BP and government lawyers prepare for battle over environmental cost of spill

The Deepwater Horizon blast led to 780m litres of oil escaping into the Gulf of Mexico, affecting wildlife such as pelicans. Photograph: Sean Gardner/Reuters

Image: The Deepwater Horizon blast led to 780m litres of oil escaping into the Gulf of Mexico, affecting wildlife such as pelicans. Photograph: Sean Gardner/Reuters

guardian.co.uk - February 22nd, 2013 - Dominic Rushe

Dolphin calving season has just begun in the Gulf of Mexico and marine biologists are reporting an alarming trend. Between 2000 and 2009, an average of 25 to 30 dolphins were found dead on the beaches of the Gulf each year. This year, 13 dead dolphins were found between 13 January and 14 February alone; 11 were aborted or newborns.


Making Communities More Resilient to Climate-Induced Weather Disasters

submitted by Samuel Bendett

homelandsecuritynewswire.com - February 18, 2013

Mounting scientific evidence indicates climate change will lead to more frequent and intense extreme weather that affects larger areas and lasts longer. We can reduce the risk of weather-related disasters, however, with a variety of measures. Experts say that a good strategy should include a variety of actions such as communicating risk and transferring it through vehicles such as insurance, taking a multi-hazard management approach, linking local and global management, and taking an iterative approach as opposed to starting with a master plan.


Radioactive Fish Found In California: Contamination From Fukushima Disaster Still Lingers


A fisherman displays his haul of Bluefin Tuna.

CLICK HERE: STUDY - Radiocesium in Pacific Bluefin Tuna Thunnus orientalis in 2012 Validates New Tracer Technique

huffingtonpost.com - by Aaron Sankin - February 22, 2013

Nearly two years after a powerful earthquake triggered a leak at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, the effects of that disaster are still being felt on the other side of the planet.

A report released earlier this month by researchers at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station found that bluefin tuna caught just off the California coast tested positive for radiation stemming from the incident.

The study looked at the levels of radiocesium, one of the most common results of nuclear fission reactions, in Pacific Bluefun Tuna--largely as way to track the species' migratory patterns as the fish make their cross-oceanic journey in search of prey.


After Disaster, Governor Faced with Challenge of Keeping Jakarta Dry


Since last month, when the worst flooding in six years hit Jakarta, occupancy at Marunda public housing complex north of Jakarta has jumped.

nytimes.com - by Sara Schonhardt - February 20, 2013

JAKARTA, Indonesia — At the Marunda housing projects in North Jakarta, weeds push up through cracks in concrete foundations and grimy facades beg for paint. The rent-subsidized apartments have little access to public transportation, and drainage ditches that ring each building smell of sewage.

It seems unlikely that people would line up to live here.


Wind Surpasses Nuclear in China

Graph of wind- vs nuclear-generated electricity in China. Image: Graph of wind- vs nuclear-generated electricity in China.

earth-policy.org - February 19th, 2013 - J. Matthew Roney

Wind has overtaken nuclear as an electricity source in China. In 2012, wind farms generated 2 percent more electricity than nuclear power plants did, a gap that will likely widen dramatically over the next few years as wind surges ahead. Since 2007, nuclear power generation has risen by 10 percent annually, compared with wind’s explosive growth of 80 percent per year.


NASA Reports Sunspot Six Times the Size of the Earth

February 21, 2013 - planetsave.com

Solar Flare–Producing Sunspot Forming On The Sun, NASA Images Massive Sunspot

An enormous sunspot, six times larger than the Earth is currently forming on the Sun. NASA researchers predict that the sunspot could begin triggering powerful solar flares in a couple of days.


Solar Flares: Monster Sunspot Growing Fast, NASA Warns Solar Storms Possible

February 21, 2013 - inquisitr.com


Climate Change’s Links to Conflict Draws UN Attention

By Flavia Krause-Jackson - Feb 14, 2013 8:30 PM MT - Bloomberg News

Members of the United Nations Security Council in New York met with Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who presented a number of scenarios to show the connection between climate change and global security challenges.

Climate change is a “reality that cannot be washed away,” according to notes prepared for diplomats at today’s session. “There is growing concern that with faster than anticipated acceleration, climate change may spawn consequences which are harsher than expected.”

Topics ranged from Hurricane Sandy, to fossil-fuel deposits, to glacial melting and how the seeds of conflict, unrest, and revolution are being sewn.

