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15 March 2011

Radiation from Coal vs Nuclear Plants

I’ve had several emails about my post last night and specifically about the fact that that coal fired power plants produce more radiation than nuclear power stations. I did some research and found a very good article in Scientific American on just this subject. They actually used Tennessee and Alabama for the examples used in the study. Coal ash has been in the news a lot recently with the huge …


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False Radiation Rumors Run Rampant

Whoever put this map out should face criminal charges IMHO There is no doubt that what is happening at the Fukushima Nuclear plant in Japan is alarming. I’ve even seen reliable reports that one of the containment vessels may have been damaged in an explosion early Tuesday, Japan time.  Unfortunately, some people are taking advantage of most people’s lack of any rudimentary knowledge about nuclear power to spread fear. There’s …


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14 March 2011

Yes, Another Explosion at Fukushima, but read this before you get too concerned.

The below is from Dr. Josef Oehmen of MIT. It was reproduced on Barry Brooks excellent blog Brave New Climate. Brooks is a climate science expert at the Univ. of Adelaide, and I read his posts frequently. Just click the image below to go to Brave New World. It will take you awhile to read, but you will then have a very good understanding of what is happening in Japan. You …


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13 March 2011

NASA Terra Satellite Shows Tsunami Flooding in Japan

Below is an image after the quake/tsunamis. Late Saturday, the USGS confirmed that GPS sensors indicate a movement of about 2.4 meters due to the quake. This is a large amount. This quake was on the subduction zone between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. The ocean off Japan is on the Pacific plate which is diving under the North American plate. This means the fault rupture was …


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12 March 2011

Massive Explosion Rocks Japan Nuclear Plant- Radiation Facts

  With the news this morning of an explosion at the Fukushima reactor in Japan, I thought I would repost something I wrote over a year ago on radiation. You are likely to hear about milli-rems and Sieverts on the news, and this should help you make sense of it. A physicist on the BBC has been quoted as saying that the explosion was probably a result of a core …


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11 March 2011

Tsunami Wave Height Map from NOAA

My fellow AGU bloggers have some really good info on the science behind the quake here. In particular, Callan Bentley’s Mountain Beltway and Dave Petley’s Landslide Blog. My Seismograph Story While at university in the late 1970’s, I worked at a seismic observatory in Oklahoma for a summer. It was a very fascinating experience and has turned out to be very helpful in my job as a meteorologist working in …


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Super Quake Spawns Massive Tsunami in Japan

  Update: Amazing video here: The strongest earthquake ever recorded in Japan struck at 0546 GMT Friday. It was 3:46 PM on a Friday afternoon and a massive tsunami struck minutes later. The damage you can see on TV (The BBC coverage is exc. as usual) but here is a little science behind why it happened.   Japan sits on top of three of the Earths Tectonic plates. Mount …


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22 February 2011

Some Tears For Beautiful Christchurch

If you go to Antarctica with the U.S. Antarctic Program (NSF), you will be very familiar with Christchurch. It’s the take off and return point for all of those who go to work, and do science “on the ice”. Last night, when I emailed a friend at Amundsen Scott station (at the South Pole) about the quake, I quickly got a request for more information. Everyone “on the ice” loves …


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8 May 2010

New Views of Iceland Ash Cloud & Gulf Oil Slick. Bad news on both.

The winds aloft are blowing the ash mainly over the Atlantic today. Some of it is rotating around an upper level low and causing problems in Spain. The wind flow in the mid levels of the atmosphere will blow it more toward the UK and Europe starting late Sunday.  Heathrow and Gatwick could very well be affected. The ash is up to around 5,000 meters today. Transatlantic flights can get …


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7 May 2010

Oil and Ash from Space- Update

The upper level winds are not blowing the ash toward the UK today and that is very good news. If they were, there would be widespread cancellations of flights. The cloud is especially thick. The good news is that late today the eruption has become much quieter and the ash is not as high as earlier. Geological experts in Iceland are reporting that there are no signs the eruption will …


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