy metals in the ash that remains after the material is burned, and that needs to be disposed of carefully.

Fortunately, the Swedes realize the limitations in trash burning. "This is not a long-term solution really, because we need to be better to reuse and order cialis canada recycle, but in the short perspective I think it’s quite a good solution," Ostlund concluded.

image: CC by Mikael Lindmark/Wikimedia Commons

via: Living on Earth


Satellite Data Shows Enormous Greenland Ice Melt

In mid-July, an astonishing, estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet covering Greenland was melting due to a high temperature dome of warm air. Scientists at NASA noticed this late in July, and were shocked at what they found.

Most of Greenland is a big ice sheet. In the summer, large areas of its surface melt, though much of the water quickly re-freezes. Under more normal conditions, 40 or 50 percent of the area can have melting, but virtually the entire ice sheet melting was unprecedented. The 97% area was so extraordinary that the cialis sales online scientists who first discovered this initially thought that there was a problem with the satellites providing the data, and they didn't release the information until they had checked their findings with two other instruments.

The melting took place exceptionally rapidly, as well. "The melting spread quickly. Melt maps derived from the three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet's surface had melted. By July 12, 97 percent had melted."

Scientists are not yet sure how much of an impact this event will have on sea level rise or how the ice sheet will be affected long term. But it is another unusual event that further shows evidence that the climate is not behaving in the ways it has in the past.

via: NASA


Arctic Sea Ice on Track for Record Low Levels This Year

Earlier this year, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in the Arctic reached the unhappy milestone of 400 parts-per-million. Now, information coming from the National Snow & Ice Data Center indicates that this year's Arctic sea ice is on can you buy ultram over the counter pace to shrink to its smallest levels ever.

One of the clearest examples of the effects of global warming and climate change is cialis one a day the receding of the Arctic ice cap. The NSIDC indicates that this year's sea ice is already slightly smaller than it was in 2010, which was the buy viagra on line previous record for this time of year. It is also smaller than it was in 2007, which was the year that had the ice cap shrink to its smallest size in September of that year.

Starting the summer with the smallest Arctic cap on record is not an auspicious sign, for the Arctic or for the planet.

image: NSIDC


Atmospheric CO2 Levels Over Arctic Have Reached 400 Parts Per Million

The atmosphere over the Arctic has hit a troublesome milestone: the concentration of CO2 has surpassed 400 parts per million. Stations across the region in Alaska, Greenland, Norway and Iceland have recorded the measurements that have surged since the pill decription of propecia winter and spring have brought a decline in CO2-absorbing vegetation. While the downswing in carbon absorption happens every year, this is the first time in 800,000 years that the CO2 concentration anywhere in the world has been 400 ppm or above.

Before industrialization, global CO2 levels were about 280 ppm but in recent years global levels have reached as high as 395 ppm. The fact that any area of the globe has climbed above the 400 ppm mark concerns climate scientists that even with many countries rolling out carbon reduction measures, it's not making a difference fast enough.

Carnegie Institution ecologist Chris Field, a leader of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said, “It is an indication that we’re in a different world.”

To that end, scientists have recently discovered that the loss of Arctic summer ice and accelerated warming of online cheap viagra that region are altering the jet stream, which is likely to we recommend levitra 30 mg increase extreme weather events around the world.

via Yale e360

Image via flickr user Polar Cruises

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