Read the entire article

Read the National Intelligence Council Global Trends 2030 Report

Climate Change as Source of Future Conflict Draws UN Attention

Video - The Well: Water Voices from Ethiopia

submitted by Stella Tarnay


Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 
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New Era of Food Scarcity Echoes Collapsed Civilizations (Adapted from Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity by Lester R. Brown)

Earth Policy Institute - Book Byte - February 7, 2013

In Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity, Lester Brown explains that "The world is in transition from an era of food abundance to one of scarcity." 

With the demand for grain increasing and the supply of grain decreasing, food prices are rising and hunger is spreading.  "On the demand side of the food equation, population growth, rising affluence, and the conversion of food into fuel for cars are combining to raise consumption by record amounts. On the supply side, extreme soil erosion, growing water shortages, and the earth’s rising temperature are making it more difficult to expand production."

"Food shortages undermined earlier civilizations. The Sumerians and Mayans are just two of the many early civilizations that declined apparently because they moved onto an agricultural path that was environmentally unsustainable ... We, too, are on such a path."

"The bottom line is that it is becoming much more difficult for the world’s farmers to keep up with the world’s rapidly growing demand for grain ... We are entering a time of chronic food scarcity, one that is leading to intense competition for control of land and water resources—in short, a new geopolitics of food."

Recent Changes in the Ventilation of the Southern Oceans

sciencemag.org - Darryn W. Waugh1,Francois Primeau2,Tim DeVries3,Mark Holzer4 - February 1, 2013


Surface westerly winds in the Southern Hemisphere have intensified over the past few decades, primarily in response to the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole, and there is intense debate on the impact of this on the ocean's circulation and uptake and redistribution of atmospheric gases. We used measurements of chlorofluorocarbon-12 (CFC-12) made in the southern oceans in the early 1990s and mid- to late 2000s to examine changes in ocean ventilation. Our analysis of the CFC-12 data reveals a decrease in the age of subtropical subantarctic mode waters and an increase in the age of circumpolar deep waters, suggesting that the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole has caused large-scale coherent changes in the ventilation of the southern oceans.

Detecting Ozone- and Greenhouse Gas–Driven Wind Trends with Observational Data

sciencemag.org - Sukyoung Lee1,Steven B. Feldstein1 - February 1, 2013


Modeling studies suggest that Antarctic ozone depletion and, to a lesser degree, greenhouse gas (GHG) increase have caused the observed poleward shift in the westerly jet during the austral summer. Similar studies have not been performed previously with observational data because of difficulties in separating the two contributions. By applying a cluster analysis to daily ERA-Interim data, we found two 7- to 11-day wind clusters, one resembling the models' responses to GHG forcing and the other resembling ozone depletion. The trends in the clusters' frequency of occurrence indicate that the ozone contributed about 50% more than GHG toward the jet shift, supporting the modeling results. Moreover, tropical convection apparently plays an important role for the GHG-driven trend.


Solomons Quake Triggers Tsunami, Destroys Villages


ABC News - Live Coverage Blog - February 5, 2013

A magnitude 8.0 earthquake off Solomon Islands has generated a tsunami and destroyed three villages.


Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

From GDACS . . . Estimated wave height and arrival times of Tsunami
http://tinyurl.com/a72nss9 . . .

USGS - 8.0 Earthquake

West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

National Data Buoy Center - Facebook Announcement

Major Storm Accelerated Arctic Sea Ice Loss, Study Finds

climatecentral.org - by Andrew Freedman - February 1, 2013


The "Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012," which struck the Arctic at the height of the sea ice melt season in early August, was not responsible for causing sea ice extent to plunge to a record low just a few weeks later. That is one of the conclusions of a new study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. It is the first study to quantify the impacts that the storm had on the fragile Arctic sea ice cover, which has been rapidly shrinking and thinning in response to rapid Arctic warming.


Global Health & Innovation Conference - April 13-14, 2013 - Yale University, New Haven, CT

The Global Health & Innovation Conference (GHIC) is the world's leading and largest global health conference as well as the largest social entrepreneurship conference, with 2,200 professionals and students from all 50 states and more than 55 countries. This must-attend, thought-leading conference convenes leaders, changemakers, and participants from all sectors of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship.

Official Report of 01 Ogawa Cholera in Havana

Official Report of 01 Ogawa Cholera in Havana

Ministry of Public Health, Cuba - sld.cu - January 16, 2013

Location: El Cerro, Havana
Cases: 51

The outbreak of cholera (01 Ogawa Vibrio cholerae) in Havana is now being reported as under control.  Cuba has a strong public health system, which has traced the cholera outbreak to a single asymptomatic food vender.  In addition to rigorous epidemiological measures, the Ministry of Health has also stepped up health communication regarding hand-washing, and the use of sanitary measures regarding clean water and the cooking of food.



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