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Japan’s Fukushima Faces Long Road to Repair

Japan’s Fukushima Faces Long Road to Repair

The cleanup after the catastrophic nuclear accident two years ago at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan is not going well. Radioactive cooling water is leaking into the ground from at least three vast storage tanks, and the vulnerability of the plant to further accidents was revealed when a rat chewed through an electric cable, cutting off vital … Read More

Hurricane Sandy’s Immense Energy Shook the U.S.

Hurricane Sandy’s Immense Energy Shook the U.S.

Sandy, the superstorm that all but submerged New York, was powerful enough to set U.S. earthquake detectors quivering long before it hit the American coastline. It stirred up Atlantic Ocean waves that slammed into each other, started to shake the sea floor and then shook the Midwestern states so vigorously that the storm’s progress could be tracked… Read More

Drought and Heat May Fuel Early Fire Season in West

Drought and Heat May Fuel Early Fire Season in West

Fire season may come early this year in the West, as it has more frequently in recent years, thanks to ongoing drought conditions and increasing temperatures. According to a new outlook issued by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, ID, major wildfires in California could begin as early as this month, nearly a month ahead of… Read More

Heeding Sandy’s Lessons, Before the Next Big Storm

Heeding Sandy’s Lessons, Before the Next Big Storm

First and foremost, Sandy drove home the need to rethink coastal development practices that encourage growth in vulnerable areas. Second, the storm, which was forecasted well in advance, proved the value of a robust weather and climate forecasting infrastructure at a time of budget austerity.… Read More

Hurricane Sandy’s Untold Filthy Legacy: Sewage

Hurricane Sandy’s Untold Filthy Legacy: Sewage

Hurricane Sandy was the largest storm to hit the northeast U.S. in recorded history, killing 159, knocking out power to millions, and causing $70 billion in damage in eight states. Sandy also put the vulnerability of critical infrastructure in stark relief by paralyzing subways, trains, road and air traffic, flooding hospitals, crippling electrical… Read More

Warmer Seas May Impact Antarctic Clams’ Reproduction

Warmer Seas May Impact Antarctic Clams’ Reproduction

Antarctic clams (Laternula elliptica) play a vital role in the ocean ecosystem, drawing down carbon into sea-bed sediments and circulating ocean nutrients. Now a new study has found that the reproductive capacity of this long-lived and abundant species — existing in the cold, oxygen-rich waters of the Antarctic — could be seriously affected by … Read More

Boost to Colorado Snowpack May Lessen Wildfire Risk

Boost to Colorado Snowpack May Lessen Wildfire Risk

As recently as late March it appeared that most of the West, including Colorado, was headed for a long, and tinderbox-dry spring and summer, with the effects of a long-running drought becoming ever more apparent in the form of dwindling water supplies and destructive wildfires. Many officials feared a repeat of last year’s disastrous wildfire seaso… Read More

Shale Mining in Great Barrier Reef ‘Likely to be Banned’

Shale Mining in Great Barrier Reef ‘Likely to be Banned’

Mining shale oil under the Great Barrier Reef is likely to be banned by Australia's federal Labor government as tensions rise over the environmental impact of the booming oil and gas industry on the coastline beside the reef. In February, the conservative Queensland state government lifted a moratorium on the shale oil industry in most places alon… Read More